Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Preparing for the Holidays

 As I type this,  there are six days until Christmas.  Am I ready?  Cue hysterical laughter here.

I did manage to get Christmas cards out yesterday, which is too late to arrive on time, but my family is accustomed to my being fashionably late for the holidays.

I'm trying not to stress out about it.  I'm dealing with some deadlines that are coming up, and I'm trying not to stress out about that either.  

My goal for the rest of the year is to get as much writing and reading done as possible.  I'm 22,000 words away from hitting 200,000 words for the year.  Can I write 22k words between now and January 1st?  I'm about to find out.

Hoping you aren't stressing out this holiday season.  And that if you have goals for the end of the year, you meet them.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

A Quick Update

 I meant to post here last week, but I've been dealing with some minor health issues that have made it harder to get things done.  I'm hoping for a resolution soon.

I also want to take this opportunity to let you know that I will be on the "D&D Live" radio show tomorrow (12/8) at 8:30 am (EST).  If you live in Highlands county, you can listen on am 730 am or 95.3 fm.  If you don't live there, you can still listen online at https://www.newstalk730am.com/.  I'll be talking about the latest column collection and whatever else comes to mind.  

Hope December is treating you well and you are finishing out the year strong.  I'll talk to you again soon.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Just a short note to wish all my readers a most wonderful Thanksgiving.  If you don't celebrate, I hope you have a great Thursday.

I am thankful to you for your reading and support.  I'm having a delightful time at my oldest son's house with his family, our youngest son, and my daughter-in-law's younger brother.  I hope you are having a great time with people you love today.

Friday, November 17, 2023

It's alive!

 I'm delighted to tell you that "Laura's Look One Hundred" is LIVE on the ebook side.  The print book will be out on November 20th.  You can check out the book on Amazon here.

The columns range from funny to serious, news of the day to news of the weird.  With one hundred columns to choose from, you're sure to find one that speaks to you.

Friday, November 3, 2023

Life Roll

 I am late with this update, but there is a reason.

I suffer from several mental issues, including anxiety, depression, and ADHD.  I take medication to help me deal with life in spite of my wacky brain chemistry.  Most of the time, they work.  Occasionally, they seem to take a vacation.

But they can't help me if I forget to take them.

I somehow skipped my meds on Wednesday.  I didn't realize it until Thursday, when I looked at my pillbox and saw Wednesday's meds glaring at me.  But it explained a lot.

The past two or three days taught me I really do need these pills, as much as I don't like admitting it.  I managed to keep up my writing streak by sheer determination.  I wound up taking Thursday morning off from everything, despite the fact I had a lot to do.  I am still behind in some stuff.

I'm starting to feel better.  I think.  I'm hoping tomorrow will find me more on an even keel.  We'll see.

But the news around here isn't all bad.  My short story "Black Deeds on a Black Friday" starts off a lovely anthology for the holidays called Crooked Little Christmas.  Here's a picture of the cover bvelow:

You can check it out on Amazon here.

Also, Laura's Look One Hundred, my latest column collection, is available as an ebook on Amazon (other markets to come):

That's it for now.  Hope November is good to you.

Monday, October 16, 2023

Spinning plates

 Lately I feel as if I'm spinning a number of plates in my life.  They're all on poles and I have to keep them spinning lest they fall and break.  There are a number of them so I'm currently rushing around,  trying to keep them all going without dropping one.

In the writing department, I'm struggling with low word counts (I do write at least 250 words each day - my streak is over 1100 days right now).  I'm working to get my column collection done so I can send it to mt waiting backers.  I'm in the middle of a short story and I'm stuck because I can't figure something out.  Oh, and I'm taking a six-week course on writing that I'm enjoying and learning from but, like everything else, it takes time.

In real life, I've been working with a new (to me) diet and exercise plan.  So far, in about 2 months, I've dropped twenty pounds.  I'm pleased with it but it takes up time and brain space to keep up with.  Another couple of plates to spin.

And, in general, I lead a full life.  I teach a Ladies Bible Class on Tuesday mornings.  I teach four and five-year-old kids during Wednesday night Bible Study.  My husband and I try to match our schedules so we can spend time together and work on our relationship on a daily basis.  And there's running the household with all that entails.

Just typing that out makes me sigh.

I'm trying to, as a friend put it, "give myself grace."  I'm accepting I'm not perfect and doing the best I can under the circumstances.  So far my head is still above water.  I'm meeting my obligations and working on solutions.

What do you do when it seems you have a lot to do?  How do you keep YOUR plates spinning?

Monday, October 2, 2023

Fall is here...

 ...unless you live in Central Florida, where today it was in the mid-eighties and fall has not yet made an appearance.  When it finally does, it may well be a blink-and-you'll-miss-it kind of thing.  Summers are long around here, part of the price we pay for being able to go outdoors in February and not freeze our noses off.

Last post I said I needed to send out stories.  Last week I managed to get three sent out before a looming September 30th midnight deadline.  I have no idea how these stories will fare at the markets I sent them off to.  But time will tell.

I am currently finishing up a short story I will submit to an anthology magazine called Thrill Ride.  Below is a picture of me holding the latest issue, called "No W.W.M. (White Western Males)".  My story "One More Time" tells the story of a former female hacker dying of breast cancer who is persuaded to do a final job.

You can click here to see where to purchase your own copy.

I've still been writing every day but September seemed to be a light month for that.  But now we have a new month and I'm looking forward to getting words done and out.

Talk to you in a couple of weeks.  Hope you have cool weather to enjoy.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Sending stories out.

 I currently have over one hundred short stories that are gathering digital dust on my hard drive.  I know I need to do something with them.

One possibility is to send them out to markets that buy short fiction.  Note: "buy," not get for free.  Some publications claim that "exposure" is just as good as getting paid.  As for as I know you can't pay for your groceries with exposure.

This sounds simple enough.  And it really isn't hard.  It does take time, and recently I've found myself falling into the (bad) habit of not taking the time out to send stories out.

And yes, usually the answer that comes back is "no."  Sometimes it's a nice "no," as in, "This is really good but we can't use it,"  But one thing you learn quickly in this business is that "no" is a more common answer than "yes" when it comes to selling your short fiction.

I could also bundle my short fiction into collections.  I've done this in the past and am tentatively  planning to release a holiday collection in November.  This also takes time.

I know I can do it.  I have a system to ensure it gets done.  Time to blow the dust off it and get going again.  Those stories aren't going to send themselves.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Only a few days left...

 Hey all.  My Kickstarter funded!  This means I will be able to get my column collection put out for you to read.

I'm excited about this project.  It has let me relive a number of times in my life.  I think the columns I've chosen are a good representation of "Laura's Look" across the years.

The Kickstarter will end September 7th.  There is still time to be a part of it.  Would you take a moment and check it out here?  I'd appreciate it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

My Kickstarter is LIVE.

 Hey all.  Hope you're having a great rest of the summer and managing to stay cool despite the weather almost anywhere in the United States.

I'm thrilled to announce that my Kickstarter for my upcoming column collection "Laura's Look 100" went live early this afternoon.  As I type this, it's at $193 - just over $100 away from funding.  

If you like reading columns written with a warped point of view, this collection is worth checking out.  Go here to see it for yourself.  And below is a picture of the front cover of the upcoming book:

I hope you'll check it out.  Thanks for reading.  See you next month!

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Where Did July Go?

 I am having trouble believing we are now in August.  July went by way too quickly.

Two events in July: 

At the beginning of the month I attended Shore Leave in Maryland.  As always, a wonderful time checking in with fellow wordsmiths and meeting new people.  This year I brought books for the first time to sell, and actually sold two (that may not look like a lot but believe me it's better than zero).

At the end of the month Don and I took a trip to South Carolina to see grandbabies.  Lavinia, who is five, is set to begin kindergarten this month.  Again I ask, where did the time go?  

It was a wonderful visit despite the air conditioning in the house going out near the end of it.  We all took it in stride and still enjoyed the precious time we had with the family.

I have no trips scheduled for the next few months and I hope to use that time to catch up on stuff.  Believe me, there is plenty to catch up on!

Hope you had a great July.  Let's see what August has in store for us.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Blew Past a Couple of Milestones...

 At the end of June I hit two milestones and forgot to mention them.

First, "Laura's Look" is officially 25 years old.  That's a lot of columns and a lot of patience and grace from the Highlands News-Sun.  My thanks to them for continuing to run it.

I'm working on a special way to celebrate this 25th year.  Stay tuned for more information.  For now, if you'd like to read the earliest columns, you can pick up "Laura's Look: 1998-2000" at Amazon:

The second milestone has to do with my writing every day.  At the end of June I passed the three year mark.  That's three years of putting word down every single day, with no breaks.  I'm kind of proud of that streak and hope to continue it for some time to come.

I'm hoping to share some big news at the beginning of August.  Stay cool, stay safe, and I'll see you then.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

The First Half of the Year is Done...

 Where did the time go?  It feels like the past six months have flown by without stopping to catch its breath.  Yet here we are, the beginning of July.

Looking at my writing stats for the year so far, I managed to eke out 100,484 words.  That number could be better - I wanted to be at 150,000 by now - but it's still a respectable number for me.

Notice I said, "for me."  Not for you, not for Stephen King, not for any other writer.  Comparing myself to others on this and other aspects of writing would simply make me crazy and discouraged.  

I am going to try to push it some the second half of the year.  While I have trips planned, none are of the magnitude of the Hawaiian cruise.  I can goose the writing a little bit and get more done.

As far as the publishing side of things, I've gotten out a short story collection and two novels, one of which is book 5 of a series I cowrite with fellow author Azure Avians.  I'm sort of on track with this, wanting to get seven things published this year.  I'm currently working on a project for another column collection and have a couple of books I'd like to get published before the end of the year.

What goals do you have looking at the rest of 2023?

By the way, I will be attending Shore Leave in Hunt Valley, Maryland this upcoming weekend.  Below is my schedule for the panels I will participate in.  If you're in the area, I'd love to see you.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Finding My Groove

 One bad thing about being on vacation for almost two weeks is I've lost my writing groove.  While I managed to write every day, it continued to be less than five hundred words more often than not.

It didn't help this week I got two pieces of bad news that impacted my mood and writing.  One night I started to cry from fatigue and sadness.  I had people to get me through it, and I did eke out a few words that night.  

I also have a number of things I need to get done.  It's sometimes hard to pick what to do from all the choices.  I hope I can pick one and focus - just a matter of which one.

Let me finish this blog post by wishing all dads a Happy Father's Day.  Wish I could call my dad and talk to him.  Make sure you call yours.

Thursday, June 1, 2023


 Don and I got back to Florida a couple of days ago after spending nearly two weeks in Hawaii.  It was a marvelous time and great to get away for a bit and see something new.

We cruised around the islands, ate too much good food, and bought a ton of souvenirs.  It was a lot of fun and worth the jet lag we're both experiencing.

And, to my amazement, I kept up my writing streak of at least 250 words a day.  The count was often closer to 250 words than 500 words, but the fact I wrote despite fatigue and numerous distractions is a win.  Credit goes to Don, who made sure I got to the laptop even when I wasn't feeling it.  He knew I would be glad he did.

Hoping your summer is kicking off to a good start.  Until next time!

Monday, May 15, 2023


 First, the good news.  The book signing earlier this month went off very well.  I sold a few books, made some contacts, and enjoyed interacting with readers.  Thanks to Gaylin Thomas for her preparation and encouragement.  Thanks also to my husband Don, who cheerfully carted books to and from the museum.

I still have a few books left.  They include two of my collections, Five Female Gumshoes and Seeking Refuge and other Bible Stories; my two latest novels Seek and Ye Shall Find and Death on the Air; and my first collection of columns from 1998-2000.  

If you would be interested in getting a signed copy sent to you, email me at laura@laurahware.com for prices.  First come, first serve.  I would prefer to be paid via Paypal but we can discuss alternatives.

That's the good stuff.  The bad?  For days I've been struggling with my main laptop, which has, for reasons I don't quite comprehend, decided to no longer run Office apps.  They will start off okay and then a box will pop up informing me the program has run into a problem and must close.

I have run a virus and malware scan on the system.  I have uninstalled and reinstalled Office several times to no avail.  It has taken up more of my time then I like and I'm uncertain what the solution is (all Microsoft haters please do not tell me to abandon the apps).

So the past week or so has been a rollercoaster.  Despite the computer problems things are looking up - in a few days Don and I leave to take a cruise around the Hawaiian islands.  Look for pictures on Facebook and possibly here.

Until next time, have a great week.

Monday, May 1, 2023

A Book Signing

 On Saturday, May 6th, I will be at the Peter Powell Roberts Museum of Art in Avon Park, Florida (310 W. Main Street) from 2-4 PM.  The museum is on the second floor of the Avon Park Community Center and has elevator access.

I will be there to say hi and sign books.  Not only will I have copies of my latest novel, Death on the Air, I will have other books available as well.  There will be light refreshments served.

If you live in the area, I hope you drop by to say hi!

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Quick update

 I just wanted readers of this blog to know I will be on a local radio show Friday, April 28th, at 8:30 am (Eastern) to talk about my latest novel, "Death on the Air."

If you live in Highlands County, Florida and wish to tune in, you'll find WWTK at am730 or fm 730.

Live outside of the listening area?  No problem.  Click here to listen online.

It promises to be a lot of fun.  Hope you'll give it a listen!

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Behind on so many levels...

My normal schedule of things has me posting on this blog on the 1st and 15th of every month.  Unfortunately, real life did not conform to my schedule, and so this post is a day late.

It's not the only thing that has me running like crazy to catch up.  In my last post I said I was going to do my Kickstarter this month.  After much reflection on how much work is left to be done, I've decided to postpone it until June.  I want it to be good, and that's more important than it being done in April.

I'm also a judge for a writing contest and need to step up my reading speed if I'm to get all of the entries read in time.  The coordinator graciously extended the deadline (we got three additional books on short notice) so I'm taking advantage of that.

I get frustrated when I fall behind.  Part of my problem is that there is SO MUCH to do that I get paralyzed trying to pick one thing from all of it.  At that point, none of it gets done.  Plus, I have ADD (look, squirrel!) and it causes me to get easily distracted.

I'd love to hear from you how you deal with falling behind.  What do you do when you have a huge list of things to do to make sure SOMETHING gets done?  How do you know when to work on catching up and when to simply reschedule?  I'm curious.

That's it for now.  I'll see you in May!

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Grandbabies, Publications, and Writing Streaks

 Lots to talk about today.  

1) First, I had a WONDERFUL time in South Carolina near the end of March visiting my grandchildren.  Lavinia is going to be 5 in a few days and Matthias is 3.  They and their parents love having us visit and we made some good memories.

2) My latest novel Death on the Air is now available as an ebook and will soon be in print.  You can purchase the ebook from your favorite site by clicking here  (if your site isn't listed, let me know and I'll make sure it's included).  Here's a look at the cover:

3) On March 25th I hit a milestone - my 1,000th day in a row of writing.  That means I've made new words every day for nearly three years now.  It feels like quite the achievement, and now I'm looking to see if I can bump it even higher.

I'm hoping to launch my first Kickstarter this month.  Stay tuned for more information.

Hope you have a amazing April!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Publishing news!

 First, my short story, "The Jerusalem Plot," will appear in the premiere issue of Thrill Ride Magazine.  It's currently available for preorder here.  I'm excited about being a part of this and I hope you'll check it out.

Secondly, my Christian suspense novel Death on the Air will be coming out later this month.  Subscribers to my newsletter have already seen the cover (if you want to subscribe, there's a link on the left side of this page).  Here is the blurb:

Sandra Benson appears to have her life in order. A Christian with a popular talk radio show, she makes sure no one sees her struggles with alcohol and tries to tell herself it’s not a big deal. 

Then a caller who names himself “Lucifer” makes a startling statement - he killed a woman. Sandra is rattled by the call, especially when she learns she has a connection to the dead woman. 

As her life slowly unravels thanks to Lucifer, Sandra struggles to help stop him. Because he isn’t done killing - and she fears she may be next.

And I'm ending this post with a question for those of you who read my weekly column "Laura's Look."  Do you have a favorite?  I'd love to hear about it.  drop me a line at my email address laura@laurahware.com.  

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Getting Rid of "Only"

 In some ways, February was a challenging month.  It was busy, I started the month with a nasty cough (thank you, pine pollen), and in general wasn't feeling at the top of my game.

My column still went out every week.  I still wrote every day, even if it wasn't a lot.  In the end I wrote 12,226 words in February.

Talking with a couple of fellow writers, I bemoaned that I'd "only" written around twelve thousand words.

Carolyn, one of the writers, encouraged me to change my thinking.  She framed it like this: despite having a difficult month, I succeeded in writing over twelve thousand words.

That gave me pause.  Looking at it that way, it wasn't a failure on my part, but something to celebrate.  Feeling good about the writing increases the chance I'll do it.  

"Only" was a weight that held me back from what I'd truly accomplished.

So, despite a difficult month, I wrote every day, my column went out every week, and I wrote over twelve thousand words.  (I also have a book out to my copyeditor - look for Death on the Air later this month)

If you, like me, find yourself saying, "I only did..." see if you can reframe it.  Turn it into a positive.

You'll be amazed at how it helps your attitude.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Random stuff...

 First off, you should know that as I am an honorary groundhog (having been born on Groundhog's Day) and did NOT see my shadow.  Early spring is my prediction.

I have been working on various projects this month, but things seem to be moving slowly for some reason.  I'd developed a cough at the end of January/beginning of February which slowed me down a little but it's pretty much gone.  I'd hoped to have Death on the Air to my copyeditor by now, but no such luck.

But I've still written every day - sometimes not much, but it counts.  My streak is at 962 days right now, which means I'll probably hit 1,000 days sometime in March.

While I catch up on my work, there's still time for you to check out my friend Matt Buchman's Kickstarter for Thrill Ride Magazine..  It ends on the 21st, so don't delay.  Go here and see all the goodies he's offering.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Want to give a head's up...

 A friend of mine, Matt Buchman, an excellent writer and editor, is currently doing a Kickstarter for an action adventure/thriller quarterly magazine called Thrill Ride.  He's got nearly 50 stories lined up for the first year - two of them are mine.

I believe in this project and would like to see it happen.  If you are so inclined, could you click here and check it out?  I assure you it's well worth your time!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

2023 Goals (So Far)

 As I mentioned in a previous post, I want to share with you some things coming up this year.  These are based on goals I've set and hope to accomplish in 2023.

I want to continue my writing streak of getting words done every day.  So far I've managed to do so even though there were times it was tough.  Right now the streak stands at 947 days - 1,000 isn't that far away.

My friend Karen and I figured out there are SEVEN projects I want to publish.  I don't know if I can get them all out this year, but there are some that are a priority.  Three I know for sure will be out by the end of June are as follows:

-- Sorcery and Steel: Tempest.  Co-written with Azure Avians, this is the fifth book in our fantasy series.  I'm in the midst of writing the last chapter now, and we plan to have copies available for Shore Leave in July.

-- Laura's Look x100.  This year marks the 25th year of my column "Laura's Look."  I'm celebrating with a Kickstarter in April for a book that will include 100 of my columns that have been published over the years.  I'm looking at a June release for this, so stay tuned.

-- Death on the Air.  This is a Christian suspense novel.  A Christian radio talk show host gets a disturbing call on her show - a man confesses to a murder.  As events transpire, she learns there are more deaths to come - one of them hers.  I'm hoping to get this out the end of this month or beginning of March.

Hope you have a lovely February.  I'll talk to you again soon.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

A Workout in Vegas

 So last week I found myself in Las Vegas, Nevada, attending a Fantasy Caper writing workshop taught by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, who as a bestselling author knows a thing or three thousand about writing that kind of a story.

Along with nine other writers, I attended lectures, wrote exercises and a short story, and let me tell you - it wasn't easy.  This is a difficult subgenre to write well, a lesson we all quickly learned as we struggled with bringing enough description into our exercises and stories.

Understand that all the writers attending (myself included) are not bad writers.  Kris made a point of repeating that fact over and over.  This is hard, she said.  It's a new thing you're learning.

Writing a fantasy caper is like trying to walk, chew gum, juggle, skip rope, and yodel - all at the same tine.  There are a lot of different things going on in such a story, and you need to be on top of all of them.

I have my notes and assignments.  I look forward to adding this tool to my writer's toolbox.

Some of you are probably asking, "But did she have fun?"

Why, yes, yes I did.  I got to spend time with friends I hadn't seen in real life for a bit.  I got to write, something that I enjoy.  But, in case you're wondering, I didn't gamble.  For one thing, there was no time.  For another, I needed my money for meals, which were expensive, though overall good quality.

I'm back home and nearly caught up on sleep.  It was a great time working out my writing muscles.  I hope I will be able to attend another one in the future.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Happy New Year!

 I hope your year got off to a decent start today.  

I took a look over my accomplishments in writing in 2022.  I wrote a total of 246,529 words.  Not the 300k I was aiming for but it still counts as my second-best year ever writing.  So I'm counting that as a win.

I wrote 15 short stories and a novel in 2022.  I sold 3 of the short stories and published one.  I also published a collection .

Getting things sent and published is a weakness for me.  It's something I want to work on in 2023, as well as continuing to make new words.

In the weeks and months ahead, I'll try to share with you what I'm doing in these areas.  The next big thing on my list is a Fantasy Caper workshop in Vegas that starts a week from tomorrow.  I'm having fun writing a story for the workshop.

May 2023 be an improvement over 2022.  Thanks for walking this road with me.