Making Changes!


After more than two years of the same image for my gravatar, I decided it was time for a change. The black and white road that has defined me on like buttons and comments was special to me as it had a special connection to my first novel.  While that image is still important to me, it does not represent my current obsession with Novel #2.

For long time blogosphere friends, I might look like a stranger on your sites, so I thought I’d introduce my new identifying image. As I gear up for WriteOnCon and the next steps for Novel #2, I wanted to create an image that not only reflects the novel, but also serves as a beacon of inspiration. The compass has always been a strong symbol to me personally, which is why it’s only natural it ended up in my novel. It’s only fitting that it should become my new gravatar:


My new gravatar image.

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What do you think?

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c.b.w. 2013

Book Review: How I Got Published


How I Got Published: Famous Authors Tell You in Their Own WordsHow I Got Published: Famous Authors Tell You in Their Own Words by Ray White

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The title alone is enough to grab the attention of any writer dying to get published. Famous and not-so-famous authors share their stories of failure and eventual success in the brutal business of publishing.

Organized into short essays, a number of authors write about their experiences with query letters, rejections, agents, deals gone wrong, and the unpredictable nature of the literary scene. It’s a tough industry to break into and they are very honest about the fact that publishing is not for those with paper-thin skin or a gelatinous spine. As horrible as that sounds, each author’s story has a strong sense of optimism brought on by a taste of success. The odds of snagging an agent or a book deal may be small, but anything is possible.

Two pieces of advice dominate How I Got Published from start to finish. First, there is no perfect tried and true method of getting published. Second, persistence is a writer’s greatest weapon. The only way to find the right agent or get your work in front of an editor is to put it out there and do so relentlessly. Send query letters even when nothing but rejections follow. Keep revising and writing until no word goes untouched. What it all comes down to is hard work, a little luck, and a great story.

The only flaw with an otherwise highly motivational and encouraging read is a problem with repetition. While every author has their own unique story, they all start to blur together about halfway through the book. Furthermore, most of the writers showcased are mystery and crime fiction writers. Little attention is given to writers in other genres, thereby limiting the inside perspective on agents and publishing houses.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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c.b.w. 2013



Watchful scholars,
cure vacant minds
Hands open wide,
catch empty thoughts
The portal opens,
welcoming all
Leave ignorance
standing outside


Entrance to the Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Photo by: c.b.w. 2005

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In honor of Mother’s Day, I hope it can be forgiven that this week’s Sunday Abroad is a day late.

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c.b.w. 2013

21 Moments of Gratitude For Mom


Dear Mom,

There are no cards that say the right thing, so I made this list for you. An unorthodox gift it may be, but then nothing about us is ordinary. You are an amazing person and mother – I am so lucky to have you in my life.

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1. You always let me be myself (even when I’m weird). I’ve always been so thankful for that.

2. I love that we share a love of writing. I like to think it’s in the genes.

3. You are so funny and you always make me laugh.

4. I love learning from you.

5. Your love of chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cups is epic.

6. Your poetry is witty, unique, honest, and brave. Just like you.

7. Perhaps one day I will inherit your strength.

8. The way you love and understand animals always amazes me.

9. You gave me more than few swift kicks in the ass I will always be grateful you were there to keep me on the right path.

10. I’ll never forget how you hugged me after Grandma passed away. In that moment, I knew everything was going to be okay.

11. Your compassion for others makes this world a better place.

12. I love it that we drive matching cars.

13. Thank you for teaching me how to crochet granny squares and the basics of knitting.

14. When I am down, I know you are there to pick me up.

15. You make the best chicken noodle soup. Ever.

16. Thanks to you, I know my States. The license plate game was pure genius.

17. Tuesday is my favorite day because I know you might stop by for a cup of coffee and a little blogging.

18. Your laugh is contagious.

19. You can work a smartphone better than I can and that makes you incredibly cool.

20. You are easy to talk to . . . about anything.

21. You are one of a kind and I’m honored to call you my mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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c.b.w. 2013