Covid, Clothes, and Creativity

This virus sucks. It really does. But I’ve found much for which to give thanks and I’ve discovered things I like to do. Of course, writing is at the top of the list. But I’ve been writing for others, not just for myself, and that feels great. I’ve managed two newsletters each month for my area writers’ group. My current writing partner and I are more than halfway to the finish line on the lesbian romance–and I don’t know about her, but I’m having FUN.

I haven’t been spending money on eating out and have all but quit buying snacks. Instead, my monthly “extra” money has gone toward clothes. A plus for me is that they’re not all black which is my norm. I think one top is black, but that’s it.

Everyone talks about being bored, and I can honestly say that I’m not. I don’t get bored. I get busy. Or I sleep. LOL And trust me, I’ve taken my share of naps since this nonsense started. More naps, more creativity means less stress for me. This has given me time to catch up on reading, not just writing. I’ve listened to some terrific audio books and have indulged in some new authors (well, new to me). One author is A.L. Herbert, who writes the best cozy mysteries, and each book contains a small handful of recipes.

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I’m also revisiting Neil Gaiman’s lessons in his Master Class. TONS of information and worth every second and cent spent on him.

Here’s hoping the rest of you are well and happy.




What A World

I’ve earned money writing for about 20 years now. Magazine articles, confessions, novellas, books, greeting cards…whatever I thought I could sell. I rarely marketed myself. Maybe I didn’t want friends and family members to know I wrote erotic romance at one time or that one of my pen names was that of a gay man. Hey–that sucker earned more money than all the female pen names combined! Now I’m working on a lesbian romance with a friend. No…I’m straight. And believe me when I tell you that I’m LEARNING a lot about how little I truly know about women. Used to be, I was just a dummy when it came to writing. But, long story short, I have a writer friend who I felt needed a nudge. Or two. She’s “close, but no cigar” when it comes to the publishing industry. I want to change that. I want her name in lights. I want her to see her name on the spine of a book. So I chose a genre that she’s more familiar with than I am. Why not? Maybe I just needed a push to stretch my own boundaries. I love learning. I used to love teaching.

This is a ROMANCE, not an erotic romance. I have gay male friends, not many lesbian pals, but straight or kinky, transparent or hinky, we all need love and romance. Relationships–that’s what it’s all about in romance. Interacting. It’s not about body parts, although those are nice at the right time.

I also have a new mystery that’s completed, but I suspect I need to add another 20k words. The “market” fluctuates, and right now 70k words seems to be what’s in demand for mysteries. So that one is on the back burner. I’d planned to attend a couple of writers’ conferences this year. COVID19 put a crimp into that plan.

Wish me luck! I stay busy. I watch a lot of Hulu, and I am addicted to Master Class–those taught by writers, chefs, decorators, gardeners. One of my favorite Master Class instructors has been RuPaul Charles. That’s right, the drag queen. Another is Ron Finley, the “gangster gardener.” I don’t do drag myself, and I’m not much of a gardener, but I totally love those classes. I’m also not much of a cook these days, but I kick it on occasion with Thomas Keller or Gordon Ramsay.

Now you’re all caught up. Don’t be a stranger.

Starting Over

adventures in livingSeems I never get a good blog going. I have difficulty even making it to Facebook and didn’t figure out till I’d been on it a year how to follow other people. I do newsletters for my local writers’ group but don’t do one for myself. I’ve written under about 5 pen names (I think–I’ve slept since then) and am trying to do more under Sunny Cole and Bobbie Cole. But like the character in the mob movie says “I try leavin’, and they keep pulling me back” (I’m referring to genres not written under those two names).

So here’s to fostering better habits in what’s left of 2017. I figure if I can quit smoking, I can learn Facebook, WordPress, and Twitter this year. Maybe I’ll even get a couple of fiction books “out there” sometime. The above book cover is from the last family history I did, and (to me, anyway)┬áparts of it┬áread like good fiction. I was so thrilled to find these people for my friend. The Manders family line encompasses circus owners and performers, the Freeman and Snape family were stage/theater performers, and the Germans and Irish–oh, my. Sailors, explorers, entrepreneurs, soldiers. All surnames had this marvelous European ancestry that branches from Italy to Scotland and most parts in between.

One of her Irish grandfathers (one John Gilley) sailed the world, didn’t marry till 80 years old, sired 10 children, and lived to the age of 124!!!


Cherokee Justice

1st book in the Native Justice series

1st book in the Native Justice series

The first book in a new series goes on sale next week from Sunday January 24-Sunday January 31. Hope you’ll give it a read for only 99 cents. (Normally $3.99) I grew up in NE Oklahoma and lived where the book is set about 5 years. Incidentally, I’m Native American, so writing Native characters was a lot of fun!

Here’s the god-awful long link where you can purchase the book:

And afterwards, do me a favor? Write a brief note or a review at the bottom of that page.

For other books I’ve written, feel free to browse my author page on Amazon:

Dreams & Destinations

I’ve thought a lot about my personal writer’s journey lately–my safari. Haven’t done much, but I’ve thought about it.

I’ve waffled back and forth on what to write. Had several good years selling erotic romance. Later ventured into category romance. Penned about 60+ novels and novellas and as many short stories, magazine articles, and confessions. But I never followed up. Didn’t acquire a backlist, which is what it takes to make money in this business.

I’ve had tons of excuses. But I’ve never figured out why I don’t stick with one genre. Two would help.

Yet I attend annual conferences, go to most of my local writers’ meetings, and plant meat to seat. I’m not a groupie, because I do produce. Pardon the inference, but I’m not setting the world on fire, more like I’m just staying in heat. I seem more content to enjoy the journey than to reach any particular destination. Sometimes I even feel like a damn fraud, because while I freely share any knowledge I learn, I don’t use but a small bit of it to further my own career.

I’m either lazy or not hungry enough, according to one good friend.

But…maybe a change is coming. I have the opportunity this month to spend 10 days in New Orleans with fellow writers, plus booksellers and readers. At the end of the month I’m spending a few days at a nice lake house, writing on the deck overlooking a calm lake. High key. Low key. Nurtured and nourished. It doesn’t get much better than this.

I’m not setting new goals, but I do plan on enjoying myself, researching, and choosing a path toward achieving goals I set for myself ages ago.

~ Sunny