Books are the gateway to imagination

Books are the gateway to imagination
Morgan welcomes you to her personal blog

Saturday, June 30, 2018

SUMMER 2018 ISSUE OF WRITERS TRICKS OF THE TRADE ONLINE MAGAZINE

I have been hard at work on the Summer 2018 issue of the Writers Tricks of the Trade online magazine. Beginning with this issue, which will publish on July 15, 2018, the formatting has been upgraded and other changes have been instituted.

Back issues can be found at http://bit.ly/allWTTissues. My thanks to all of my writer friends who continue to contribute informative and entertaining articles.

Our regular contributor Fred Rayworth always gives us an article with sage writing advice, and Martha Cheves, our resident book reviewer, offers book reviews in every issue that introduce us to books we might not find otherwise.

The Life Stories feature which was open to contributions by writers has become Life Stories by Keith Bettinger. Keith is an award-winning author known for his short stories, often about his life experiences. In this issue, he relates a story from his childhood about why he became a cop. Not what you expect.

What happens when a prolific screenwriter with 60 produced screenplays to her credit turns some of them into novels? Christine Conradt shares her experience, and marketing consultant Ned Barnett offers some valuable advice about promoting your book.

A Spotlight Interview feature has been added, and our first guest interviewed is multi-award winning author Paul D. Marks, who won this year's coveted Shamus Award.

As always, the magazine is open to submissions of articles of interest to writers and those in the industry. Guidelines for submissions are at the beginning of every issue.

Now that the Summer issue is in the proofreading stage, it's time for me to take off my
editor/publisher's hat and go back to working on my own novels. Dylan the Dog stays in his little "den" under my desk where he functions as Associate Editor. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

GETTING BACK IN THE ROUTINE

Sometimes it's hard to slip back into your normal routine when you have been away. Particularly when upon your return things are a little different at home.

So I returned from the Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference on Sunday and the following day my daughter came into Las Vegas from England for a short visit. Of course I wasn't going to spend time working. After all, how often do I see her. Plus my washing machine was leaking. The joys of owning a home.

So we took time to hang out, went to a buffet at the South Point Casino with my boyfriend Hal on Tuesday night and last night we went back to the South Point and had a few drinks while we listened to a group called Deja Vu. A nice fellow asked Jakki to dance but he mostly wanted to twirl her around. In fact, most of the people dancing to the fast tunes did what we used to call the Lindy Hop or in my case, in high school we called it "Fairfax Style" because we added some hand motions. Memories.

It is typical June weather here in Las Vegas. Hot and unfortunately windy. The forecast says winds can reach 30 to 40 mph today. But, that's life in Las Vegas during the summer. We go from air-conditioned homes to air-conditioned cars to whatever air-conditioned destination we have chosen.

Dylan the Dog has demonstrated once again how protective he is of me. He is great with daughter Jakki unless she is headed for me. Then he rushes over and places himself between the two of us, completely in guard mode. He's not going to let anything happen to his Mommy. Gotta love that pooch.

Okay, so tomorrow it's time to return to reality and go back to writing. I'm currently working on two books---the 5th Silver Sisters Mystery and the 5th Revenge is Fun book. So many people have said I should write my own memoir that I finally decided how I can do it. (I've co-authored them for others and I also give memoir workshops) It will be a series of short story vignettes. I even have a title--My Life in Bits 'n Pieces.

As they say in the Looney Tunes cartoons, "That's All Folks."  At least for today.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

WOW. I HAVEN'T POSTED SINCE OCTOBER 2017

Speaking at a conference, at least for me, has the effect of making you look at various other things. It opens up my mind to attend workshops as well as giving them.

So when I returned home and looked at this blog yesterday I realized that either I've gotten lazy or had too much on my plate to post anything since October of last year. Truthfully, it's a little of both. Working on two new books, the normal challenges and enjoyment of life. Current challenge--got home to a leaking washing machine. Repair person comes today.

My daughter Jakki is visiting from England. She came in on Monday, the day after I returned from the conference. We have had a good time just being Mom and daughter. Wish I could see her and my grandsons and son-in-law more often, but I'm grateful for the time we can spend. We went to the iconic Bootlegger Bistro on Monday night and joined my writer friend Diane Taylor and her friend Dorothy. Jakki held out until almost midnight so I guess she wasn't plagued by jet lag. If you're in Las Vegas and haven't visited the Bootlegger on South Las Vegas Boulevard on a Monday night, you should. Singer/MC Kelly Clinton hosts open mic from 9:00 pm until ??? and you never know who will show up. With Vegas being an entertainment town, the show is as good or sometimes even better than the ones you spend the big bucks for. And, the food is good, too.

New resolution. I will keep up the posting on this blog and try to stay as current as possible. Lots of things go on in my life and I'm happy to share many of them.

First of all, the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society conference. As always it was packed with terrific workshops and since I believe you never stop learning, I came away having learned a lot. As for the workshops I presented, attendance was very good at both and the attention level and questions were excellent. (Crafting Twists and Dropping Clues--not just for mysteries, and Ripped From the Headlines which was presented together with author Michael Fleeman ) That is always gratifying.

I met some lovely new friends and re-connected with people in the Los Angeles writing community that I hadn't seen for some time. I heartily recommend to writers that they attend at least one or two conferences. Every time you attend workshops and panels, it opens your mind, tweaks your creativity and you never know who you will meet.

I had a chance to spend a few minutes with our agent for Incest, Murder and a Miracle. So happy that Sony Pictures exercised their option on that book.

That's all for today. The Summer issue of WRITERS TRICKS OF THE TRADE online magazine publishes on July 15 and in in final stages of preparation. You can find all of the current and back issues at http://bit.ly/allWTTissues

Monday, October 2, 2017

DEATH AND TRAGEDY IN MY HOME TOWN OF LAS VEGAS



HORROR AT MANDALAY BAY ROUTE 91 MUSIC FESTIVAL OCTOBER 1, 2017

I haven't posted on this blog in quite some time, but yesterday's events require more than a Facebook post because I have a lot to say. However, before I express my feelings I wish to extend my sympathy to the victims of the horrendous shooting at the Mandalay Bay Route 91 Harvest Music Festival and their families and friends.

I have lived a long time, sometimes more years than I would like to say. Of that time I've spent 15 years in Las Vegas, first part time and progressing to full time in 2013. Very honestly, I never dreamed I would see such carnage in my lifetime caused by one person. At this point no one knows what motivated his actions, but the FBI and LV Metro are conducting extensive investigations. At this point, 9:45am on October 2, the death count is 58, possibly 59, with over 515 injuries. ALL CAUSED BY ONE MAN WITH AN ARSENAL OF ASSAULT WEAPONS.

Many gun fans have posted on Facebook and social media with statements like: "The liberals will say it was the guns at fault." To them I say you probably won't agree with me, but my feelings are strong and have been for many years.

Every time there is a shooting tragedy resulting in mass murder and injury, this is the stance so many gun lovers take. You are correct that the gun is an inanimate object, not capable of aiming or shooting by itself. BUT, without access to such weapons of mass destruction that take multiple lives and injure others in the blink of an eye, such devastation would not be possible.

You say what about knives? Could one person with a knife kill nearly 60 people and injure 515 more in the matter of seconds?

I challenge those who take this stance to justify even one reason a private citizen needs one, or in this case an arsenal, of high capacity magazine assault rifles. This is not a case of needing it for defense. This is insanity in my humble opinion.

I appreciate the right of hunters, target shooters and those who wish to defend themselves to obtain appropriate weapons through legal channels. I in no way agree that any private citizen needs military grade assault weaponry. 

Will the deaths of 58, possibly more, innocent people and the injuries--some life-threatening-- of over 500 more who were having a good time enjoying a music festival, finally bring some sanity to gun control laws? Did all of the past awful incidents with lesser amount of deaths and injuries do it? No. Because of the attitude that guns don't kill.

If rational laws are passed, the police are not going to come into your home and confiscate your weapons. But, this craziness has to stop somewhere.

Consider this: You, Mr. or Ms. advocate for no restrictions on what kind or how many weapons an individual can buy--YES, YOU, could have been one of the people in the crowd yesterday who was killed or maimed or injured by a madman. What would your answer be then? That is, if you were one of the ones who survived, perhaps with life-changing injuries?

WOULD YOU STILL BELIEVE THERE SHOULD BE NO RESTRICTIONS ON PURCHASE OF HIGH CAPACITY, HIGH SPEED ASSAULT WEAPONS? If you were there at that festival, would you be one of the lucky ones who still had the ability to answer that question?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

WRITERS TRICKS OF THE TRADE RADIO SHOW JANUARY 13, 2016

TUNE IN TONIGHT, JANUARY 13, 2016, AT 6 PM PST OR 9 PM EST FOR THE FIRST SHOW IN 2016. 
IF YOU CAN'T LISTEN TO IT LIVE, YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE ARCHIVED BROADCAST LATER.

DIRECT LINK: http://tobtr.com/8218949

LISTENER CALL IN: (646) 478-0982





Wednesday, August 5, 2015

LA RUE THE LLAMA HELPS HIS MAMA WILL BE FREE AUG 18-20

If you have little ones who love picture books, mark your calendar. 

The Kindle edition of LA RUE THE LLAMA HELPS HIS MAMA will be free on August 18, 19 and 20. This is the very first book I ever wrote (and illustrated) so many years ago, but just published recently. It is also the only children's book I've written. Download a copy for your little one. La Rue is a charming little critter who means well, but...well, check out the book to find out how he winds up in so much trouble.

And his Great Aunt Fay is also quite the character. A feisty motorcycle-riding old llama. What's Mama Llama to do?

I've been so busy with other projects, this is the first time I'm really promoting it and offering it free. Share with other mommies.