Halloween is one of America’s favorite holidays. But, what started it and why?

It originated in Ireland 2,000 years ago, with the Celtic festival of Samhain, when people lit bonfires and wore costumes to ward off ghosts, goblins, witches, black cats, and demons. They believed. the souls of the dead revisited their homes on October 31st.

Many, to this day, believe Halloween is akin to paganism.

Something I found interesting is the origination of the Jack-0-Lantern. Legend says there was a stingy drunk named Jack, who tricked the devil into climbing an apple tree for an apple, but then cut the sign of a cross into the trunk of the tree, to prevent the devil from coming down. He forced the devil to swear he would never come after his soul and the devil reluctantly agreed.

When Jack died, he was turned away at the gates of heaven, and sent to the devil, who also rejected him. As he was leaving hell, he was eating a turnip. The devil threw a live coal at him. Jack put the coal inside the turnip and since then he roams the earth with his Jack-0-Lantern.

Happy Halloween,




Are you a fiction writer?   Check this out

I tried several Editing programs,—all good, but one stands out for me: AutoCrit— WHY?

AutoCrit is designed especially for Fiction Writers.

The program di-sects your writing, looking at pacing, word choices, repeated words, pacing, sentences, phrases, dialogue, and more; analyzes it, and presents its findings.

AutoCrit’s editing program sees what you miss, and advises you, making it easy to revise without changing your meaning.

A huge plus is comparing your writing to others also writing in your genre. I find it valuable to know how my fiction compares to other successful authors.

Try it, FREE, by clicking on the link below.

Happy Editing, Paula





“Anyone can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in the error.” Cicero 43-44 B.C

That quote was meant for me! 

I want to tell you a story—a story others may find they have experienced and, others who have not given it any thought, until now— by telling all of my readers about the mistakes I made, and admitting I should have known better.

When I completed my Trilogy, I, knew I was capable of grammatical and punctuation errors, so I sought professional advice and a referral for someone to edit my books.  Of course, price was a motivating factor, and so I enlisted the services of a private professional individual to read and edit my books. I sent the corrected manuscripts to a publisher of e-books, and when they advised me they were completed, and ready to send, I assumed my converted manuscripts were corrected of all errors.  I WAS SO WRONG.

Besides the e-books listed on all major retailers, I now have printed books for the trilogy, all containing errors. I am now the not-so-proud owner of hundreds of books, which are not saleable.  I blame no one but myself.  My shredder will get a major workout.

I strongly suggest you select a well-known and respected Editor, before attempting to publish.  Also, re-read the corrections before sending it for publication, and again when conversion is done.  This would have saved me time and money.  $$$…READ…READ…READ $$$…and then READ again. This motto is sitting on my desk right now.

If you are willing to read these e-books, errors and all, you can download them on your reader by going to the following link and you will receive the first book of the Trilogy, HIDDEN HILLS “The Search.”   In exchange I would sincerely appreciate your thoughts and comments.




This Text Book is available on AMAZON for only $8.48Click on Photo to Purchase                     Learn how using Metaphors can bring life to your story.

Want to add a little Spice to your writing?  Try using Metaphors/ Similes.

            What is the difference between a Simile and a Metaphor?     Similes use like or as. “I feel like the last rose of Summer”) A Metaphor does not.

Simile refers to something as being the same, when it is not. A Metaphor compares two objects (“Birds of a feather flock together”)

When you speak of a person, place or action as being something else, even though it is not the same, you are speaking metaphorically. The use of metaphors appeals to the creative imagination of your readers, and adds dimension to conversations and your characters.

Metaphors are used every day in songs, poetry, literature, the Bible, and conversations. Most of the time, we do not realize it because we hear them over and over.


If you want to express an emotion or action as a metaphor, let your imagination run wild by completing a sentence using one of the five senses (Touch, Sight, Taste, Smell, and Sound).

Imagine the word is Lecture.

1.His lecture  is as sweet as honey.

2.His lecture  stinks.

3.His lecture  brings light to the darkness.

4.His lecture  rings true.

5.His lecture   is as cold as a winter day.

If none of the above senses work, use your imagination and try another word.  Be original.

  1. His speech reminded me of a candidate running for election.
  2. His speech reminds   me of a desperate salesman.
  3. His speech brings music to my ears

After you decide on a metaphor, ask yourself–Is it clear, vivid, readable, and does it relate to your thoughts for the character, or scene

In my latest story, a young woman is hospitalized with a serious injury and she is feeling sorry for herself.   Below are a few Metaphors I used to express her emotions:

  1. My head feels like I consumed too much wine the evening before.

2.  I am alone, and feel as one does in a crowded room filled with strangers.

  1. I am like a rose, watching my petals fall off, one by one, until there is none.

There are many Self-Help books out there and information, ready to educate writers. In my research I always find more than I hoped for—so, beginning with this post, I plan to share the links to books and other sources, I find valuable to all of us writers.

 Text Book available on AMAZON…$8.48 Learn how using Metaphors can bring life to your story. Click on Photo.

Happy Metaphor, Paula



Every now and then a writer needs inspiration. I know I do. Rather than sitting at your computer with a blank stare, try the following.

book-rose-sml        Read other Books.

If you write History, read history books, and learn mannerisms, dialect, dress, all of which can produce realistic dialogue.  If it’s Romance you are interested in, then read the books from the  best romance authors, and learn  how they convey love, passion, devotion, or the opposite –deceit, betrayal, and disloyalty. The same goes for writing Mysteries, Science Fiction, or Horror.  I find after reading a book, I can’t wait to return to my own writing desk.

music-         Listen to MUSIC

Music always inspires me—especially from an artist I admire.  Sometimes, all I want to hear is Classical; like Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, which pulls me emotionally into a creative state, or any Piano Concerto by Chopin or Mozart that I can listen to for hours on end. Many times, I go back to the music of years past, and play my favorite ballads or the music of the swing era.


One of the most important incentives is the BLOG of others who write about everything and anything relevant to life. I am amazed at how many Blog authors have a natural talent of finding interesting subjects to write about.  They help me find a new positive attitude when I am at a loss for inspiration.  Blogs offer you the opportunity to see how others think, and how to develop a fresh look at your craft.  They improve my style; my presentation; and are helpful in guiding me to write something my readers will enjoy.

“There is always Room at the Top”   Daniel Webster”              READ QUOTES

If I am writing a paranormal book, I look for quotes that touch on this subject.  If it is a contemporary book, I look for quotes that touch on life today.   There are many ways to find quotes to inspire your writing, you can Google it, or do as I did and purchase a book of Quotations. .


Magazines—On-line articles that take on a new meaning. Take a walk on the beach— dip your feet in the water and return to nature. Remember your dreams and jot them down. Read the  newspapers for interesting articles, and ask google for information on how others inspire themselves.

Happy writing, Paula



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      “Every person’s feelings have a front-door and a side-door by which they may be entered”

(Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.)



I was, and it was the biggest let-down I could ever imagine. My first reaction was: if I could not bring life to my characters, why am I writing?  I put the rejected manuscript in a drawer, hidden in shame. After weeks of disappointment, I took the manuscript out of the drawer and   re-read my draft.  That is when I realized, although I felt the emotions and feelings of my characters, I neglected to reflect those feelings in my writing.

It was evident I had to learn the difference between emotions and feelings. I found a wonderful Article written by David Corbett, in Writers’ Digest.

Emotion is created through action generated by the character. Sometimes it is an action not expected of your character.  Sometimes the character is experiencing multiple emotions in the scene you are creating.  One thing I did learn is to ask myself what is the obvious response my character might have, and then what other emotion is possible. His advice: To make your characters more real, give them unexpected reactions to the scene playing out.  In writing a mystery, the character may exhibit misdirected emotions to overlook the obvious.

Feelings require mental examination of the thoughts and motives of your characters. You can create empathy for your character with feelings.  Is it right or wrong to feel this way? Would a stronger person feel the same?  Is it the only response for the character?  Is the response worse or better than the response to other situations?  Allow your readers enough information to process the meaning of what happened and make a plan how to proceed.  Start with an unexpected element, or a surprise, and find a physical analogy for it.

Using both together, I learned that I can create a character that changes from the beginning to the end of my story. Further, he advises that through the thoughts and actions of the characters, the reader is also taken along the same path of self-awareness as the characters.

With this information, I re-wrote my manuscript, hoping to succeed in bringing my characters to life and not having to experience the same discouraging review again.

I thank David Corbett, author of “The Art of Character, for his informative piece.

Happy Writing,