#IWSG Reading Pet Peeves


Crap, where did June and July go? It’s time for the August edition of Insecure Writers Support Group where we share our fears and successes.

Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and this month’s co-hosts!
Co-Hosts:


IWSG Question: What are your pet peeves when reading / writing / editing?


After working with professional editors for seven novels, I’ve become a stickler for grammar and spelling. One word I see consistently misspelled (even in traditionally published novels) is BLOND.

My editor taught me that the only time to use the spelling BLONDE is describing a female as a noun. 

The sassy blonde approached me.

When using blond as an adjective (or as a noun for a blond man), THERE IS NO E!!!

The sassy, blond woman approached me.

I fell for the blond dude in a heartbeat.

Holy Leo DeCaprio, he’s hot! I fell for that blond in a heartbeat.


Speaking of pet peeves, do you ever read an early work of yours and cringe? Adverb abuse was rampant in my debut novel, romantic suspense With Good Behavior. So I edited the hell out of it and we re-launch it on 8/14/17.

If you have a moment to share my re-release the week of 8/14, signups are HERE. Thanks!

#IWSG Writing Rules


Happy New Year! Time for January’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group.


Join us! Sign up at creator Alex Cavanaugh’s website.

How’s your writing? I decided to re-edit my debut novel, With Good Behavior. It’s taking me a long time because it’s so bad! Adverb abuse abounds.

JANUARY 4TH QUESTION: What writing rule do you wish you’d never heard?


Since I got into this writing thing as a lark, I haven’t been big on rules.

One rule I wish I followed more was to limit adverbs. *see above*

But one rule I wish I’d never heard?


My day job as a psychologist doesn’t leave me the time or energy to write every day, and all this “rule” does is to jack up guilt. 

I agree that writing is a muscle–the more we write, the better we get. But we each need to find our own writing schedule.

I mostly write on weekends, and that works for me. 

#IWSG: Tighten Your Writing


Time for 2015’s first Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a chance to share our hopes and fears, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh.


Since starting as a writer eight years ago, I’ve grown. (I’ve gained about twenty pounds, but that’s for another post.) The kind of growth I’ll discuss today is writing skill development. While I still have so much to learn, one area I’ve improved is tighter writing.

Be gone, verbal diarrhea!

So I want to share this excellent post, 25 Ways to Tighten Your Writing by Betsy Mikel with YOU.

A few of those tips that resonate with me:

1) Stop the adverb abuse. (I was a big offender). Dump the adverbs and choose more descriptive verbs. Instead of “I moved slowly”, try “I trudged.”

2) Knock out the highfalutin’ vocabulary. When I first started writing, I wanted to impress everyone with my intelligence by using words like avocation, prescient, and anathema. Then I learned NOBODY CARES how smart I am. Readers just want a good story with compelling characters, and bigass words might interrupt the flow.

3) Use contractions, which help dialogue sound more realistic. I can’t believe how long I’d write without contractions.

The article provides a link to 200 Common Redundancies. My critique partner Nicki Elson and I felt overwhelmed by reading that list!

In 2015, may your writing be loose and your editing tight, writer friends.

#IWSG Editing, Blurbs, Cover Design


Happy July to all writers! Join us at Alex Cavanaugh’s blog for the monthly support group.



My favorite season is summer, especially swimming outside. Swimming a couple of miles is much more fun in the sunshine.


Americans, what are you doing July 4th? Attending a cookout like me? I’ll attempt these patriotic red velvet brownies (*points right*)

Check out the recipe HERE.

My editor and I are thick into edits for my fifth novel, Blocked.

We came up with a blurb (that was tough!) and posted it on Goodreads.

And now I’m getting quotes from cover designers. What do you think is a reasonable cost for a cover artist? I’ll likely pony up and pay a bit more than I’d planned in order to get the designer I want.

One thing I’ve noticed in editing is my typical writer mistakes. (Thank God for editors!) In the past, I’ve had shifty POV, but I think I’ve cleared that up. But I continue to struggle with the timeline. My editor has to ask “When is this happening?” or “Is this before or after Beergate?” I wrote out a timeline, chapter by chapter, so hopefully that will help. 

A new problem with this manuscript seems to be my use of commas. Apparently, I use, commas, too much, at times. And at other times I don’t use commas enough. 😉

What writer mistakes haunt you?

I’m giving away a $10 gift card for the Freedom to Read Giveaway…feel free to enter below. Hope you have a wonderful July!

Editing Has Made Me Crazy

Have I mentioned how much I love the editing team at Omnific Publishing? Jessica Royer Ocken has taught me so much about the right way to write. Mostly I’m grateful for this knowledge.

But there are times when I think I’ve learned too much, like when typos and grammar gaffes interfere with my enjoyment of a novel. I’ll be happily reading a story with good plot and characterization but then halt, wide-eyed, with horror.

Blond is an adjective, BLONDE is a female noun!

A comma doesn’t belong there, people!

It’s effect, not affect, when describing a noun.


Editing know-how also drives me up a tree when friends make an error in language. I mean, really–who cares? I’m nowhere near perfect at the spoken or written word. Yet when a colleague says something like “It’s the same for her and I”, I want to shout “Her and ME! It’s ME, not I!”

Today my psychotherapy client told me she “could care less” about something.

I had to restrain myself from correcting her with a maniacal “It’s COULDN’T care less!!!”


I need help.

And I need validation. Has this happened to you? How has editing made YOU crazy?