#IWSG Quotes For #Writing Inspiration

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This month’s question: Do you have any quotes you use for inspiration?


Every once in a while I get stuck as a writer.  Whether the right words are being elusive, or I’m stressed over something from my personal life (usually over finances), or I just can’t get focused.   These are times when I look to quotes to help either jumpstart my creativity, or just get me in to a reflective mood which tend to get the words flowing.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:


“The real story is not the plot, but how the characters unfold by it.”
~ Vanna Bonta


Writing is my time machine, takes me to the precise time and place I belong.”  ~Jeb Dickerson


“Not all those who wander are lost.”J.R.R. Tolkien



What about you?  Do you have any favorite quotes?



#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?

#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.

Has This World Gone Mad?

Photo Credit: Pixabay, Creative Commons


Yesterday was Valentine Day.

Hubby gave me not one beautiful necklace, but four!  My teen-age son was in on it as well.  It pays to be the only girl in the household 😉

Then, I heard about the shooting in Florida.

A Valentine Day massacre.

So this morning, I took an extra few moments with my son to let him know how much I loved him.  As I watched him go out the door to meet the bus, I couldn’t help but to feel anxious for this day to be over with already so I’d have him back home.


I’m sure this was the case with parents all across the country.

I know we’re not promised tomorrow,  but gosh darn, these were children.

In a school.

Once again, the words “mental illness” are being tossed around all across the news and social media.  And “gun control.”  In my mind, there is no ONE culprit behind these mass shootings.  In my mind, there are too much hate and violence all across this country.  And throwing around “mental illness” will only hurt more people (innocent ones) rather than help them.

I suffer from anxiety and depression.  My husband, brother-in-law, and mother, PTSD.  My sister, Bipolar.  We’re all law-abiding citizens who may or may not have guns.  We’re shouldn’t be penalized or punished from not being able to own a gun just because we suffer from a mental illness.

That leaves “gun control.”

Owning a gun should remain a subjective decision, and a protected right for all citizens.

Banning guns altogether, in my mind, won’t stop certain people bent on committing mass murders.  They will find other ways.  Look at China for an example.  There have been instances where ax-wielding individuals have entered schools and killed.  With an ax.

Others used bombs made from ordinary house hold items.

There are no easy answers.

Which means as parents, this makes it all the more difficult to try and understand these sordid acts as we worry and pray for our children’s safety in a world that seemingly have gone mad.

Thus ends my rambling for today.

Have an input or thought on the matter?  Do so with kindness please.  🙂

#WritersLife My “Secret” Creative Outlet


I believe that every writer has a secret or not-so-secret creative endeavor they work on when not writing.   Mine is taking pictures of trees.


I have this fetish for trees.  Trees in all settings and life cycles; but especially when they’re in dormant or are dying.   There’s something sad about a tree who has lived its life-span, or has been ravaged by a violent storm.


I also enjoy taking pictures about my natural surroundings.



These all have taken by my tablet, and then edited on a photo software on my computer.  For being legally blind, these pictures have turned out okay.  I’m thinking about buying an actual digital camera.  Not an expensive one; but something I can play with to my heart’s content.

What about you?  Do you have any creative things you like to partake in when not writing?




#IWSG: Why I Love #Romance

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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?

Writing: The Zero Moment

Click on the image for the DIY MFA Book

Gabriela Pereira:

The hardest step in your creative development is the “zero moment,” the point where you go from doing nothing to doing something. The distance between the zero moment and being a newbie is far greater than the distance between newbie and pro, yet rarely does anyone celebrate this pivotal, important step.
Today, I want you to celebrate. Think back to your zero moment and do something to celebrate that incredible leap of faith. Maybe your zero moment was ages ago and you’ve forgotten all about it. Maybe you’re in that moment right now. Regardless of where you are on your writing journey, I want you to pause and celebrate that enormous first step that brought you to where you are now.

Photo Credit: Bellarmine Magazine


I had a handful of “aha” moments when it came to writing.  The first one came when I was a girl (shared this in my How did I become a writer post) when a friend challenged a group of us to see who could write the scariest story.  That was the moment I realized that there was a safer way to channel my imagination, and that was through writing them down on paper.

Throughout high school and most of my college years, I journaled.  It was your typical teenager’s angst and boy-crazed, and trying to figure out what I truly wanted to do with the rest of my life kinds of stuff.   Journaling was a way of dealing with frustrations and disappointments as well as perusing through all the puzzle pieces of life, and trying to see what fits and where.

When I was looking at colleges, I toyed with the idea of either Journalism or English major; but, I’d felt that I didn’t possess an aggressive enough personality for Journalism, and found the course work for English to be too dry and boring.  So, I ended up majoring in Physical Education instead since I enjoyed sports.

I’d envisioned myself working with either professional or Olympian athletes.  I received an associate degree in Physical Education, and went to an University in Virginia to pursue a B.S. in Exercise Science.  I was well on my way to attaining that particular dream.

Then Life intervened, and everything changed.

Between graduating with my A.S. degree, and heading down to the University, I was diagnosed with a progressive eye disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa.  Because I also had moderate hearing loss, the specific RP I had was Usher Syndrome.

I was slowly going blind.

This shook everything up.  So much so, I practically gave up on all of my dreams.  I stayed in college though as I didn’t know what else to do. From there, I transferred around at least four different colleges, changed my majors several times, but eventually went back to Physical Education and graduated with my Bachelor degree.

In the midst  of struggling with coming to grip with RP, and confusion about my future, I met and married Aaron.  However, with a year left of college, Aaron was in a car accident, and died.  We were married only nineteen months.

I could have dropped out of college, but didn’t.  I decided that since I was that close to graduating, and needed something to keep me busy, I finished out the last year.

Between the diagnosis, and Aaron’s death, I stopped writing altogether.   Misery became my best friend as I holed myself up in an apartment (by this time, living on social security disability).  Those were dark years.

Three years later, everything changed again.

In come Jay.  Jay and I were good friends back at the very first college I attended. Then we went our separate ways.  But, in late May of 1999, we reconnected.  Something more blossomed between us, and we were married in September (same year).  Days before our wedding day, he gave me a gift.  A beautiful leather-bound (with a picture of a cute cat on front) journal.

It was full of empty pages.  Pages that called out to me.

This was probably my true “zero moment.”  The moment when I realized I must write; not just for the sake of writing itself, but for my mind, spirit, and soul.

And, because the price was too high NOT to.

What about you?  Do you remember your zero moment?



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: Using Fears as Your Compass

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Gabriela Pereira: “Share an example of when resistance has pointed you toward a writing project that was juicy and high-stakes… and maybe even a little bit scary. Did you face that fear head-on and overcome your resistance? What was the result of pursuing (or not pursuing) that project?”


This is a tough one.  I’ve encountered a lot of resistance to a lot of things for many reasons in my life.

Where to even begin?

There’s resistance due to having disabilities, and feeling inferior in that I don’t feel I will ever amount to anything.

There’s resistance due to experiencing verbal and emotional abuse as a girl, and then some as an adult, and along comes the feeling of not being good enough for anything or anyone.

These usually result in self-sabotaging myself so instead of succeeding in life, I end up failing or being bypassed for  career opportunities.

 I deserve to fail or to be ridiculed or be talked down.  I don’t deserve that promotion, or I’m not good enough or I’ll fail miserably at it.  So, why bother?  Who cares? 

A typical mantra I kept repeating and believing in.

And what did I end up with?

A lifetime of regrets.

Of what-ifs.

I could play the blame game, or a victim, but I won’t.

There are things I want to share with my readers, to let out, but I don’t want to hurt certain loved ones.  So, I thought about writing certain experiences in my fictional stories in hope that it will provide the cathartic healing that my soul yearns for.

So, I wrote dark poetry, and dark flash stories.  I journaled in notebooks now hidden away.  And as the years melted away, some of the pain from the past went along with them.

Now, I’m hoping to write my first book, and already I’m hit with fears and the feelings of inadequacy.  Why?  The book is a romance story with bits of comedy…what do I have to be afraid of?

That I want to be an author?  That I desire to be traditionally published?

That I want to be–successful?

Then an idea hit me.

Why don’t I write in certain subplots that involve abuse in relation to PTSD by using my own personal childhood and adulthood experiences?

Yeah, I think this might just work.

Stay tuned….