Monday, October 31, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

How crass.

“Writing is not the hard part. What’s hard is writing something other people are willing to pay to read.”  
Vince Mooney

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


“Too many writers see themselves as seat-of-the-pants pilots when in reality they are seat-of-the-pants aircraft designers.”
Vince Mooney

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

Take out this reference to Teller.

“A critique group reaches ‘critical mass’ when it can squeeze all the life out of any manuscript”. 
Vince Mooney

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

"I could write a better
book than this".

“Books on 'How to Write' always leave out the chapter on talent.” Vince Mooney

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

"I write the songs..."

“Knowing how to write is like knowing how to use your voice: by itself it won’t make you a singer.” Vince Mooney

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

Writing is conflict.

“I don’t think anyone ever really learns how to write. The best you can hope for is to stop making enough mistakes to get published.” Vince Mooney

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

"I write because of where I am and inspite of where I am."

“If all you have is the desire to ‘have written’, then your motivation will have to come from the outside and be strong enough to pull a heavy burden; however, if you have the ‘desire to write’ itself, then your very nature will act to push you toward your goals.”   Vince Mooney

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

It's about POV.

“Writing is only 10% about writing and 90% about life.” Vince Mooney

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

What sagging middle?

“If writing was only about writing it wouldn’t be so darn difficult.”
Vince Mooney

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“No amount of reading prepares you for writing.” Vince Mooney

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“It’s not what a book says that makes it famous; it’s what's said about it.”
Vince Mooney

Famous Writing Quote of the Day


“A Christmas romance doubles the HEA – happily ever after.”
Vince Mooney

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

Thumbs Down

“Reviewers are like ‘stop and go’ traffic cops while analytic critics are like 3-D glasses which allow books to be viewed in full dimension and viewed in such a way as to never be seen in the same light again.”
Vince Mooney

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Some of the most profound insights found in the greatest works of literature were not put there by their authors.” Vince Mooney

“When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Will Appear.”

The gift of 'discerning spirits'.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to the realization that there are some things we cannot learn until we are ready…and there is no certainty that we will ever be ready. 

This is more than having the prerequisites to learn a science as in taking Chemistry 101 before you take course 102. This has more to do with being able to see something that is there in front of you to see but which you have no possibility of seeing.  

It’s like a poem or an abstract painting that you will never understand until you have experienced x, y and z. It’s like a feeling you can only have if no one points it out. It’s like the feeling you get when someone you care about says “I love you” with sincerity and without being asked. This is not a feeling you can get by asking for it. These are not things you can see by looking for them.

Yesterday I just happened to write about this phenomena. It was a post about learning things that are unknowable and how that can change a person and a person’s writing.  

In a true mystic experience the individual loses the ‘I-think’ (ego) that centers all his thoughts and makes him an individual and makes his thought, his thoughts. The individual dissolves and becomes one with the universe (or one with the experience). 

The problem for mystics is trying to describe this experience which is beyond the realm of possible individual human experience. By definition the individual did not exist at the time of the experience so his ability to communicate that experience is not a logical possibility in rational terms. This is why mystics turn to poetry and why mystic poetry from all cultures and ages tends to read the same.  

Yesterday morning I wrote the “Learning the Unknowable” post. Last night I read an acknowledgement in Mary Nealy’s “Ten X Plagues” which expressed something very close to the ineffable message I was trying convey in that post. It seemed such a good example of the Eastern belief that “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear” that I will quote from Mary’s acknowledgement to "Ten X Plagues”  below:

   “When an idea comes to me while reading my Bible, I try to pay very careful attention to that, because I believe God sometimes speaks to us in a voice so still and small that it amounts to not so much a voice as an idea. From this idea (the gift of discerning spirits*) a book was born. I’m dedicating this book to the God who gives me ideas.” 

As much as I’ve read the Bible, the phrase ‘gift of discerning spirits’ from Corinthians 12:8-10,* never registered with me. I was never ready to entertain what those words meant. At some point Mary Nealy was ready to explore this 'gift' .  After reading just four pages of  "Ten X Plagues” , I  am totally captivated with the story.

*"To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another various kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:" Corinthians 12:10

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“When you have little to say, write a long book.” Vince Mooney

Learning the Unknowable…

There are things about writing that you don’t know that you don’t know and which you would not expect to be knowable in the first place.  

No one directly teaches these unknowable things because no one knows that they are knowable in a teachable way.  

These unknowable insights occur as you learn unrelated things that shift your understanding of the writing process. They come in little mind-quakes that can happen while you are listening to writing lectures in the background while doing something else. Occasionally you will hear isolated ideas that stand out. The gaps between these good ideas can be bridged by a flash of insight that will leave you changed in an inexplicable way. 

These insights are acquired without the ability to explain what they are but with the ability to use them to enrich your writing. It’s like knowing what radio waves were before there were any radios. 

This is the writing equivalent of mysticism.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“A plot should flow like a wild mountain stream with unexpected twists and turns but with complete naturalness.”
Vince Mooney

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Scenes I’d Like to See in a Romance #19

Such a sweet girl

The hero, John, is talking to his mother, Martha, about the girl, Mary, he brought home to dinner.  

"Well, what do you think, mom?” 

“Are you serious about her?” 

“I think so but I want to know what you think first.” 

“I love her. We could be best girlfriends. I like everything about her.” 

“I hear a ‘but’ in there.” 

“She’s too much like me. If I was younger we would look like sisters.” 

“You know the old song, ‘I want a girl just like the girl who married dead old dad.’” 

“That’s just the problem.” 


“I drove your father to distraction for 35 years. I wouldn’t want that to happen to you.” 


“He was a saint, poor soul.” 

“So you’re saying I should choose a woman you can’t get along with?” 


“Let me see what I can do.” 

The End.

See all the Scenes Here

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“I felt so guilty about how badly I treat my characters, that I wrote myself into a story and let one of my character’s kill me.”
Vince Mooney

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

“One Imperfect Christmas” – Now a Free Kindle Book!

“One Imperfect Christmas”

A Perfect Reading Experience!

“It’s Like Watching a Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie”
By Myra Johnson
Abingdon Press, 272 pages, copyright 2009

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Beginning right is an art but ending right is a necessity.”
Vince Mooney

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Scenes I’d Like to See in a Romance #18

Baby Pat
John, the hero, is helping his new bride, Mary, the heroine, deliver her baby. John has attended all the Lamaze classes and is so in love with Mary that he married her even though she was pregnant with another man’s baby. (The father is a no account handsome devil.) 

“Just concentrate on your breathing, darling.” 

“Let’s switch places. I like that idea even better.” 

“This training was very good in theory but I feel very dizzy.”  John begins to think about his new daughter. Her first day at school. Trying out for cheerleader. College graduation. Giving her away! 

The midwife gently taps John on the shoulder. “Congratulations, you have a healthy bounding boy.” 

“No that can’t be true! The ultrasound showed she was a girl. No doubt about it.” 

“Sometimes a doctor will read the ultrasound pictures incorrectly. The important thing is that you have a fine healthy boy. He has an apgar score of 10.” 

“You don’t understand! It’s never a boy when you marry a woman who is pregnant with another man’s baby. Never, never, never. One hundred percent of the time it is a girl.” 

“Sir, I think you’re hallucinating.  Please sit down.” 

“This will not stand! A little girl will look like her mother – a woman I dearly love. But a little boy will look like his worthless father. I will be reminded of that jerk every day of my life. Besides, the other man’s son will always be smarter, more handsome and win more scholarships than my own children.” 

“Sir, that’s all speculation.” 

“What are you? A midwife or a lawyer?  I tell you this will not stand. I’m making a call right now.” John pulls out his cell phone. 

“Who are you calling, Sir?” 

“I’m calling the editor. This outcome was not the original deal.” 

“You can’t call the editor! That’s alienation. That reminds the reader she is reading a romance. It’s not allowed.” 

Alienation? You want alienation – that’s me. I'm alienated and I tell you that it never happens that the child is a boy. Never! So why is it happening to me?”

“John, John wake up,” Mary said. 

“What’s going on?” 

“You passed out during the delivery. I thought you were made of sterner stuff.” 

“What do you mean ‘sterner stuff’? Why do you think men don’t have babies?” 

“Take a look at, Patricia, our beautiful new daughter.” 


“Of course, daughter. We’ve known she was a girl since the ultrasound pictures.” 

“Mary, I love you so much. I’ll be the best father for our child that I can possibly be.” 

John looks up at the ceiling and offers a prayer of relief, “Thank you Melissa, thank you.” 

“Melissa?  Who’s Melissa?”  Mary says looking at John with very narrowed eyes. 

“Melissa…Melissa…Oh, yes,  she’s the ancient Greek Goddess of happy births and happy endings.” 

“Are you sure?”  Mary’s eyes are just slits. 

“Absolutely. I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.”

The End.

See all the scenes here.

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“If you are highly intuitive and cultivate the focus of a mystic, you can actually observe a book reading you.”
Vince Mooney

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

I think Huck Finn
 is an adult book.

“Writing a good children’s book is like writing two different books: one for children to enjoy and one that speaks seriously to adults.” Vince Mooney

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

"Mid-grade readers don’t have short attention spans, they just have low boredom tolerance."
Vince Mooney

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

Vince Mooney

The Will Rogers Adventure!

Tina, Vince, Ruth
(Mary took Picture)
Romance Fans are Very Fortunate!

Romance authors are very approachable. Especially Christian fiction writers. Yesterday I spent an afternoon with three Academy Award quality authors, Tina Radcliffe, Ruth Logan Herne, and Mary Connealy, touring the Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma. Now when would that ever happen with movie actors? 

I must say all three ladies are more beautiful in person than any picture can capture. I think Christian romance authors have a glow about them which radiates warmth and sincerity.  The setting made me think that these three ladies exemplified the very spirit of Will Rogers.

Here are a few photos. We looked and talked so much there were very few pictures taken.

Tina Taking a Picture of Ruth in Distance
Tina in front of Will Rogers Mural

Ruth looking at Will Rogers Tomb

Mary After Seeing Everything!

I wish that every fan will someday have the opportunity I enjoyed yesterday. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“You don’t write down to YA readers because they probably know a great deal more about what's going on than their parents.”
Vince Mooney

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The “Price of Victory” – The Romancing of Life Itself!

The Price of Victory” -- A Winning Avalon Debut Novel – 5 Stars -- The Romancing of Life Itself!
Sandra Leesmith
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Avalon Books

A Lesson in Life…A Lesson in Love 

“The Price of Victory” is a love story about finding and living your dreams. As the story opens, the hero, Sterling Wade, and heroine,  Debra Valenzuela, are at major turning points in their lives. Sterling is a veteran professional bicycle racer on the verge of career burnout. Sterling is looking for more in life than winning races. He feels he has achieved his racing goals and is now at that stage in life when some carefree bachelors feel it is time to find a wife and start a family. 

Debra, on the other hand, is just beginning her career as a bicycle racer. A relationship with a man is the last thing she wants at this point in her life.  

Debra is a decade younger than Sterling. She has just quit college in order to follow her dreams. She is very talented for her age and she trains very hard. Debra longs to go on the European tour, see the world, and impress her father who is upset that she is the only one of many siblings to quit college!  He sees her as a failure who is wasting her time on an impossible dream – a dream he sees little value in pursuing. Debra has a learning disability that makes college level work impossible. The bicycle dream is possible. 

Simply Fascinating! 

If you love bicycle racing or if you’re just interested in learning about the sport, you’ll love reading “The Price of Victory”.  The author, Sandra Leesmith, is writing about what she well knows. Just reading the details of racing is fascinating in it’s own right. 

It’s Not About the Bike 

“The Price of Victory”  is about life. It’s about finding your dreams and knowing yourself.  It’s about a mentor relationship. About the older man who has been there and the young student he loves who is about to embark on the same journey. It’s a love story more about 'being the right person' than about 'finding the right person'. 

Like Falling Snow Flakes

The love story in “The Price of Victory” falls into place so gently, in so many different acts of kindness, that it is like watching fluffy snow flakes falling one-by-one silently upon the ground. I just loved reading this book.  There is ample surface action with racing excitement to command the reader’s attention. Then, just below the surface, there is a deeply moving love story.  I’m sure this is why the book is with Avalon. It’s like a Hallmark Hall of Fame production. Just wonderful! 

An Inspiration Sample:

Debra thinks she cannot love Sterling and still have a racing career. She is young and single minded. From the book: 

“Being with me is right. Continuing your training is right. You’re trying to put logic into what your heart feels. That’s why you feel disoriented. What you need is to bring your heart into your mind.”

He brushed away her tear with a corner of her towel. 

She looked deeply into his eyes, searching for the truth he always seemed to have at his fingertips. “I don’t understand.” 

His smile warmed the chill inside. He guided her off the trainer and began walking with her around the room. “Tell me what you don’t understand.” 

“How do you know all these things? How can you be so patient?”

“I’ve lived my dream. I’ve accomplished what I wanted to in racing. So I’m ready for other things.” He paused and pulled her around to face him. “You are just beginning. You must follow your own dreams. I understand that.” 

“I know. Basically, that’s what I have been doing.” 

“So what’s the problem.” 

“What is it you truly desire? That is what you need to focus on.” 

And when Debra is still hung up on winning her father’s love, Sterling answers:

“There is no satisfaction in seeking approval from man. Contentment comes from within you.” He continued walking. “Discover who you really are, and you won’t have to worry about your parents’ love and respect.” 

“I don’t understand what you mean.” 

“Your peace and contentment will rub off onto others. You don’t need a trophy to buy respect. You earn it by proving you can meet life head on and handle it.” 

Finding and fighting for your dreams and dreaming for the right things for the right reasons."

A Book Well Worth Reading

“The Price of Victory”  is a book well worth reading. I would say it is very good for a person to read this book.  I see it as an ideal Christmas present or a warm welcome to someone in a hospital. 

Sandra Leesmith is a gifted Inspirational author. She also writes children’s books. I believe that it is her writing experience that makes “The Price of Victory”  so refreshingly different. Highest Recommendation. 

“The Price of Victory” – Highest Recommendation!  

Scenes I’d Like to See in a Romance #17

The hero and heroine have just shared their first kiss and are in the glow of shared intimacy. 

John holds Mary in his arms. It’s as if everything that is precious and desirable is encircled between his hands. Mary’s head comes up to just under John’s chin. He presses her closer so he can feel her heart beating ever faster. 

Mary moves. John readjusts his embrace. They both move again and again. More readjustments. Then comes the realization. 

“Mary, we don’t fit together very well at all.” 

“I noticed that. I’m either too short or you’re too tall.” 

“It could be a combination of both.” 

“I am so sorry that we don’t fit together as if we were made only for each other.” 

“I am too. I’ve never experienced such a bad fit with a woman before.” 

“What could have been.” 

“Yes, what could have been.” 

The End.

Cassandra: Alive and Well

“America will be the first great civilization to analyze and chronicle its own decline and fall in real time. Even ten thousand Cassandras will not be believed as long as there is a national media determined to deceive.”

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“If stranded on a deserted island readers would choose favorite books to read but writers would choose blank books in which to write.”     Vince Mooney

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Mission is Romance – 5 Star Military Suspense!

Romance Takes Center Stage in Book Two of this Military Suspense Mystery Series!

Love Inspired Suspense
Oct 2011
Miniseries: Military Investigations Book II
Category: Inspirational Romance

If you like a lot of romance in your suspense stories, The Captain’sMission” is made to order!  The story is a suspense-thriller because the bad guys are trying to kill to hero and heroine. It’s a mystery because the heroine, Kelly McQueen, is a CID special agent assigned to find out who the killer is. And it’s a great love story because Debby Giusti does a masterful job of showing the hero and heroine fall in love, step-by-step and little-by-little when falling in love is the last thing either one of them wants to do.  I find this both usual and welcome in a suspense story.  

Being a suspense story, the action never lags. There are enough suspects to keep the mystery interesting and , of course, this is a very authentic military romance by an author from a military family. 

Story set-up: 

I love military stories. As a former air policeman, I particularly like the CID theme of this story. For those without a military background here's something the reader should know to make the story more enriching: 

The heroine, Kelly, McQueen, is a warrant officer, special agent, for the CID. That’s the criminal investigation division. Kelly is like a civilian gold shield detective. A warrant officer in the Army is a specialist or expert who will probably stay in the same field for her  entire career. Helicopter pilots and CID agents are usually warrant officers. A warrant office ranks higher than the highest enlisted man but lower than the lowest commissioned officer. (For example:  a second lieutenant). While warrant officers have uniforms, the CID special agents often wear civilian clothes on the job. 

Captain 0-3
The hero, Phil Thibodeaux, is a Captain who ranks higher than a 2nd and 1st Lieutenant but no other commissioned officers. 

The hero outranks the heroine.The heroine usually wears civilian clothes. While  hero is called “Captain”, Kelly is called “Special Agent”.  All Warrant officers above the rank of W1 are called Chief.

The Story: 

The location is the same as the first book, “The Officer's Secret", Fort Rickman in south Georgia. The hero is just back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan with his company. It was a successful tour of duty in which none of his men were killed. The hero drives his men very hard and at the end of a many day exercise he conducts a  dangerous live fire exercise in which a man is killed. As company commander, Phil is most likely going to be blamed for the accident if it was an accident. He was in charge and he may have drove his men too hard.

The CID Special Agent called in to investigate what happened is the heroine Kelly McQueen (also called the Ice McQueen by the men). The Post Commander wants the situation cleared up ASAP. The possibility that it was not an accident is not welcome because it will slow the investigation down and keep the bad publicity in the newspapers for months. Kelly could be Phil's worse enemy! This is the perfect situation for a fiery and dangerous romance.

"The Captain's Mission -- 5-Star Romantic Suspense!"

Book 1 Review

Famous Writing Quote of the Day

“Nonfiction is about communication. Fiction is about saying something without saying it.”
Vince Mooney

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kate Hardy’s Opening is So Good I Just Wanted to Scream!

It’s Not Fair to Write a Book This Good!  I Believe “Italian Doctor, NoStrings Attached” Would Win Every Writing Contest it Entered!

Kate Hardy
Harlequin Medical Romance
On sale date: Oct 1, 2011
Publication date: Oct 1, 2011
Category:  Classic Romance

No Heroine Was Ever Treated Better!

Here’s how the book starts: 

"FACE the fear. 
   Sydney faced the fear every single day of her life. Every day she made life-or-death decisions. Abseiling* down the tower of the London Victoria hospital, to raise funds for specialist equipment for the emergency department, should be a breeze. She had a sheet full of sponsor signatures, with a large amount of money at stake. There was no question that she wouldn’t do it. How could she possiblty back out now?
   But then she looked down. Over the edge. There was a white stone cornice and then…nothing.
   For two hundered and fifty feet.
  Back in the department, two months ago, this had seemed like a brilliant idea. Right here and now, she knew it was the most stupid, ridiculous thing she’d ever done. She sneaked another look at the edge, hoping that her fairy godmother was passing with some sparkly dust and the drop would look a bit less scary.
    It didn’t.
    And there was no way that she could make herself walk backwards over the edge."

* British for rappelling.

But then the hero, ER doctor, Marco Ranieri, whom the heroine has not met before, calmly sings her over the edge. A miracle!

Thus begins an instantaneous whirlwind love affair that spans London and Italy. This is the ideal romance in which to vicariously be the heroine. Sydney is wined, dinned, and treated like a queen. She is truly loved. Never was a hero more worthy, more honorable, more loving. The conflict does not come from the hero and heroine arguing with each other as in many romances. The conflict comes from the heroine’s medical condition. The medical components of this story are excellent. It's a great story. 

I don’t have to say much about this story because the opening is as good as it gets, the hero is ideal, the heroine totally sympathetic, and the level of reading enjoyment is off the charts. Just read it! (If you’re an aspiring writer: just read it and weep. : )) 

Ladies: You’ll Want to be this Heroine! 5-Star Everything!