Gone Writing


Capturing a Royal Baby Christening Then and Now


In 1841 Charles Robert Leslie wrote to Lord Melbourne requesting permission to paint the christening of Queen Victoria’s first child. After reading Leslie’s letter, the Queen agreed that Leslie could make a quick sketch at the christening.

For months after the ceremony, Leslie studied the Princess Royal, the Queen, and attendees except the Queen Dowager who was ill. One year later the painting was still unfinished. When the King of the Belgians finally received a print impression in 1849, he remarked that the likenesses were unsuccessful.

Since the birth of William and Kate’s son on July 22nd, the media has speculated about who will capture the first image of Prince George at his christening in October. Hopefully the photo will elicit more favorable comments than Leslie’s painting. No pressure.

Revising and Editing (Macheté Not Included)


Remember Jack T. Colton from the movie, Romancing the Stone? While he and romance novelist, Joan Wilder, are lost in a Colombian jungle, he wields his macheté and chops off her shoe heels. She says, “These were Italian.” He replies, “Now they’re practical.”

If I want to sell my manuscripts, I have to be practical, too. That means ruthlessly cutting characters, backstory, and other elements, which aren’t essential to the story. Sometimes the process is like hacking my way through a jungle. Too bad a macheté and Jack T. Colton aren’t included.

How do you make revising and editing easier?

Confessions of a Romance Reader


Although I would love to read while wearing a gorgeous dress in the woods like the young woman in the painting, I’m usually clad in pajamas and sitting at my computer or in a living room chair. Maybe Santa will bring me a Kindle this year. Meanwhile my TBR stack reminds me of the movie, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain. Alas, without Hugh Grant’s character, Reginald Anson, or rescue dogs in the event of an avalanche.

In case you didn’t know, August is Read-a-Romance Month. My current selections are Lily Everett’s novella, The Firefly Café, and Cecilia Grant’s A Lady Awakened.

Which romance books are you reading this month? Confessions optional.


Read-a-Romance Month Links:



What’s on My Writing Shelf Other Than Dust Bunnies?


Romance Writing: 

The Everything Guide to Writing A Romance Novel by Christie Craig and Faye Hughes
(This book gives a basic overview, but it predates eBooks.)

Characters/Emotions: (The next 3 books are must-haves.)

GMC: Goal, Motivation, & Conflict by Debra Dixon

The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines Sixteen Master Archetypes
by Tami D. Cowden, Caro LaFever, Sue Viders

The Emotional Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi


Techniques of the $elling Writer by Dwight Swain (Master of scene and sequel)

Scene & Structure by Jack M. Bickham (I prefer Bickham’s way of explaining Swain’s ideas.)

Beginnings, Middles, and Ends by Nancy Kress (This book is a helpful guide for new writers.)

(The next 3 books are must-haves, and I think beginning writers should read them, too.)

The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman

The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes by Jack M. Bickham

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King

What’s on your writing shelf?