#WIP: Novel In Progress Update

As mentioned in previous posts, I am in the planning stage of a (my very first!) romance-suspense novel, Storms of the Heart.  Using Canva, I created a book cover.  What do you think?

Here’s a draft of the story’s synopsis:

Kathleen Burman moved to the small town of Walden, nestled in the prairie valley near the Rockies, in search of a new life.  There she meets the locals each with their own troubled past as herself.

Joe Tucker is one of the locals who deliberately keeps busy to keep his painful past at bay.  Along comes Kat who reawakens something within he thought he’d never feel again.  Dr. Weaver Teems, a city dweller who temporarily moved to Walden to help out a colleague, deliberately steps in between Kat and Joe, to convince her there’s a better life outside Walden.

Soon the past and present collide as storms of the heart erupt.  Who will survive?


#Poetry “Life: Just Tears In the Rain”

Click on image to read


I’ve compiled many of my poetry that I’ve written over the years (several have been published) in one small book called Life: Just Tears In the Rain.  It’s on Wattpad currently; but in time, I hope to format it as an ebook and perhaps even print.

Here’s the Preface:

I didn’t start writing poetry until 2008. At thirty-seven years old, I felt like I lived separate lives and at this time, I didn’t recognized myself in the mirror.
Who was I? Really, who was that woman staring back at me?
I’d experienced so many different kinds of losses. Some in rapid, short successions.
A cousin, and best friend, died due to complications of Muscular Dystrophy. We weren’t fourteen yet.
The Retinitis Pigmentosa diagnosis at age 21.
The loss of my first husband in a car accident four years later.
In one year (2003), nearly lost my second husband to Pericarditis, had complications during the delivery of our son, and was laid off from work all within a five-month period. A short time later diagnosed with Post-Partum Depression.
A miscarriage in 2008 sent me spiraling downward to a very dark place.
Both the anxiety and depression came in to my life; plus I had a husband who suffered from PTSD due to traumatic military experiences.
I was on emotional overload. Something had to give but with trying to be there, emotionally, for my husband while taking care of our young son, I began to write haiku; and discovered a way to voice my pain and fears I hadn’t been able to do before.
Through writing poetry, healing slowly filled my life with light and joy I hadn’t experienced, not truly, until now.
“Medicines and surgery may cure, but only reading and writing poetry can heal.” – J. Arroyo, author

To read the rest just click on the image above.

#Writing is a Journey


Photo Credit: Pixabay Free Images CCO


You may have noticed a few subtle changes on this blog.  One’s the color.  The other is the name.

Since 2007, I’ve been blogging and (seriously) writing, and have used “a writer and her adolescent muse” as a title because I was still exploring genres and forms to see which were the best fit for me.

It’s now 2018 and I believe I’m close to the answers  I’ve been seeking.


I enjoy writing horror and dark stories and dark poetry.  And I plan to continue. As for writing books, I will be focusing on inspirational romance-suspense.  Hence, the name change of this blog to A writer and her sentimental muse to reflect this shift.

I also have a memoir in me that wants to be written.  This will be titled, The Whispering Shadows.  I already have a blog by that name, and will be revamping it in the near future to start the memoir.  I will share more on this in the future.

#IWSG: Why I Love #Romance

Click on the image to access this group’s official page


Question for this month: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?



When I discovered writing as a girl, my first story I ever wrote was horror.  Ever since then, I’ve mostly wrote horror stories, or dark fantasy, or dark poetry.  Nothing truly had a happy ending.

Was this how I really felt about life in general?

Yeah, for a long time, I did.

But, there was always this other side of me that dared to hope, and dream, and wonder about the magical and beautiful aspects of life; and many times these involved this concept called…love.

I’ve always enjoyed reading both fantasy and horror books.

Romance novels?  I devoured them.  I never could get enough.  It was a wonderful feeling when you get to the end of a book, and there’s a happy ending!

Real life doesn’t always have a happy ending.  In fact, for many there’s only sadness and pain and emptiness.  It’s nice to be able to open up a book and get lost in it, in another person’s life, and be able to feel what they feel, and experience what they experience, and leave your own unhappy reality behind for a while.

These are some of the reasons why I love the Romance genre.  And why I’ve decided to write in this genre for my very first book.

What about you?  Which genre do you enjoy most, and why?

The Idea of a Memoir (Part One)

Photo Credit: Princeton Public Library


The idea of writing a memoir keeps coming to mind time and time again.  Why should I write one?  Who would want to hear my story anyway? And, what the heck the difference between a memoir and autobiography?

I found this that proved quite helpful:

Photo Credit: Susan Calder

And to break it down to the actual characteristics of a memoir:

Photo Credit: Linkedin Slideshare (Click on image for original source)


My next challenge is what to write about.   So much has happened over the course of my life, I don’t even know where to begin.  I went to my Twitter and started to browse through my tweets for the last year or so and I discovered two tweets where I managed to condense my life down to six words:

Unraveled by losses; rebuilt by love.


Life. Just tears in the rain.


The word “losses” is definitely one of the main themes of my life.  But, who would want to read about them?

The losses weren’t just about death though that covered a good portion; there were anger and self-hatred, anxiety and depression, abuses of different kinds, setbacks, and on and on.  I don’t want to write this memoir as a pity-party for myself or to show how I was a victim and somehow beat the odds…

No, no, no!

I suppose I want to write the memoir, detailing certain events and losses, and telling a reader who may need to “hear” that yes, I survived these, and so can YOU.

The bottom line is never giving up.

No matter what.






Writing: How Much of You Actually Ends Up In Your Characters?

I have a question for writers in regards to character development:

Now that you’ve given your answer, how much of this is actually intentional or accidental?

I’m getting ready to start the Planning stage for my first book, Storms of the Heart.   I have already mentioned this in an earlier post that I was going to include some PTSD issues for one or more of the major characters basing on some of my own personal experiences as well as of a loved one.  For this project, some of the things I’ll be writing into the characters will be intentional.  This got me to thinking…do we always do it intentionally, or do some bits of our soul just happen to end up in these fictional beings?

How much are we willing to bare it all for our readers?  Or, is it more for ourselves?

What do you think?

Writing: Favorite Story Type

Gabriela covers the story types in chapter eleven in her DIY MFA Book. Just click on the image for the book.

In this prompt: “Are you like me and a sucker for underdog stories? Do you love that classic boy-meets-girl Rom-Com formula? Are you crazy for epic quests about heroes saving the world? For today’s prompt, tell us which story type you love and why.”

Oh, this one is so tough as I enjoy all of them!  My writing background, so far, has been horror short stories (where many times the protagonist does NOT survive or win in the end), dark poetry, and dark fantasy stories (these would include the epic quest types).  Now that I’m thinking of it, for some reason, I’ve yet to complete a fantasy story.  Well, I do know the reason.  The stories tend to grow too big, too complicated, and overwhelm me to the point that I stop writing them.  These have all been written in the serial-format.  I’ve come to a realization that perhaps serial fiction may not be for me.  Not at this time anyway.

The only romance story I’ve written is a screenplay (“Storms of the Heart”) which I will be converting to a book this year.  This one has comedic scenes throughout, but probably not enough to be truly called a “rom-com.”   There are dramatic parts, and suspense too.  The heroine has both internal and external conflicts to wrestle with.  It’s a love story, and it’s a survival story.  It’s a story that keeps pestering me since it’s birth back in 2008.  It’s a story that will deal with PTSD.  And losses.

It’s the type of story that has won my heart.  And it is the one I will write in the coming months ahead.

So, to answer the prompt question above.  The type of story I love most is the survivalist kind, the underdog where the conflict/antagonist that the protagonist has to face is so much stronger than she is, but she’s determined to survive.  And this particular story also has a love story intertwined which makes it all the more endearing since I love watching something bloom between two people in-spite of all the roadblocks standing in their way.

Why this type?  Probably because I consider myself a survivor.  I’ve been an underdog all my life.  And I’m still fighting, and I suppose I always will, but that’s fine.  I don’t think I would have it any other way.  🙂


Writing: Favorite Supporting Character Archetype

Curious about DIY MFA? Click on the image for  more information about it!

In Gabriela Pereira’s book, DIY MFA Book, she talks about the protagonist and the supporting characters.  She believes “that every story has one (and only one) protagonist. This means that the job of every other character is to support that main character’s development.”  In this book, she talks about “the five main types of supporting characters—Villain, Love Interest, BFF/Sidekick, Mentor, and Fool—and the functions they serve in the story.” 

She goes on in detail describing the various functions of each type in chapter eight of her book (click here if you’d like to buy it); in the DIY MFA Virtual Book Club, Gabriela asked ” what’s your favorite supporting character archetype and why?”

Gabriela is big on archetypes.  She’d even developed a quiz to take to determine which protagonist archetype you most identified with just by determining your “storytelling superpower,” and I got Protector.

“Your favorite characters see their world in danger and will do whatever it takes to protect it and those they love in it.”

When I look at the word Protector, one of the first images to come to mind is of Merlin and Arthur in the BBC popular TV series, Merlin.  Unbeknownst to the once and future king, Prince Arthur, Merlin is destined to be his guardian and mentor.  But, he is also Arthur’s shield and protector who’s more than willing to give up his life for the prince as this picture above shows (one of the cups has poisoned wine; one must die in order to break the curse bestowed upon Camelot because Arthur accidentally killed a unicorn). Arthur felt it was his place and duty to die for his beloved Camelot, but of course, Merlin thought otherwise.


Here’s another time when a witch attempted to poison the prince, but Merlin stepped in to intervene in the nick of time.

King Uther did not believe Merlin, and instructed him to drink it to prove if the disguised witch was really trying to poison his son.

And Merlin did, and nearly died (Arthur would set out on a quest to find the antidote in time to save his servant).

Merlin is one of my favorite shows, and I tend to use it as a study on character development for my writing.

Why not books?

I learn best visually and hands-on.  I like to play out story lines and scenes in my mind, or even act them out in the privacy of my, wait for it, bathroom!  And because I learn best in these ways, I’ve dabbled in screenwriting (which by the way is a great tool to help one write more concise while cutting out all the unnecessary words) as well as turning my short writings and poems in to videos with images and music.

Now that we established how odd I really am…

Let’s move on 🙂

Of the five types of supporting character archetypes, I tend to bounce between the Love Interest and Mentor.


Guinevere is Merlin’s good friend whom he trusts and confides in (except for his most guarded secrets one being he’s a sorcerer but needs to conceal that for as long as magic was outlawed in the kingdom); she’s also Prince Arthur’s love interest.  She’s a key person in helping Merlin mold Arthur in to the kind of king Camelot needs.


Gaius is Merlin’s mentor, father-figure, and the only one (for a long time) who knew the truth about Merlin’s magical abilities.  Once a wizard himself turned physician of the king’s court under Uther (who was personally responsible for the law that forbade anyone to practice magic or face the death penalty) before serving under Arthur after King Uther’s death.  From time to time, Gaius himself plays the Protector of Merlin against Uther’s desire to rid his kingdom of magic at all costs, or against powerful witches or ancient magical creatures.

Why do I prefer these two types?

Even though I haven’t really written any romance stories yet, my mind is constantly filled with various couples and their relationships to one another. Bottom line, it’s all about connection.  That intimacy (and not just the physical part; true connection and intimacy run much deeper than that), the bond you share with that one person.  It’s something that touches me to the core, and I just can’t get enough of it. Hence, these are why I adore the Love Interest type.

Next, the mentor.  For me, a mentor tends to be a father-figure.  I suppose the reason is the close relationship I had with my own father, and how he always felt the need to protect me.  He’s been gone for over three years now, and I still crave his hugs.  They always made me feel safe, and that somehow everything will be okay.  So, in a sense, the mentor tends to also carry qualities of a Protector which then tends to rub off on the protagonist.

What about you?  Of the five supporting character archetypes (villain, love interest, BFF/sidekick, mentor and fool), which one(s) do you like to include in your stories?



Still on the fence about the DIY MFA Book, or need more info on what’s in it?  I wrote a book review of it here.