Wednesday, January 25, 2012

the jury pool, a new book, and more

Hi everyone. I hope life is still treating you well.

The other day I received a notice in the mail...I've been picked for the jury pool. Kind of cool. I've always wanted to serve on a jury. I came close once, but the people came to an agreement before the trail was to start...which was good because it saved our tax dollars. My husband has been in a jury twice for two separate cases and had no desire to be there. He admitted enjoying it after the fact. We'll see what happens this time for me. I'll keep you posted. According to the judge we can't talk about the trial itself but I can let you know if I get picked. So keep your fingers crossed for me. I'd love to serve. It truly is an honor and a patriotic thing to do. As the judge said, people fought for our rights and the courts are here to carry those rights out...that is why we have a jury.

Unfortunately this week I became a little "under the weather" as some people put it. Thank God, I haven't run a fever or anything like that, just a sore scratchy throat and a lot of coughing. Wears you out! With what all my husband has been through and is still going through, I dare not complain.

I guess with the holidays over, there isn't a lot to talk about. It was great seeing all our kids and extended family on a regular bases, but now everyone is back to their busy lives. With Rachael, of course we keep in touch via the phone (being that she lives 2222 miles away from us). Thank God for technology, because of it we can talk to her daily or even a couple times a day at not much cost. My mom was from California, and when the costs for one 3 minute call equaled your hourly pay, she didn't call home very often. Molly, Pete, and the boys we've been blessed and get to see a little more of them now than what we did  when we lived across town. (No walking this week because of jury duty and my cold or whatever it is). Chris, Rosie, Butch & Sundance stay so busy we don't even hear from them. I'm glad for them, but we miss them dearly.

All of you who read last week, know about our added addition, Kole. At first we worried we made a mistake. The whole purpose was to give Kali a friend to play with and of course we knew we would enjoy another kitten around the house. Finally on day 5 Kole jumped on Kali's back and held on with her front two paws as Kali dragged her around, and then they got into a heavy game of chase, turned into hide and seek. It was adorable. Now they play together. It's fun and entertaining just to sit back and watch.

The day before they started playing, they kept their distances. I tried to put the video in, but I did not succeed. Sorry. Trust me. They kept their distance. Even now that they play a good little bit, the still keep a little distance when not playing. Here's a picture of Kali and a couple of Kole, the new kitty.

Koby holding Kole his first day home.

Kole napping on Scott's shoulder why he sits and visits with Molly and the boys.

Here is big sister, Kali. She wasn't too excited when we brought Kole home to be her new friend. But it all worked out in the end. Praise God. Now they'll run around for ten minutes up to thirty minutes. Between watching the geese fly in and out, off the lake, and watching the kitty cats run around, life isn't boring around here.

This past weekend was a very exciting weekend for me. My publisher finished reading my manuscript for Testimony of Innocence, Book 2 of The Samantha Cain Mystery Series. She loved it. They discussed my book and decided to go back to Book 1 and give it a little face lift, showing it is a series book, as well as adding information about the second book at the end of Be Not Afraid. They also wet your appetite with giving the title for Book 3. This was so thrilling to me. I told Ramona Tucker, my publisher at OakTara, that she is my answered prayer from God. When I first starting writing, that was my prayer. For God to connect me with a publisher who believes in me and my writing. All my ideas for my books have been given me from God. He gives me a message to share, but lets the story be the forefront. I love God. He is so good!!

Let me give you a little glance of the new cover. Let's see if I can do this.

It worked. Isn't it great. Still the same wonderful cover they had already given me, but with a little more information. I love it!!

Tips for writing:

Allyn Stotz, author of a children’s book, The Pea in Peanut Butter, asked the question, “How do full time writers or stay at home moms who write, balance their life?”

You see, when she worked full time, Allyn knew she had a limited time to come home and write. Some how she managed. But now, through unforeseen circumstances she has the ability to be that full time writer. Some how the day gets lost and before she knows it very little has been accomplished in her writing.

One thing I do know is you can plan all you want, but as a published author there will be times when your book is in the publishing stages and your publisher will need you to do some things, changes, corrections or what-knots, to help bring your MS to the finished stages. THAT takes priority over any schedule. BUT I guarantee you’ll love every minute of it. Your work is being published. The gift God gave you is going in print for others to read and be blessed by. How can you not?

Remind yourself of the blessings of being able to work from home. There are many. The greatest thing is you don’t have to spend time in the morning getting dressed up for work. You can write in you nightgown or PJ’s. You can do some of your housework you use to have to wait and do on Saturdays or stay up late during the week to get it done. Working at home you can throw a load on to wash before you sit down…and then of course toss them in dryer and fold them at the appropriate times. You can start supper simmering at your convenience. You don’t have to rush in after 8 or 9 hours working and try to desperately cook a meal for everyone to enjoy. Last but not least (as far as I can think of at the moment) is if something comes up you need to dash out to do, you can.

My suggestion is you plan out how many hours a day you want to write, and stick with it. Also if you’re writing a manuscript figure how many pages a day or a week you want to complete, and stick to it. Keep writing every day (maybe weekends off, YOUR CHOICE) until the manuscript is complete. Then you start the rewrites, corrections, tightening, etc…everything it takes to make your novel the best. The main thing is, you are your own boss…so boss away…and mind your boss. Hee-hee!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Additions to the Family

Hey to you all.

First let me say, I'm sitting outside on my back porch overlooking the lake. 25 geese are sitting quietly on the some formation, I think. It's cool. One is in the front, and all the others or in lines behind it at angles. I let our cat, Kali, out with me. She has crawled down to the lake and is watching them between the  cattails. The geese are moving around slightly in the formation...keeping their eyes on the cat who thinks she is smarter than they are. It's a great picture. Clouds cover the sky, but most of them are white, with a tinge of gray. Hopefully it won't rain again today. At least not while Kali and I are outside. Scott just walked out to join us.

OKAY. I know y'all are wondering who are the additions to the family. We had 3 additions this week. My son, Chris, and daughter-in-law, Rosie, adopted two pit bulls, mix. The dogs were about to be put to sleep. Cuties, both of them. A brown suede looking coat on one...Sundance; and the other is black (more of a chocolate brown)...Butch. Love the names Chris and Rosie picked out for them. That is two of the additions, but we have one more. This one came to our home through my best friend. We adopted a little brother for Kali. Kole is the name we gave him.  Pitch black and very friendly. We made plans on how to introduce him to the family, the house, and make him feel welcome. It wasn't necessary. Kole moved in and took over. Kali stays hidden most of the time. When Kole comes in a room, Kali runs the other way. We can't wait till they start interacting with each other...instead of avoiding one another. It will happen. I know it!!

Something else happened this week. I got called for jury duty. Unlike my husband, I'm excited. I've always wanted to serve on a jury. Been called twice. Came close once when I was picked for jury, but they settled the day before the trial was to start. My husband has been called twice (not in the last two years though, thank God) and got picked for jury duty both times. Both of his were criminal cases. Anyway, keep your fingers crossed for me. Molly, my middle girl, will stay handy for her dad if he needs her while I'm at the court house.

He's been under the weather again. Between the major heartburn and the coughing up of blood, I believe scares him a bit...but we know the cancer is not coming back. As for as his lung goes, there has been no improvement there. We had a bit of a scare last night when he couldn't breath...or should I say could get very little air for several minutes. As soon as he could, he used one of those special gadgets the doctor gave him, and it worked like a charm.

I know I mentioned a couple of weeks ago how Molly and I were going to start walking 5 days a week. We did, and my youngest grandson joins us. It's been nice. I feel like I can walk better every day. My knee doesn't give me fits much any more. Praise God!!

Also -- with Molly's help, I finished unpacking all our boxes (but 5) and my workout room is set-up. Two or three days this week we've used it after the walks. Today was my best workout yet!!! Hopefully, more weight will be dropping soon. I feel great!!

I can't remember if I told you about Scott and Jerry catching catfish out of the lake. They did and threw then back in. One day, though, Scott, David, and Jerry will catch some and we'll...let me rephrase that...they will clean and cook them and then we'll eat them. Yummy. Fried catfish. You can't beat it!

My writing is coming along. As I told you last week, I'm working on another manuscript while my publisher (OakTara) starts the procedure of getting my fifth book published, Testimony of Innocence. Hopefully, a month before the release of my new book I'll have a new book trailer on my website for Testimony of Innocence.

I almost forgot to tell you--we had a scare this past week. My son had sold his truck and was using Scott's car for a couple of weeks. Chris and Rosie were so busy with work, they didn't have time to finalize the shopping for their new car. He needed a ride for the interim. Being Scott rarely uses his car, we loaned it to him easily. Only the other night when he left the Super Dome, Scott's car wasn't in the place Chris had parked it. It was late. He'd worked all day and into the night, so I'm sure he wasn't ready to deal with it, but he called the police and the tow company, not having luck with either. Long story short, we assumed it had been stolen since the tow people didn't have it recorded as being towed. But the next day, Rosie got the list of tow companies and called around. Found one who had picked it up and it just hadn't been recorded yet the night he checked. So much better than stolen. It cost Chris a bit to pick it up, but by the time he drove it back to our house, his little wife had gone and picked up their new car and left it parked for him to drive home. All's well that ends well. :-)

There won't be any tips today, because I just can't think of anything that might be helpful. I truly wish some of you who write, would email me a few questions to That's my mailing address. A lot of you have already sent notes and such in response to my blog to that address, but for those who didn't know...that's it and I hope you use it.

The geese are lining up in that V form and starting to chatter among themselves. That's what they do right before take off. I love watching it. All but 11 took off. So cool. So beautiful. It looks like maybe these 11 are lining up for their take off. We'll see.

Take care and God bless you all. I love sharing with you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Moving on to the next one

Hello everyone.

I'm starting this blog a day behind. As all of you have seen in the past two months, I'm not great at posting every Tuesday. Although I'm retired from my day job of thirty years, life is busy at times. So for the record, I will continue to try and post a new blog every Tuesday, but sometimes it will be delayed. Hang on, and don't give up on me. It will be out within 24-48 hrs.

Truth be told for this time, I forgot about my blog...or should I say I forgot yesterday was Tuesday. My excuse is I didn't put the reminder on my new iPhone to blog every Tuesday as I had on my old iPhone. It wasn't from being busy this time--it was from being forgetful. Forgive me.

This past week has been a fun yet busy week. First let me say, I'm glad the writer's tips I gave this past week touched on a subject that I needed to refresh in my mind. It's so easy as a writer to get so focused on the story that you forget to adhere to all the rules and regulations of punctuation. Kathy Ide (author & editor) did an awesome job teaching PUGS  (Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling) in 2010 or 2011 through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) website. I shared a small piece, on last weeks blog, of what she taught us through the notes I made from the class. I hope you writers out there took it to heart. I know I did as I scanned for the last time my completed manuscript, Testimony of Innocence -- 2nd in the Samantha Cain Mystery Series, searching for any last minute or overlooked errors before sending it to my publisher. It went off Friday and is in Ramona Tucker's hands.

Speaking of Ramona, my editor, say a prayer for her. She's been sick with pneumonia. Not a fun thing to have and hers got so bad she's been in the hospital twice.

On that last run through, I made a few more corrections--things that were covered in PUGS.

Writing is the fun part of being an author. The work part is rewriting, rewriting, & rewriting. Thanks to my wonderful critique partners (Emy & Marie), and a new friend and an avid reader of my novels (Charlotte), my manuscript was corrected several times and completed. It was then sent to my publisher by Friday of last week. Novel number 5, of novels by Deborah Lynne: Testimony of Innocence, Be Not Afraid, Passion from the Heart, All in God's Time, and Grace a Gift of Love, will be coming out later this year. I've enjoyed writing each and every one these novels. After sending Testimony of Innocence off to my publisher, I started work on my next story.

Something else I did Friday, was start walking on a daily basis -- five days a week. I don't do this alone, mind you. My youngest daughter (Molly) and one of my grandsons (Koby) walk with me. We scheduled it for early mornings, Monday through Friday. What a way to start a day. The first day we did my typical walk like I do with my husband occasionally, which is only 1/2 mile. I have to say they walked at my pace...slow. Monday we followed the same plan. Tuesday, however, we beefed it up. The three of us walked faster (could be because Charlie-their dog-joined us) and we walked one whole mile. I was so excited to have accomplished that mile. I've been wanting to work up to that since I put on all this weight. Sad to say, I hadn't accomplished it yet...till yesterday. Anyway, it was exhilarating. I was so energized for the rest of the day. Tuesday afternoon I met with my daughter again. This time she and my other grandson (Scotty) went shopping with me. Some more walking. Sad to say, when I got home from Bible Study last night I was moving like I had aged 20 years in less than 24 hours. So today our walk was 10 minutes of slow walk and then 10 minutes of a little faster pace. Didn't make the full mile but I'm sure it was close.

The worst thing that happened this week (Monday night) was our LSU Tigers lost the National Championship. They didn't just lose--they were creamed. 21-0. I was actually embarrassed for my Tigers. They worked all season at being undefeated and succeeded at it...until Monday night. For some strange reason their coach never changed his game plan at the National Championship, even after it was not working. The young man who stepped in as quarterback for 6 or 7 games, maybe even 8, and with the team won them all, never got to step on the field Monday night at the Championship game. No one knows why, but everyone, even the sports commentators are asking that question. The team LSU played had only lost 1 game all season and it was to the Tigers. They made up for it on 1/9/12 and took home the trophy. Well, next year a lot of the LSU guys will be back. Hopefully, they'll take home the trophy 2013. Not being a sports enthusiast myself, I hope I didn't step on any toes with my comments. I never watched the LSU games on TV until last year, and only occasionally did I do that. When I attended LSU years ago and after I was first married, we went to all the games. So I can call them my Tigers. Next year -- Look Out!! My Tiger's will win it all!! My son (Chris) worked the game and was on ESPN during the showing of it. My daughter (Rachael) dressed in LSU scrubs for work at the hospital in California, bragging on her team, only to have to return Tuesday and get picked on all day. Of course, Monday they started out by draping red crape paper across her I hate to see what they did Tuesday. She said they went easy on her, since LSU did so poorly. That was nice of them.

Thursday night, I met with the writers group that I attend once a month. Our group is growing. There is a lot of talent down in Louisiana.

Most of you know, every Wednesday I meet with a group of adults at an Assisted Living home. I read a novel to them. Of course, it takes weeks to accomplish this because I only read for one hour. It's fun and the people who come seem to enjoy listening to me read. I love them and I love reading to them. In fact, I'll be leaving here in about two hours to read today. Anyway, I think this has been going on for two years now. In that time, I've shared a lot of books with them, sometimes introducing a new author to them, and other times reading an old favorite. I look forward to my time with my friends at Sunrise.

Today I didn't go through my week front to back, or back to front, This time I skipped around. I hope you enjoyed it. Now for a brief catch up on a couple of things we've touched on over the past few months.

On the weight loss, I haven't lost any more. In fact, over the holidays I put on about 5 pounds. Those are gone now, but I haven't gotten below the 26 pound loss. Maybe next week I'll be able to say I shed another pound or two. I hope so. I'm counting calories and inputting them in my phone like before. It makes a difference when you see what you eat...calorie wise. I kind of slipped last night when I got to Bible Study. I brought some left overs, pork roast and dirty rice, only to find the woman whose house we meet at had all kinds of snacks prepared, including a sweet one. Another person who comes, brought a bag of treats too. I ate a little of everything and have no idea how many calories that entailed. I truly didn't eat as many or as much as I would have in the past. My eating habits have improved somewhat.

The geese who visit our lake, still come. We feed them as well as sit and watch for enjoyment. Unfortunately, Tutu has quit coming. Hopefully, he flew south for the winter because we did have the cold snap for a couple of days. And even more, hopefully, he will return after the winter is totally gone for the season. I'd love to see him back by March or April. We've gotten to a point where we let our indoor cat (Kali) out daily with our supervision. She manages to slip down close to the water, trying to move in on the geese when they are walking on the land. What Kali doesn't realize, they keep their eyes peeled...never losing sight of her. When she gets too close, they swoop out onto the water and then watch her from a if daring her to come into the water. They are so much fun to watch.

We have plans to be made for a deck we want to add to our new home. You've seen the pictures of our beautiful new home, so you know any addition will only add to its beauty. We wouldn't think of taking away from it. Also I'm hoping to have a flower bed or two added in the front by a professional. By this summer pictures of both will be posted on my blog.

Next week I'll go back to keeping the week in order. Out of order seems a little to unorganized...but I hope you enjoy the read anyway.

Writing tips for today:

My tip to writers is a subject I've touched on before...I believe. I know I've spoken of it at different talks I've shared over the past 5 years as a published author. The reason I'm bringing this back up again is because at my writers' group, we have a very talented young girl. She's in high school and has a great gift--actually two. She writes and she draws. Unfortunately, she hasn't completed a novel least not in the almost 3 years I've been going to this group...not that I know of anyway. I've read bits and pieces of short stories, as well as beginning chapters of her book. Why hasn't she finished a story yet? She critique's as she writes.


Don't stop to admire your work AND don't stop to find fault with it either. In fact, don't stop at all. Allow your creative juices to flow. Even if you take a chapter or two at a time to your critique group to make marks or suggestions, don't go back and fix them yet. Not until you have completed your short story or novel, which ever you are working on at completing, should you make corrections.

When you stop writing, you stop the flow of your story. You also stop the flow of your creative side of your brain doing its job. Sure it's tempting to fix things, but don't! When you stop, and rewrite, and stop again, and rewrite again, you've doomed your work. Your stuck in that never-ending cycle.

Instead, write until it's completed.

Then go through making corrections, as your critique partners suggested.

Set it aside. Wait a week or so...and then pick it up and read it again. That's when you want to make major changes. Then you go rewrite, get feed back, rewrite, get feed back, and continue the circle until it's completely corrected and ready for your editor.

But if you are one of those who take time to reread and find fault with your writing before it's even completed, you may suffer the consequences of never finishing your work. I know as a writer you don't want to do that. It takes long enough to write your stories.

I know I'm a fairly new author...published author that is, but I remind you I've been writing for over 25 years now. I've heard from other published authors over the years and read many "How to" books that all share the same message. Don't correct as you go.

So please. Quit stopping. Write five pages at a time, or a chapter at a time, or whatever works for you. But when you start again the next day, continue with what you are writing. Don't stop to rewrite. Sure you can read what you've written to get back in the flow of your story, but DO NOT correct as you go.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Hey there.

It's a new day of the New Year and I'm anxious.

What am I anxious about, you ask? Getting Testimony of Innocence off to my publisher. I finished it right before Christmas... the completed story and the rewrites and corrections, but a dear lady offered to read it one time through for those easily skipped typos that we (me as the writer, and my critique partners as the two who have combed through it several times for me) don't always catch. How can we miss them? Easily. We know the story and know what I mean to write, only our human brain sometimes picks up the words the way they were meant to be written. It was bad timing on my part, giving the manuscript to an unsuspecting sweet woman, and ask for it back around or before the first of the year. How dare me? I'm so bad! It was with a kind heart Charlotte offered to do this for me (plus she's an avid fan of Deborah Lynne novels). But I guarantee she hadn't planned on me dropping it in her lap, so-to-speak, right before Christmas.

I'm sorry Charlotte. I didn't mean to do this.

Other writers know when you write something, it takes a lot of time and love to see it through from the beginning to the end--But once you are so close it's like waiting 9 months for a baby to be born. Then the pain starts. Well I guess you could say, that's where I am. IT WILL ALL BE WORTH IT IN THE END. On my part anyway. Thank you Charlotte. I can't say it enough. Thank you Marie and Emy too. They put a lot of their time into reading and rereading my work. I am so blessed! Thank You, Lord, for these people in my life!

Okay. Now I'm going to get off of me and onto the past week. I hope you have had a wonderful holiday time and are now ready to face the new year, doing what you have been called to do. Each day is new and opportunities are all around us. Don't hesitate to reach out and take hold of the experiences God has in store for you.

We started a new Bible Study last night. Of course it's another Beth Moore. How can you ask? Yes we do some that aren't hers, but when we can we do a Beth Moore Bible Study...even the ones she rewrites. We did the old and now are doing the newer version. She writes so full of the Spirit of the Lord, helping me and others understand God's Word so much clearer. Beth helps us to step into our own relationship with God, knowing He is there for us, in the good and the bad times. He will not only see us through our situations, but He will bless us too. I know that from one of the first Scriptures she (Beth) had us memorize.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

And He does. For those of you who don't know Him personally yet, it's never to late to ask Him into your heart. He's there waiting for you, seeking you, wanting to dwell with you. Isn't that awesome?

Okay. I'm not preaching, just sharing.

On January 1...the first day of the new year...I did something I had never done before. I cooked a traditional southern New Year's Day meal. It's ham, cabbage, and black-eyed peas. Of course all my life I thought that was a worldwide tradition, representing health, wealth, and something else. I can't ever remember the third thing. I can recall saying years ago, "I guess I'm happy with my health and what ever my financial situation was, because there was no way on this earth I'd eat cabbage or black-eyed peas." I mean even when we lived payday-to-payday. I thought about it, but decided I was never that desperate. Of course all you who love cabbage and black-eyed peas, bless you. And as you know from the paragraph before, I know where my health and wealth comes from.

Anyway, I did it. Scott's best friend Jerry brought over a head of cabbage because Scott told him we could cook that traditional meal. (that was said around midnight New Year's Eve, after watching the glorious display of fireworks in the sky welcoming the New Year).  Ha-ha. WE?? He meant, they could watch the game and Debbie would make it. I told him I had no idea how to cook cabbage. He said, pull a recipe of the Internet. You're a good cook. You can do it. Well, I did just that when Jerry got to the house. Talk about poor planning. I pulled up the top rating recipe for boiled cabbage and ham, jotted down the necessary ingredients. Most of them I had, but still needed the ham and the black-eyed peas. In my mind, I planned on buying a can of those peas, so that wouldn't be a problem. Yeah, right. New Year's day? Down here in Louisiana go to the market and see how many stores still have cans on the shelf. I did find the fresh dried beans in a pack--and I knew how to cook red beans. I guessed it couldn't be very different. And I bought a portion of a ham, 3 oz without the bone and got to work.

By 2PM they were gobbling down the meal and talking about how good it was. Yes. They ate it and loved it...not me. I don't eat that stuff but was glad to know I could make it.

So New Year's day our New Orleans Saints won 45 to 17, and the men ate a hearty lunch. Then they watched another game or two and then ate left overs for supper (dinner). What did I do beside cook? I read a book and then watched a movie. That is my favorite thing to do when I'm not writing. Read something someone else has worked hard writing, or watching something that someone else wrote as a screen play. God gave us good imaginations. Look at the world today. We have so much of every thing, everywhere. Why? Because someone imagined and then put their hands to building or making or writing it until it existed. Yeah!!

It looks like I'm going backwards again. New Year's Eve. Fireworks, parties, family, friends. I hope you all had a safe and fun New Year's eve night to bring in the New Year. Where we just moved to, they had a neighbor hood party and we were invited. Not knowing many except to say hello, we old folks chose to welcome the new year at home with just the one friend, Jerry. But it was a great night. I mentioned earlier the fireworks we saw. Most of them came from the neighborhood party, and another little party from across the lake. It was great watching them yet being far enough away that the smoke didn't effect Scott from being able to enjoy them too. You could see the clouds of smoke in the air. I've never thought about those men or women who light those beautiful fireworks on the levee from a boat, how they must have been surrounded by the thick smoke. I hope their lungs made it through.

2012 is here. I hope all of you enjoy it and make the most out of every day. Stay loving others. Keep smiling. Bring joy to those around you. Stay happy!! What was that old saying...don't worry, be happy. That is the way to live your life. God tells us not to worry but to bring everything to Him in prayer. So He tells us the same thing...and guess who said it first! :-)

writing tips:

The following tips I learned through a class I took on line with ACFW. I'm only sharing a few tips here on punctuation which was given to us by Kathy Ide - author & editor.

Commas, periods, apostrophes, quotation marks, dashes and ellipsis, and hyphens:

COMMAS are used when restating a noun, example - My husband, Scott, ate the cabbage.
Scott is not necessary in the sentence, but it reminds you of his name. It can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence, therefore, put commas.

When clarifying the noun commas are not used -  My daughter Rachael is thirteen months older than her sister.  By the sentence you can tell I have more than 1 daughter and by stating Rachael I am clarifying which daughter I was speaking of.

PERIODS are used separating sentences. The rule used to be the period was followed by two spaces. Now the rule is one space following a period at the end of a sentence. When using (parenthesis) within a sentence the period follows (the closing parenthesis). Same with a (question mark)?

APOSTROPHES are used to show ownership. Example - Molly's boys, Scotty and Koby, are my grandchildren. When it comes to names like Chris or Matthews, the rules very so check with your publishing house. The 15th Edition of the Chicago Manual of Style says (Chris's wife, Rosie, is adorable) words ending with the eez sound should get the added s, where as The 16th Edition of the Chicago Manual of Style says no extra s is needed. (Chris' wife, Rosie, is adorable.) The Christian Writer's Manual of Style agrees with the 16th Edition of the CMoS. So when writing for Christian publication do not use the added s. Another time apostrophes are used is when letters or numbers are omitted. An example of that would be don't for do not...omitting the o. Or the '80's for the 1980's. Another time apostrophes are used is when pluralizing a lower case letter. Example is...mind your p's and q's. However we don't use them when saying "no ifs ands or butts about it" even though it looks weird.

I've got to stop here for a while. Scott gets a chest scan today, so I'll continue when we get back. We love his doctors. They are taking such good care of him.

I'm back. I have a confession to make. I've been back almost an hour but I started working on my completed manuscripts final corrections. Charlotte finished and I picked it up. Thanks again Charlotte.

Now I'm forcing myself to set it aside and complete my blog. Thank you for your patience.

Closing QUOTATION MARKS follow the period, question mark, exclamation mark, or comma. Example - My husband uses a saying my son-in-law, Pete, a bloke from England, taught him. "Bob's your uncle and Fannie's your aunt." "Do you like that saying?" "Scott loves it!" 

The exception to the rule is rare, but here is one. What gives them the right to claim, "Your characters are flat"?

DASHES & ELLIPSIS - Ellipses...are used for fragmented speech, usually accompanied by confusion, insecurity, distress, or uncertainty.  Example - "My glasses...where did I put them?" That's a common question I ask myself a lot. And like on the commercial, I (not the cat) find them on my head. Another time to use ellipses is at the end of a dialogue when the person's voice fades off.  "I hope I'm not too..."
Dashes (typed as two or three hyphens) are used to break a train of thought or an abrupt change in sentence structure. Chris can save the day--but will he be in time? Dashes are also used to show a person's dialogue being interrupted. "Boys, don't jump on the--" A crash from the other room quickly cut off her words.

HYPHENS - Compound modifiers containing nouns, adjectives, and participles are hyphenated when they are followed by a noun. Writing a novel is a time-consuming project.  But hyphens are not used when no noun follows. Writing a novel is time consuming.

Kathy Ide cleared a lot of things up for me on the class she taught through ACFW. I wrote these tips from my notes, and hopefully you will find them helpful. I still make some mistakes in my writing, but hopefully not too many on my punctuation. Thanks Kathy.

Take care, and God bless you all!!