Wednesday, March 26, 2014

An Experiment

The days are getting longer and hopefully warmer, but I realize that life is short, and getting shorter every day.

So, I made a conscious decision to free myself from Facebook's powerful grip. Instead of spending hours at a time perusing my news feed for exciting posts by my friends and family, I will log on once a week, for only one hour, to post on my professional pages.

If I didn't manage my business page and author page, I would cancel my account, but I know that as a writer and small business owner, keeping an online presence is very important. One of the best ways is through Facebook.

I love reading everyone's witty posts, watching videos, and learning new ways to recycle egg cartons, soda bottles, plastic forks, and Christmas cards. I look forward to seeing pictures of old friends, new friends, and family members. Sometimes, Facebook is the only way I communicate with my daughter who lives about 1000 miles away. I'll be honest here--I even love to play Candy Crush, Pet Rescue, and Farm Heroes.

I really do love Facebook, but it's a huge time-sucking distraction. My house is cluttered and unorganized, my family is neglected, and my writing is suffering. I want to have a conversation with my husband outside of work. I want to spend more time with my mother and sister. I want to take my grandchildren to the Crayola factory. I want to plant vegetables and flowers. I want to clear out all my e-mails, read all the blogs that I follow, interact with my Twitter followers (hopefully, I don't develop a Twitter addiction.) I want to go shopping with friends and watch movies and read books. I want to WRITE!...but most importantly, I want to feel more alive!

I'm hoping that my Freedom From Facebook Experiment forces me to go out, do things, and get some fresh air, for crying out loud. Just imagine all the cool blog posts, short stories, and novels I can produce if I'm moving and shaking, instead of staring at a computer screen.

Truth be told, I'm scared. Not that I'll miss the next exciting new Zynga game or that awesome viral video that everyone is talking about, but because I'm so addicted that I'm scared I won't be able to abstain. It will take all of my willpower to ONLY post on those pages once a week without scanning my personal news feed and getting sucked back in.

I'm not cutting myself off from the world. I can always be reached by telephone and/or e-mail. If you know where I live, you're always welcome to stop by and visit.

So, if I'm friends with you on Facebook, and I miss something really important to you like your birthday, anniversary, new baby, book release, graduation, new hairstyle, new car, new job or heaven forbid, a loss of some kind, please know that I'm happy, impressed, proud of you, and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Wish me luck. I'll need it. I'll keep you all updated...

Have you ever unplugged yourself from social media? How did it make you feel?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SHOW & SHARE--Workspaces--Lori Verni-Fogarsi

SHOW & SHARE is one of the new features for 2014, where writers can share photos and news. This feature will have its own tab at the top of the page to make it easy to find again and again. Have something to share? E-mail me at deestan62 @ gmail . com, with 'Show & Share' in the subject, and I'll be sure to post it for you. 

Lori Verni-Fogarsi

Three time award-winning author of "Momnesia," "Unexpecting," and "Everything You Need to Know About House Training Puppies and Adult Dogs."

Lori Verni-Fogarsi (LoriTheAuthor) shared some before and after photos of her desk and workspace saying, "It gets out of control very quickly and becomes overwhelming. Sometimes I just have to set aside half a day to get things back on track!"

Lori Verni-Fogarsi is an Author, Speaker, and Small Business Consultant

"Ignite," is Lori's latest release, 12/1/13 by Brickstone Publishing!

If you'd like to learn more about Lori Vern-Fogarsi and see what she writes at her desk, you can visit her at one of the following websites:

Author Site/Blog:

Publisher Site:

Thanks for sharing, Lori! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Contrary Cats--Author Interview with...Me!

So after all that scrambling to find the other contributors to Contrary Cats, I could not reach anyone else. But I do hope you enjoyed the past three interviews! I love to meet other writers and get to know a little bit about them, don't you?

Since I gave Melodie Caragill, Gerry Huntman, and Carla Sarett the interview questions, I thought I would answer them also. So today's post is by me! I am the author of the story, Inseparable.

Denise Stanley is a graduate of The Institute for Children's Literature. Her children's stories appeared on the now-defunct and in the anthology, 31 More Nights of Halloween. Denise also dabbles in adult fiction and poetry and is currently attempting to write a publishable novel.

How long have you been a writer?

I never knew how someone went about becoming a published author. For years and years, all of my stories and poems clanked around in my head. I didn't start writing until 2008, when I enrolled in ICL. I wish I had started a long time ago.

What is your favorite genre to write and/or read?

I read anything and everything, but the genre depends upon my mood. Some days it's hard for me to get involved in a fantasy world, and other days I soak it all up.  I've even read zombie stories that I surprisingly enjoyed. I usually read two books in different genres (one paperback and one e-book) at the same time.

As far as writing goes, I cannot write horror. I like to read it, but can't write it for the life of me. I enjoy trying out a little bit of everything, but I still haven't found that one genre that I'm passionate about.

Where did you get the idea for your story?

I talk to my cats as if they're people. Don't we all? One particularly stressful day, I was talking to my cat Cashmere, and I thought that if anyone heard me they would think I was off my rocker. Then, I wondered, 'What if a character had a conversation with a cat and what if the cat answered her?' and Inseparable was born.

What are you working on now?

Right now I'm working on the first draft of my second attempt at a novel. In between trying to pull the plot out of my head, I'm writing and submitting flash fiction and poetry.

Thanks to all of you for sticking around for my interview! If you'd like to get to know me better, you can find me socializing (and procrastinating) on:

Facebook and Twitter


Would you like a copy of Contrary Cats? 

You can purchase one here:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Contrary Cats--Author Interview with Carla Sarett

Today's guest is fellow contributor, Carla Sarett. Carla is the author of the story, Chopin for Igor.

Carla Sarett has worked in academia, TV, film and market research -- and in 2010, added fiction writing to the mix.  Her stories have been published in Crack the Spine, Loch Raven Review, The Linnet’s Wings, Eric’s Hysterics, Red Fez, Rose Red Review and other magazines. She has two story collections available through online retailers:  Strange Courtships:  Nine Romantic Stories and Crazy Lovebirds:  Five Super-Short Stories.  In addition,  Her stories are included in the anthologies, Love Hurts!, 13 Bites, as well as Contrary Cats.  Her essay, “Sam’s Will,” published in Blue Lyra Review, received a nomination for Best American Essay 2013.

Hi Carla! Welcome to A Room to Write.

How long have you been a writer?

I never wanted to be a writer, so it came as a shock to me when I started-- life’s a strange busines, isn’t it?. About a year after my mother death, I attempted to keep a journal and what emerged was fiction-- that was in 2010.  I’m a big believer in testing the waters, so I submitted to literary magazines soon thereafter -- and fortunately, encountered receptive editors.        

What is your favorite genre to write and/or read.

I love all kinds of literature--from Dickens to Alice Munro-- and anything that falls, more or less, into the literary fiction camp intrigues me.  I enjoy women writers in particular.  Right now, I’m absorbed by the English writer, Barbara Comyns, because she weaves dark, even bitter, humor into her stories, the scary, wonderful short fiction of Daphne du Maurier, and the downright amazing short fiction of  Mavis Gallant.  As for my own short fiction, I am eclectic -- I’ve dabbled in the surreal and romantic (e.g., Strange Courtships: Nine Romantic Stories) as well as humor (my flash fiction collection, Crazy Lovebirds: Five Super-Short Stories.)  

Where did you get the idea for your story?

This one came to me in a dream: I woke up and wrote it. Like all of my stories, this one has kernels of personal history and fact, blended with pure fiction. My family was a cat family -- and we had a few magical cats whose comings and goings were unpredictable. I can’t separate my childhood from those cats.  And over the years, I’ve heard other tales of owners (“cat people”) and their cats -- and somehow, those all came together in “Chopin for Igor.”  When I heard that there was to be “cat” anthology, I knew that it was the right venue for this peculiar story.   

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a romantic comedy/novel that is based on the heroine from “Career Girl” (published in the anthology, Love Hurts!), “Skinny Girl” (published in Red Fez), and “Bonny Lass” (in Strange Courtships.)  It’s different taking her on a longer journey (than I am allowed in a short story) -- I’m hoping that readers like the results.   I’m also hoping to return to the memoir I’m developing about my grandparents (the first part was published in Blue Lyra Review this year.)

Thanks for visiting with us today, Carla. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work.

If you'd like to get to know more about Carla, visit her websites. 

Carla’s Amazon Page:


Would you like a copy of Contrary Cats? 

You can purchase one here:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Contrary Cats--Interview with Gerry Huntman

Today, I'm happy to introduce another fellow contributor to the anthology, Contrary Cats. 

Gerry Huntman is the author of the story, Pretty Kitty.

Gerry Huntman is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia, living with his wife and young daughter. He is also a speculative and children's fiction publisher, managing two small publishing companies: IFWG Publishing and IFWG Publishing Australia. Just to add to his workload, he is also the publisher of a speculative fiction ezine, SQ Mag.

Gerry has published a story on average one per month since January 2010. He writes roughly equally among the three accepted genres of speculative fiction, and most sub-genres. However, most of his storied tend toward the dark. Recent acceptances include Aurealis Magazine, Stupefying Stories, Lovecraft eZine, BLEED charity anthology, and Night Terrors III pro anthology. He will be publishing a young teen fantasy novel in April 2014 (Cohesion Publishing).

Hi, Gerry. Welcome!

How long have you been a writer?

I think there's been quite a bit of discussion in the writing community, of late, regarding what constitutes a writer/author. Some would say that a person has to make x dollars, or y sales - which I have some sympathy for; while others might say that eligibility for membership of the various peak bodies (such as the SFWA, HWA), and there will also be those who believe that it is a state of mind - you are a writer if you love writing, creating, plotting, with the intention for growth in respectability in the community. I started writing seriously in 2008 and started submitting short fiction seriously from early 2010. In that time I have pretty much achieved the several definitions of being a writer. Regarding the last, more fluid, definition, I have been heavily involved in the roleplaying design community for near on 30 years, creating story lines, characters etc, so you could say I was a writer for that long, or perhaps, had an elongated apprenticeship.

What is your favorite genre to write and/or read?

Up to a few years ago, I would have answered fantasy (dark and more mainstream). But I have changed. I enjoy writing dark stories to an extent that I have become a convert to many types and sub genres of horror. My answer now is horror (although don't get me started on my belief that horror is not a genre, but a style). :)

Where did you get the idea for your story?

I really can't exactly remember when the kernel of the idea of 'Pretty Kitty' started. It is often an amalgam of a few stimuli. I think in this case I simply pondered what would an animal spirit be like, and what would be the conditions to make it happen. My story really does spend most of its time exploring that angle.

What are you working on now?

I am currently in the process of editing a few accepted pieces, including my young teen novel, 'Guardian of the Sky Realms', with a wonderful small press called Cohesion Publishing. I always have a short story in the works - in my head or in draft form - and I also contribute short fiction to a writing challenge group that has been in operation since 2008. I just finished a Weird Western (a great deal of fun).

Thanks for stopping by A Room to Write today. Good luck with your writing!

If you'd like to learn more about Gerry, you can visit him here:
IFWG Publishing:
IFWG Pub Australia:
SQ Mag:


Would you like a copy of Contrary Cats? 

You can purchase one here:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Contrary Cats--Interview with Melodie Corrigall

Some of you may have read one of my previous posts, Anthology Angst
Let me tell you, it was no small task finding and contacting the other authors involved with this project. Even when I did find them on Facebook or on their websites, most of them never answered my invitation. BUT there were a few gracious people who were happy to sit down and chat.

Here is the first in a week-long series of interviews with my fellow contributors to Contrary Cats:

My first guest is Melodie Corrigall, author of the story, Slicker-down.

Melodie Corrigall is a Canadian writer fortunate to have family and friends who have encouraged her creative efforts.  She appreciates the work of print and E-Zine publishers and editors, most of whom work for little or no money, for their dedicated efforts to keep short fiction available to readers and give writers, like herself, an opportunity to share their stories.

Hi, Melodie! Welcome to A Room to Write. 

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing stories from childhood but school, work, family and life got in the way of focusing on my fiction. Since retirement, I have had more time to write for pleasure and to hone my skills.

What is your favorite genre to read?

I am a theatre buff and like to see plays performed (hence enjoy dialogue) and to read novels and short stories, especially short comic pieces. 

What is your favorite genre to write?

Depending on the day, I like to meet the challenge of writing what a friend called “harrowing pieces” or if I am in a more whimsical mood to capture comic moments and possibilities.

Where did you get the inspiration for your story?

The story came from considering how a person might escape unwanted phone calls and how cats, naughty or nice, usually end up landing on their feet.

What are you working on now?

At present, I have a number of stories in the hopper: some serious and some whimsical.

Thanks so much for visiting today. Good luck in your writing, and I hope to read more of your work soon.

If you'd like to know more about Melodie, visit her website:


Would you like a copy of Contrary Cats? 

You can purchase one here:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Mickey Spillane

Born, Frank Michael Spillane on March 9, 1918 in Brooklyn, NY, Mickey Spillane was a pulp detective fiction writer. With more than two dozen novels, he was one of the top selling American authors of all time.  

Mickey's books were highly sadistic and sexual for the times. His covers were often lurid, featuring women in various states of undress. His books seemed sometimes misogynistic and downright misanthropic, but his 26 books have sold more than 200 million copies.  

I, the Jury, his first novel that introduced the character Mike Hammer, sold nearly a quarter of a million copies in its initial softcover run. The Mike Hammer books made the leap to movies almost immediately. Mickey Spillane once said that he didn't like any of the film adaptations of his books.

The TV series starring Darren McGavin ran from 1956-1959

The TV series starring Stacy Keach ran from 1984-1989.

Did you know?

Mickey Spillane grew up in Elizabeth, NJ. Through the years, he regularly attended Theodore Roosevelt Junior High School reunions.

Mickey didn't believe in self-adulation. When the town of Elizabeth named a street after him, he told the local newspaper, “Streets should be named after birds or numbers or something.”

Spillane started writing after returning home for the Army Air corps in order to raise enough money to buy some property.

Mickey Spillane played Mike Hammer in 1963 in The Girl Hunters.

He became a Jehovah's Witness in the 1950s.

Ayn Rand was a huge fan of Mickey Spillane's writing.

His first novel was written in 19 days!

Mickey worked in Barnum & Bailey's circus as a trampoline artist and was proficient in knife-throwing.

John Wayne gave Mickey a gift for his anti-communism--a Jaguar XK140.

He had an odd compulsiveness about punctuation and once insisted that 50,000 copies of Kiss Me, Deadly be destroyed because the the comma was left out of the title.

Spillane always dressed in black and white.

He wrote two children's books: The Day the Sea Rolled Back (1979) and The Ship That Never Was (1982).

Mickey started as a comic book writer in the 1940s. He wrote stories for Captain Marvel, Superman, Batman and Captain America.

Mickey Spillane died July 17, 2006 from pancreatic carcinoma at the age of 88 in Murrells Inlet, SC.