Maylee’s Questions and #ROW80

One of my favorite fellow ROWers, S.J. Maylee, honored me with a Sunshine Award and the 11 Random Question meme. S.J. has been so helpful to me in both encouragement and accountability. I feel with her the kind of camaraderie that makes A Round of Words in 80 Days and the writing community so beautiful and beneficial. Thanks, S.J.!

I answer her questions below.

What book had the biggest impact on you as a kid? Well, that would be the Bible. But I’ll pick a fiction book for this question: Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. That was the first book I remember reading that showed me how a story could place you in a whole other setting and you could understand someone else’s experiences through their eyes.

What is your favorite time suck? TV shows. I used to love watching movies, but there are quite a few wonderful shows now that I find myself wanting to keep up with. I did finally pare down my must-watch list a few weeks ago.

If you were in a movie who would you like to star with? The actors I would most like to star in a film with are dead. R.I.P. Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart, Bette Davis, et al. While I’m tempted to name some amazing actress like Meryl Streep or Judi Dench to watch them work, I think I’d rather have fun on the set. How about starring with Will Smith? I just think he’s a cool guy.

OR I could star with Kevin Bacon, thus closing my three degrees of Kevin Bacon to one!

What is your favorite past time? That’s a hard question because it depends on my mood. I’m pretty much always happy to be singing or reading, though.

What is your favorite drink,  it can be Alcohol or non-alcohol? Coca-Cola in a glass bottle with pure cane sugar.

Tell us three things about a favorite character you’ve created. Annie Lewis was my first main character (from Grace & Fire, a mystery). She’s also addicted to Coca-Cola; is fascinated with fire; and possesses a six-year-old secret that could wreak havoc if discovered.

Which author influences you most as a writer, and in what way? Dr. Seuss. No, really. There’s something about how Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, was able to get an important point across while engaging in whimsy (e.g., The Grinch, Yertle the Turtle) which reminds me that stories can be both profound and fun.

What was the first thing you remember writing? I wrote a poem when I was 9 years old:

Sweetly sings a mockingbird
In a green-leafed tree
He sings a song I’ve never heard
The mockingbird and me

What is on your bucket list (things you want to do before you die)? When I turned 40 (a few years ago, thank you very much), I wrote a list of 40 After 40–forty things to do in my life after I reached that milestone. Here are a few items from that list:

  • Travel to the “Holy Land”
  • Host a costume party
  • Ride in a limousine
  • Sing the national anthem at an event
  • Shoot a real gun
  • Own a gazebo

If you were to write a “Thank you” note to someone you’ve never actually met, who would that be and why?

I had to think on this one for a while.

David Auth, Ph.D., inventor of NovaSure. Look it up, if you really want to know. Let’s just say that his research and development improved my daily life.

Your favorite TV show? I’ll give two: Castle because I love mysteries, I love Richard Castle’s personality, and the tension is great; and Hart of Dixie because I can relate to the urban girl, but I love the characters in this small Southern town with that quirky feel you got with Northern Exposure or The Gilmore Girls. In both of these shows, there is also a terrific supporting cast of characters.

That was fun!

ROW80 Update

Editing: SHARING HUNTER, young adult contemporary novel.

  • Complete full rewrite. Progress on the first couple of days, then nada, zip, zero.
  • Revise using Margie Lawson’s Deep EDITS system. Not yet.
  • Deliver to beta readers. Waiting on first two above.



  • Write two short stories. Wrote some, but not on short story. Still a thumbs-up for writing.


Non-writing goals

  • Exercise twice a week. Gotta get back into this one this week. My injured calf muscle finally feels a bit better.
  • Sort through photos and complete at least one album. (I stopped scrapbooking five years ago, and it’s piled up into a big mess. Moving into digital albums.) Took more photos over the holidays! Here’s the view from Mount Magazine in Arkansas:

So what are you writing? And how’s the view? Give me the lowdown on your progress and find other ROWers HERE!

The Roaring Twenties and #ROW80

I’m celebrating the decade of the 1920s today! For what reason? Well, because my husband and I recently went to a ’20s themed party:

Getting ready for the party.

Best-selling books of the 1920s (thanks to Printed Pages for the list from Publishers Weekly):

  • The Man of the Forest by Zane Grey (1920)
  • Main Street by Sinclair Lewis in (1921)
  • If Winter Comes by A. S. M. Hutchison (1922)
  • Black Oxen by Gertrude Atherton (1923)
  • So Big by Edna Ferber (1924)
  • Soundings by A. Hamilton Gibbs (1925)
  • The Private Life of Helen of Troy by John Erskine (1926)
  • Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis (1927)
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder ( 1928 )
  • All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque ( 1929 ) — the only one from this list I’ve read.

Popular movies from the 1920s:

Battleship Potemkin (1925)
The Gold Rush (1925)
Metropolis (1927)
Nosferatu (1922)
The Jazz Singer (1927)
Wings (1927)
The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

Note: The 1st Academy Awards were presented in 1929. The first two Best Picture winners were Wings (1927) and The Broadway Melody (1929).

Hit songs from the 1920’s:

“It Had to Be You” (1924) – Isham Jones
“Sweet Georgia Brown” (1925) – Ben Bernie
“Rhapsody in Blue” (1924) – George Gershwin
“My Blue Heaven” (1927) – Gene Austin
“My Man” (1922) – Fanny Brice
“Ain’t Misbehavin'” (1929) – Fats Waller
“Sonny Boy” (1928) – Al Jolson
“Yes! We Have No Bananas” (1923) – Billy Jones
“I Ain’t Got Nobody” (1921) – Marion Harris
“Ol’ Man River” (1928) – Paul Robeson
“Stardust” (1927) – Hogey Carmichael
“When You’re Smiling” (1929) – Louis Armstrong

Before that killjoy Great Depression hit in 1929, the Roaring Twenties were a fun decade! It was great to dress up and do a little Lindy Hop dancing at the party. Don’t know what the Lindy Hop is? Well, the following is a super spruced-up version from some fabulous dancers. But the basic steps are there.

Now back to 2012, the week of October 21, and an update for ROW80:

Editing: SHARING HUNTER, young adult contemporary novel.

  • Complete full rewrite. Marked up 4 chapters.
  • Revise using Margie Lawson’s Deep EDITS system. Studied 3 more lessons from Margie’s lecture packet.
  • Deliver to beta readers. Waiting for first two.



  • Write two short stories. I didn’t work on the stories, but I did create an outline and log 2,888 words on a plot bunny. (I know, I know. Finish my current project first.)



Non-writing goals

  • Exercise twice a week. Checking this off for the first time this round! I spent two days pulling up tile in my house, and given how incredibly sore my body is, I’m counting that as exercise. Then I did an in-home workout using my new Wii: Zumba Fitness 2 disc. A big thank-you to S.J. Maylee for keeping me accountable!
  • Sort through photos and complete at least one album. (I stopped scrapbooking five years ago, and it’s piled up into a big mess. Moving into digital albums.) House is still too cluttered to get to this one, but reorganizing is coming along and I love my new floors.

How are your writing or other goals coming along? What book, movie or music from the 1920s did you enjoy? Do you have a favorite past decade you wish you could visit? 

Be sure to support fellow ROWers! You can find them through the blog HERE.