Friday, February 21, 2014

The Duke

I have had the great privilege to belong to many writers' critique groups over my working life. Some have worked better than others.   
All have been helpful.
Even before anyone uttered a word of critique, the process of hearing my work being read aloud was beneficial.  Remember Duke Ellington’s rule on jazz?  

“If it sounds good, it is good.”

How to make sure dialogue has intensity?  
A few carefully honed words of dialogue can work better than paragraphs of explanation. Dialogue is character- specific. It moves your plot. It proclaims voice. Good dialogue has timing - it rings right in the ear. 

So go ahead and speak your written exchanges aloud, too. 
Remember the Duke!

You can find these and many other bon mots in my guide ELEMENTS OF THE NOVEL, published by New Street Communications.  Elements of the Novel

To celebrate the release of New Street Communication’s audiobook of my novel 
leave a comment here between now and April 11 and I will be happy to enter you in a drawing for a free download of the book from

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Welcome, readers!

I'm happy to be joining the blogosphere!  


I'm an author of historical novels, mostly set in America 
(I jumped the pond to Ireland once, in reverse of what my grandmother Teresa did in 1893).

Here's my website, containing more than you ever wanted to know about me--

The Name

I was going to call this blog Turtle Crossing, but that was taken.  
I popped in a Algonquin word that means "the place of the spirits"  
and clear sailing ahead...who knew?  

I hope you can find me here, and I hope you enjoy your time!

Deep blessings