Welcome to the official blog of Maumee Valley Romance Writers of America! We're a local writers' group in the Toledo, Ohio area. Most of us write romance, but we also have members who write other genres too. New members are always welcome to visit or join the group. See the meetings page for details. We post every Monday and Friday about all things book-related. Whether you're a writer, reader, or both, we hope you'll stop by often and get to know our dozen contributors.

Monday, December 1, 2014

RESCUE ME

Alone…
In the cosmos…
Floating…
In the realms of the Internet…
Waiting…
For someone to come along…
And find me…
But it’s been months…
Maybe even a year now…
And no hope insight…
Just one comment is all that’s needed…
To validate that this blog exists…
Not just in the mind of the writer (me)…
But in the real life of another real person.
So for now…
I exist only in my own mind…
Until one fortunate day…
When I see...
That someone not only read this blog…
But left a comment.
Until then…
*sigh*
Waiting…
*sigh*

Always,
Em-Musing

Leigh lives in the jungle of Mexico on the Caribbean Sea. She writes humorous women's fiction and is seeking publication for her "Em" series about Love in the Time of Wrinkles...a story about being single at sixty and dating younger men. Which by the way, Mexican men love older women. :)



Monday, November 3, 2014

MAKING CONTACT

Although I don’t write science fiction…
I Love science.
I especially love wondering about outer space.
Are there beings out there who are like us?
Or maybe they’re out there…
But they’re not like us.
I think it’s cool…
That scentists…
Keep trying to communicate with them…
Using various creative means…
Such as:
Concentrated light…
Various space probes…
With a Pioneer Plaque and…
Golden records.
Another attempt used...
Focused, amplified radio waves…
Via the Arecibo telescope.
And believe it or not...
There was an attempt…
Sending a pornographic message…
Originated by Joe Davis…
Who believed that the Pioneer Plaque…
Which depicted a nude male and female…
Wasn’t specific enough to let aliens…
Understand the human body…
So he convinced some ballet dancers…
To let him record their vaginal contractions…
And using MIT’s Millstone Hill Radar…
He transmitted them into space.
Needless to say…
He was caught by the US Air Force…
But interestingly, his transmission…
Was stronger than Carl Sagan’s Aricebo message.
So anyway, getting back to this blog…
I’m finding that posting on it …
Trying to communicate with other writers…
And getting a response…
Is as frustrating…
As trying to send messages to outer space.
Hellooooooooooooooo?
Are you out there?
I will continue to try though…
As I suspect one day…
I will make contact.

Always,
Em-Musing
Leigh Caron lives in Mexico on the Riviera Maya in the jungle and will be hosting a writer’s retreat in the spring of 2015. She writes humorous women’s fiction.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Life of a Mexican Jumping Bean

by Sophia Strathmore

I still distinctly remember a road trip that I took with my family in 1977. I was nearly seven years old when we embarked on a trip that would be remembered by me for the rest of my life. It was the early morning hours on a crisp June morning when we all piled into our family’s white Ford LTD station wagon to travel by car from Ohio to California. It was to be a three week long adventure; six people and one car, we were ready for anything.

As we said good-by to our home and settled in for our journey, we had no idea what escapades lie ahead. As children, my brother, sister and I spent much of our time stretched out in the back of the car, playing games or singing. My grandmother sat in the back seat relaxing and sleeping. Unlike the children of today, we had no electronic devices to keep us company, all we had was each other.

We took the northern route out to California, stopping at famous places like Pike’s Peak. Riding the train up the mountain was quite an adventure. We spent a week in California and then we headed home. The southern route back to Ohio is what I remember most.

Likely we were in New Mexico or Arizona when we went into one of those famous tourist type stores. As a starry eyed kid, I took in all the items. They had scorpions encased as paper weights, maracas, everything that an almost seven year old child would want to buy. Staying close to my Mother, we walked around until I saw them, the Mexican jumping beans. They were in a small plastic case that you could open and you could put the beans in your hand and they moved about. I was mesmerized.

This certainly didn’t seem possible. These beans appeared to be inanimate objects, but somehow they jumped and wiggled. I looked up at my mother and she indicated that we could make this purchase. I was so excited that I would be able to show these magical beans to my friends in Ohio. As we exited the store, the beans were clanging in the plastic case and I was enthralled. This was better than anything that I had ever owned before, a veritable treasure. I proudly got back into our station wagon, and we were off.

As you can imagine, not knowing much about jumping beans and how to preserve the small larvae inside, the beans eventually stopped moving and by the time we were back home, they moved no more. They were just hard outer shells no longer possessing their magical abilities that had drawn me to them.

Sometimes I wonder if Valentino and I have failed our daughter Elle. She is nearly ready to leave our nest and set off on a life of her own. What memories have we built for her? She has no memories of long road trips and Mexican Jumping Beans. Well, we have decided that this year during the holidays we will create our own memories of a road trip. We will drive from Ohio to Key West, Florida and who knows, we might even be able to find the world’s largest ball of twine.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Winterize Your Writing

I celebrated fall's arrival by digging into the back of my closet for jeans and sweaters. 

It's at this time of year, I hear talk about winterizing one's wardrobe, car, lawn, house, etc. So why not winterize our writing?

In my mind, that means preparing to use the winter time to write faster. It also means to prepare against derailment by installing new tracks.

Take quick inventory and assess your writing needs. Decide what will help make you more productive, efficient, excited and/or happier in your writing career. Then take steps toward achieving those goals.

I think one exciting tool at our disposal is National Novel Writing Month. Look them up online. It's free to participate. In short, the goal is to write 50,000 words of new fiction in the thirty days of November.

For some authors that number might not be impressive enough, and you're welcome to set your bar at 100,000 or more! The approaches and decisions by fellow writers is endless.

As the day light hours shorten, I become more easily distracted and worry that I'm not putting in the writing time I should, I begin to let holiday worry creep into my timelines and next thing I know I'm stressing over the calendar and clock more than moving forward on my writing.

But NaNoWriMo, as it's affectionately called, helps me keep my fingers on the keyboard. I feel inspired knowing that out there are thousands of other people pounding away writing stories as well.

NaNaWriMo was born when a small group of people complained how their busy lives kept them from writing the story they wanted to write. They decided to act and part of the legacy they created is now this annual one-month endeavor which has grown into a national phenomenon and continues to expand.

Over the last week, I've thought about the premise of my new novel and I jotted down a few scenes, but, for the most part, I'll let the characters reveal themselves next month while I type (pantser style).

I like that once a year, I squash all the fear demons, worries over plot and the editorial gremlins that pound in my head. Instead, I become consumed with the need to write as fast as I can on that one story and let the whims of those imaginary characters take over.

Others I know, studiously plot and outline their new novel this month. Their plan is to be prepared to strike that keyboard on the first of November with exacting purpose (sigh, I so admire those plotters).

Some people are so meticulous they even write-up a month long meal plan for their family and farm out chore duties. I make sure there's sufficient coffee, tea and chocolate in the house and the rest will have to fend for themselves.

If you sign up for NaNoWriMo, I recommend checking to see if there's a community liaison in your area. Over the next few weeks, they usually will have a get-together for a chance to meet other fellow writers in your area. You may meet someone who writes in the same genre as you and/or shares the same interests.

During the November challenge, fellow NaNo writers will invite you to join them at libraries or coffee shops to write.  If you're not achieving your writing goals at home, you may want to try the "community" support approach by meeting with others to get more writing done.

If you browse the NaNoWriMo website you'll see they have created also e-mail loops which you can select for advice from grammar and plot lines, to historical nuances, weaponry, horror, death, romance, etc.

So, please check out NaNoWriMo and see if it's something that you'd like to participate in. 

Take a little time to winterize your writing by thinking about your goals and some of the steps you could take to achieve them. Whether that's writing more, implementing a new marketing strategy, taking a course or two, finding beta readers, an agent or editor.

Placing your focus on a few key goals as we approach winter will help you get through the colder days ahead and hopefully keep you on track through the holiday season.

I will feel really good if my December is spent editing a 50,000+ manuscript I typed up in November. Who knows? I could have a brand new novel finished by the New Year!

We'd like to hear from you. Share with us your insight on achieving writing goals through the winter. Are there things you do to "Winterize your Writing" or prepare for NaNoWriMo?

About the Author
Tanja Fazzari writes mostly science fiction, paranormal and contemporary suspense romances until some Viking or Highlander shows up demanding his story at sword point. Then, invariably, there is a delay.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Making a Soup Connection




It happened in the soup aisle at the grocery store. A man turned to me with three cans of Campbells Cream of Potato in his hands and said, “This is my 85-year-old mother’s favorite soup.” 

I replied, “I make mine from scratch.”

The twenty minutes that followed was him flirting with me, my husband informed me after I arrived home. (Yes, I’m married.) I did not believe him because people talk to me in the store all the time. I have one of those “I listen” faces. People spill their life stories to me regularly. So I didn’t find it unusual for the Soup Man to tell me where he worked, that he’d inherited his grandparents’ house with acres of land and was restoring it, that he took care of his mother, that he’d invested his retirement in antique cars and, although he’d never married, he still hoped to.

I’m not a temptress. I’m middle-aged, but even when I was young and skinny I did not drive men to pursue me. I managed to lasso my husband when he was young and skinny—socially awkward 17-year-old boys are fairly easy to catch—so how adult people shop for potential mates is a bit of a mystery to me.

But I’m a romance writer; I should be an expert on flirting. However, I failed to mention that it’s easiest to catch a socially awkward 17-year-old when you are the same. Clearly, Soup Man had been one, too. Perhaps he recognized a kindred soul. He thought “She likes Campbells Soup. I like it too.” He found something in common. Then, like a male peacock displaying colorful feathers, he rolled out items he thought would attract a middle-aged woman.

Many relationships begin in such a way. I’ve read untold contemporary romances where the hero and heroine share a moment over something.

His heart stirred in the soup aisle. There’s something heartwarming about that.


Shay Lacy writes romantic suspense, erotic romance and futuristic romance. Find out more about her and her novels at www.shaylacy.com.
 

Monday, October 6, 2014

THOUGHTS on THOUGHTS

Question:
If a tree falls in the forest…
And no one is there to hear it…
Does it make a noise?
Yeah, I know…
We’ve all heard that question before…
But how about this one:
If you blog and no one comments….
Does the blog post matter?
And if so…
To whom?
I often wonder about the value of blogging.
I do have my own blog…
That I blogged on for five years…
And I had 250 followers…
Some very loyal.
But then one day…
I put my blog on hiatus…
Thinking that I would devote my blog time…
To actual writing and submitting time.
I felt guilty at first…
But then I realized…
The world didn’t come to an end…
When my blogging days ended.
And in actuality…
I don’t know if I’m any more productive…
Then when I was blogging.
So another question:
If work fills the time allowed…
Does procrastination do to?
But the bigger question on my mind is …
If I post on this blog today…
And there are no comments…
Does my blog post even matter?

Always always,

Em-Musing

Author's Note: I do believe in the value of social networking,
especially when published including maintaining a web-site 
and blog.

Leigh lives on the Riviera Maya in Mexico. She writes humorous women's fiction
and is putting together a writer's retreat for next spring.

Thursday, September 25, 2014