Listen Over Lunch: Episode 2 of Creative Edge Writer’s Showcase

In our second episode of Creative Edge Writer’s Showcase, our guest was YA author and two time Aurora Award nominee Suzy Vadori. If you’re a YA writer, she has a lot of important advice to share, like having young adult beta readers instead of only adults, and what young adult readers critiqued about her book that made all the difference. She also discussed why YA readers want to read about difficult choices, and sometimes even making the wrong choice.

Suzy talked about the charity event she takes part in every year, which was started by fellow indie author Adam Dreece. If you’re going to When Words Collide, Suzy has been an integral part of the growth for their YA events.

Click here to listen to the podcast!

Want a preview of the interview? Click here to see two minutes of our conversation on Facebook! And don’t forget to like our page!

Tune in for our next episode on Thursday, July 5 at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, when I’ll interview Miranda Oh, a chick lit romantic comedy author whose social media is chock full of positivity.

Shadow of a Doubt…About Loose Ends

Alfred Hitchcock is a master of suspense as well as a wonderful director; that part of the 1943 movie Shadow of a Doubt isn’t in question. But an unfortunate loose end is. Hitchcock didn’t write this screenplay, so we can put him aside as having committed no crime. Whew!

Actually, this movie was very good, and if you get the chance to see it, it’s worth a watch. Classic suspense. I have only one complaint: an unfortunate loose end.

We’ve got a situation in which Charlotte, nicknamed Charlie after her Uncle Charlie, is deathly bored at home. So of course when Uncle Charlie comes to visit, she’s all excited. He’s that interesting, well-traveled, generous type of uncle who likes to spoil his nieces and nephews. But Uncle Charlie starts acting very oddly, and unfortunately for Charlie, she catches on to his strange behavior a little too quickly, even pointing it out to him and guessing at what secret he might be hiding.

At some point during the movie, as suspicions rise about Uncle Charlie’s possible link to major crimes (no spoilers here!), deadly things start to happen to Charlie. By this time, Charlie is sure she knows the truth about her uncle. So when a stair breaks as she’s going down it, and then the family car is left running in a closed garage with no key in the ignition and she gets trapped inside, it all seems a bit coincidental with Uncle Charlie’s behavior and attitude.

Here’s where the loose end jumps in. Charlie’s mother—and Uncle Charlie’s sister, Emma—pauses after the car incident and realizes that Charlie’s “accidents” aren’t a coincidence and could’ve killed her. This is a super important moment since she has recognized a pattern: “I just don’t understand it. First the stairs, and then the…” The car drives away while she’s still contemplating.

Well, Emma’s realization gets completely dropped and never picked up again. Why bother having her recognize these non-coincidences unless she’s going to do something about them or draw a conclusion that affects the story? There are two ways this could have been fixed:

  1. Eliminate her realization. I’m sure the writers put it in there in the first place because…why wouldn’t Emma put two andEmma's moment of realization. two together? But at the same time, she has been proven relatively simple throughout the movie, taking everything at face value, never asking for details, and heavily relying on her daughter to make decisions instead of making them herself. In that way, it’s plausible that she really wouldn’t connect the dots, especially since she loves Uncle Charlie so much.
  2. It was stated a few times that if Uncle Charlie left and went home, Emma’s heart would be broken. Solution number two could be the following: when Uncle Charlie announces he’s cutting his visit short, instead of Emma predictably becoming very upset (which is also illogical since she clearly recognizes a pattern to her daughter’s near-death experiences), she could show no reaction or even agree that it’s a good idea, then pointedly look at her daughter to prove she’s in the know. That would lead cleanly to the final scene with Uncle Charlie…watch the movie and you’ll know why. 

Know anyplace looking for old movie critics? Because I’m ready to take my critiques GLOBAL! No? For now, I’ll just keep posting them here.

Love old movies? Like my Facebook page, Black & White Movies at Midnight!

Monday Thoughts on Creativity: PC Penhale Writer’s Syndrome

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while, and yet Mondays are still coming around. ::sigh::

A couple of weekends ago, on both my Facebook profile and my YouTube channel, I talked about what I like to refer to as PC Penhale Syndrome. When you want to write, you’re inspired to write, you’re dying to write, and yet you just…can’t. It feels a bit like this Pablo Picasso quote, “If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes”, but for writers, we wish our fingers could do the typing and take out the brain that’s stopping us from moving forward.

I was thrilled that fellow writers in the chat at my YouTube event understood my issue. Fellow writers on Facebook left wonderful messages of encouragement. All of that helped —and thank you! Have a look at the YouTube video below to see the helpful comments that popped up during the livestream.

I want to let you know that writing every day helped a lot, and once I got going, I couldn’t stop! I think all that creative energy built up inside me came pouring out with fervor, so in that way it was great. But I don’t want to let it happen again because it’s painful until the spell is finally broken.

Even if I don’t feel inspired or have the path yet for my “main” work (i.e. the next book in the Dark Victoriana Collection), I have SO many other planned works that it’s not hard to pick one and work on it instead. So I’ll have to make sure that I use my writing time for either my main work or one of those other projects.

If you’re suffering from PC Penhale Writer’s Syndrome, watch the below video to know you’re not alone, and leave a comment so we sufferers can commiserate. Happy Monday!



Listen Over Lunch: Episode 1 of Creative Edge Writer’s Showcase

A week ago I hosted the first ever Creative Edge Writer’s Showcase podcast, part of Authors on the Air Global Radio Network. I was so excited to do something a bit different—instead of having a discussion with a panel like I do once a month on The Writer’s Edge, I interviewed Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Robert J. Sawyer one on one. He was a fantastic interview with so much information and experience to share, I was amazed at how much I learned from him in just half an hour!

It’s Friday. The weekend is almost here. A lot of us are going to work through lunch so we can get enough work done to actually enjoy the weekend. Why not have a listen to the premier episode of the show while you lunch and work? Or just lunch and listen. I won’t tell. 😉

Click here to enjoy the podcast!

Want a preview of the interview? Click here to see two minutes of our conversation on Facebook! And don’t forget to like our page!

The next episode airs Thursday, June 21 at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, this time with Suzy Vadori, two-time Aurora Award nominee and YA author.



And no, I didn’t take another job! As of today, I’m officially running my editing business, Proof Positive, full time and dedicating more time to my writing. I never thought this day would come, but it finally has. Here’s a quick video talking about this difficult decision.

Thanks to everyone for supporting me along the way in my corporate, editing, and author journeys. I’m so grateful to my family, friends, colleagues, and fellow indie authors.

I have a number of announcements to make in the near future, updates about my publishing schedule, and changes across my social media—all things that were just waiting until I got the chance to live my dream 24/7. I can’t wait to share more news with you soon!

International Women’s Day: 19th Century Feats and Real Rosie the Riveters

Happy International Women’s Day, everyone! Today is a day to celebrate the incredible feats of women and the fight our ancestors put up for our rights. The 19th century is rife with examples of women making huge strides that had ripple effects all the way through to this very day. Here are some wonderful things you may not have know about American 19th century women, plus some real pictures of Rosie the Riveters from World War II—these pictures are hard-hitting far beyond the famous poster we all know.

19th Century Women’s Rights Advancements You May Not Know

1824   The very first time in history that women workers went on strike was in Pawtucket, Rhode Island when the mill they worked for announced a 25% wage cut for them and a one-hour workday extension for everyone. Children and men also joined the strike, and in a little over a week the mill owners caved.

1825   The first women-only union was formed: The United Tailoresses of New York.

1845   After several strike attempts and unfortunate fails that cost them cut wages, women cotton mill workers formed the Female Labor Reform Association in Lowell, Massachusetts. They fought for better conditions in the mills, including safety and sanitation, and to reduce the work day from 12-13 hours a day to 10. They even opened more chapters of their group in other mill towns. You can read more about their hard fight here.

1869   The Daughters of St. Crispin was formed in Lynn, Massachusetts as the first national union of women workers.

1881   Nearly 3,000 African American women laundresses held one of the most extraordinary strikes ever in the south. Taking place in Atlanta, Georgia, these women gathered so much support that they could have shut the city down. What did they want? Respect in the post-Civil War south—and $1 per twelve pounds of wash. Learn more about this groundbreaking strike here.

1888   A law that requires women doctors for female patients in mental institutions was finally gained by suffragettes. There was quite a lot of physical abuse by male doctors of female patients in asylums throughout the 19th century, so this was a major win for women’s health.

1899   Florence Kelley becomes president of the newly formed National Consumers League with the goals of women consumers fighting for better working conditions and laws to protect women workers.

Real Rosie the Riveters

Two of the most famous Rosie images are the one on the left by J. Howard Miller in 1942 (hired by Westinghouse, the company both my grandparents worked for!) and the one on the right by Norman Rockwell for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1943.

As powerful as these classic images are, they don’t come close to seeing real women working what were considered men’s jobs back in the day. Have a look at these inspiring images of real Rosies—welders, airplane repairwomen, arms workers, mechanics, engineers, and of course that’s just the start.

And who’s that in the reddish picture? Marilyn Monroe before she was a movie star! That’s right, Monroe worked at a Radioplane munitions factory when she was discovered!

I hope this gives you some facts and images you didn’t know and hadn’t seen before! Happy International Women’s Day!








Announcement: I have a publicist!

I’m so excited to tell you I was just signed by a publicist, someone I have collaborated with for a while now: Creative Edge! Some of you may recognize this name – they have sponsored The Writer’s Edge and brought on phenomenal authors who I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing. Now I’m fortunate enough to be a part of the Creative Edge family! Having a publicist is an amazing next step in my writing career, and I’m very proud to be part of such a killer team. You’ll be seeing me in lots more places soon!