Inspiration for Creatives ~ from writing tips and tricks to artistic fun, I share my experience as an editor, author, and artist in hopes of inspiring you and others to follow your dreams, improve your skills, and spread the creative spirit!
If you or someone you know can't seem to get their head out of the negatives and into the positive, then here is a story that may show them the benefits of thinking outside the box and walking on the sunny side of the street... Contemporary Romance Novella Rating: Sensual
Luck be a Cowboy
Travel consultant Sarah Monroe's sudden streak of bad luck continues when, after taking a baseball bat to her cheating fiancé's truck, she discovers she's trashed the wrong one.
Worse, the real owner, sexy cowboy Harper Reed, witnesses her act of vengeful vandalism. The last thing she needs is her passport cancelled due to a criminal record—or to risk trusting another handsome man.
While Sarah worries if their shaky negotiation will hold up under her bad luck, Harper tries to find a way to prove that luck is not only in the eye of the beholder...but in the heart of a cowboy.
5 Hearts from the Romance Studio!!
"Ms. Stacy Dawn definitely lived up to her reputation with this book. I enjoy her style so much that I read all her books possible. Her characters were dynamic, yet comical. Her situations are so funny that it's impossible not to laugh. There were also some poignant moments in the book. I found myself immersed in the characters and felt as if I was there in person. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to laugh and maybe shed a tear while reading a fabulous book." ~Brenda Talley, The Romance Studio
4 1/2 Books from the Long and Short Reviews!!
"This was such a great read! The pacing was perfect, and there were no loose ends or unanswered backstory issues. My attention was immediately grabbed by the very first line of the book. Sarah Monroe is a wonderfully feisty heroine who isn’t about to let anyone walk all over her. Harper Reed has just the right mix of patience and passion to be able to handle the spirited little filly. I especially loved how the hero helped the heroine see the positives that came as a result of the perceived negatives. And haven’t we all secretly wanted a little sweet revenge against a lying, cheating scumbag? Take some time, grab a chair and some coffee and enjoy every word of this fantastic story. You won’t be sorry." ~Reviewed by Daffodil, Long and Short Reviews
"Whoa there, Slugger."
The soft body thunked into his arms, back to his chest as rose-scented curls fanned his face. For a moment, Harper relived the moment in the back bedroom, her hair grazing his cheek, her soft skin tingling beneath his hands. The moment was seared into his body, charging it to life the moment he touched her.
Unfortunately, her squirming to untwist a spiked heel from the platform broke into the pleasant memory.
He shifted her to one arm in order to reach down and unhook the errant heel. "You could have broken your neck," he said in a gentle reprimand as he assisted her to stand. "I told you I'd be back to help."
Her gaze darted over his shoulder and out the open door. "Yeah, well, I think I've had just about enough help from men lately." She poked a finger in his chest. "God is a man, isn't he? Well, doesn't that just explain everything."
"O-okay." He wasn't about to delve into a cryptic retort like that and instead sized up the slight pinch of her brows and the haze fading her blue eyes to gray. "You sure you're all right?"
"Yep, great. No problem." She averted her gaze and turned with one spiked heel rising to the fake cake's platform. "Now, help me up. This is gonna be one show you're not likely to forget."
And how, he thought as he slipped his hands to the round, firm ass. All in the name of assistance of course, but man...
Haul it in there, Reed.
Easier said than done as he shifted his own hips to relieve the growing strain in his jeans.
"Okay, I'm in. What do you think?"
Sarah popped around, sultry arms raised in a very 1940s pin-up pose.
Harper's lips twitched.
Her smile grew, eyes dancing like diamonds in the spotlight. His body instantly reacted with a tight chest and even tighter pants.
Harper cleared his throat and sidestepped behind the opened lid, hinged as the top of the cake. He knew his reaction wasn't anything more than being in the company of a gorgeous woman. But if that were true, then why did his gut feel like a big old rock had been dropped to the bottom.
I, for one, know exactly how hard it is to juggle a busy family and two jobs, let alone try to find time to work toward your own goals and dreams that fill your head like an Idea Library where you need one of those cool wheeled ladders to reach some of the places you've stored them for years.
It's hard...boy, is it hard!
But, it is not impossible. Maybe things aren't happening as fast as you want or on a timeline that you think they should, but that doesn't mean those dreams will never come off your inner library shelves. Progress is progress no matter how fast or how slow. The important thing is that you never stop trying, and you NEVER stop dreaming.
So, DREAM BIG because there is nothing stopping you! 😉
Everyone has at least one pet peeve word, and every editor usually has a few. For me, one of my biggest is the word LOOK (and its variations).
It's not that the word can't or doesn't need to be used on occasion; the issue is that it doesn't reveal anything at all--no descriptive, no emotion, no tension, no experience. All Telling, no Showing.
For example, what exactly is happening in this sentence:
David looked at Emma.
Why is David looking at Emma? How is he looking at her? Is he happy to see her? Is he wary of her presence? Is he scared of her or sad they have to meet this way?
Or this sentence:
She looked out the window.
What is she looking at? How is she looking? Why is she looking? Is she excited at what she sees? Does she actually see anything at all or is she just taking a moment to gather her thoughts? Is she wary or tense or scared? Mad, glad, sad?
If that many different scenarios can be thought of for one sentence, then you as an author are not paintingyour scene for the reader.
Here are some examples of stronger variations:
David narrowed his gaze as he studied Emma's tight posture.
or David released his held breath as he turned to find Emma's glorious smile aimed right at him.
She frowned and stared out the window to the storm raging as fiercely as her emotions.
or She cast her gaze out the window to soak up a moment of peace from the early morning sunshine sparkling across the lake.
Word choices--verb choices--are extremely important to ensure a reader not only pictures your scene in vivid detail in their own mind, but to make them experience the moment with the characters.
Strong word choice can change a scene dramatically, so don't choose simple words like "look" that Tell the mere basics. Instead, choose your words wisely to Show and engage your reader in the depth of your character in that particular moment.
I have been slowly working in the background practicing and experimenting for a project I've had in mind for a while now. With a busy family and working two jobs, it will still take time to put it all together, but that's okay, because I am working daily toward that goal even if just five minutes a day...and as with most of my ideas, the end result will of course be with writers in mind.😉
For now, I thought I would share some of the fun practice pieces. I'm thinking I might even create them into a final form some day.
These are from my Scribbles That Matter journal that I fill with doodles and random ideas to play around with lettering and coloring. It has thicker paper, which works great for various mediums from colored pencils to watercolors.
Everyone needs a miscellaneous journal or notebook they can do anything in from random notes to doodling or sketching, poetry or writing, but most importantly, to mess up, make mistakes, scratch out, circle furiously what works, and make funny things out of what doesn't. A place no one else has to see if you don't want them to and where ANYTHING goes. Because it's the practice and progress that really count.
You learn far more from the mistakes than the finished pieces.😉
Bobby Hues has his eye on the Disco Angel jiving around Electric Nights Roller Disco. But what would Miss Spring Break 1976 and the foxiest chick he'd ever laid eyes on want with a lowly grease monkey like himself?
Summer Benton's heart started racing the minute she rolled her broken down ride into Bobby's garage. When he gets a gig working at her favorite hang out, she thinks she has it made—but the quiet hunk still isn't talking. A little push on her part starts the wheels rolling—in the wrong direction. Now she has to figure out how to lose the wrong guy, and convince the right one she digs him enough to be his Disco Angel, forever.
Do you miss the seventies? Step back in time with Stacy Dawn and relive the days of disco, mirrored balls, Afros, and cheese weasels. Ms. Dawn captures the feeling of the times with a cute story of two individuals who have a hard time getting together. Take a few minutes, get back to disco fever with Summer and Bobby, and find out how a soft-spoken man can finally tell the girl of his dreams how he feels.
~Reviewed by Judy Thomas, The Long and The Short of It
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Do you find these days everything seems to be sped up? Like the world is running on fast forward ➧➧?
Everyone wants things NOW...videos are sped up to get everything you need to know into 30 seconds...same day shipping...etc., etc.
The problem is that it makes YOU speed up. Things that should be taken slow, thoughtful, and carefully, I find I am forcing through, making it work, or worse, ruining it and having to start again because I didn't just take a simple breath of pause first. Anyone else have this problem?
More and more these days I think of the classic story of The Tortoise and The Hare, which has always stuck with me since I was a little girl--I think because my sister was the extrovert, taller, prettier, active, a real go-getter, whereas I was an introvert, short, stocky, and uncoordinated (and still am😊). Don't get me wrong, I am not making depressing comparisons by any means--I got over that long ago when I discovered the talents I had that she didn't, and I eventually came to understand that each person is very special and amazingly unique in their own way, so if you take nothing else from this blog post PLEASE think on that and your own special talents that make you YOU--maybe it is art or writing, you clean a house to sparkling, bake a mean chocolate chip cookie, can make any crying kid laugh or any dog sit and beg for a petting from you, or simply smile at strangers on the street because you honestly believe everyone needs one. You ARE special. Period.
Sorry, got a bit off topic there, but that's because I also think more people need to hear that these days, too.😍
So, where was I? Oh yes, fast forward and The Tortoise and the Hare.
The moral of Aesop's famous story is one that often comes to mind when this world gets sped up elf-voice fast. I find myself repeating it over and over in my head some days as a mantra to help me pull back, pause for a moment, and breath before continuing at a more comfortable pace for me.
If this world has you on the expressway when you would rather be on a leisurely country road, then just think of the tortoise, happy to take his time, smiling at his neighbors, and appreciating his surroundings and his own abilities. He progresses at a pace that works just fine for him...that actually gets him ahead of the game.
Winners are not always the ones who compete and get to the end the fastest, but the ones who keep working to complete their goals...no matter how long it takes or how slow they go. I hope you keep that in mind this coming week.
Are you competing or completing?
Don't hesitate to leave a comment here or on my Instagram post @bystacydawn as I'd love to hear of your own unique, special talent(s), if you took it a little slower this week, and if you noticed a difference. 😉