Mama Diaries

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Favorite Writing Apps


Here's today's IWSG question:  What are your favorite writing processing (e.g. Word, Scrivener, yWriter, Dabble), writing apps, software, and tools? Why do you recommend them? And which one is your all time favorite that you cannot live without and use daily or at least whenever you write?

I use Microsoft Word. That's the only one I use. Honestly, I had no idea there were so many! I use Microsoft Word because it's easy and it has spellcheck. What about you? What do you use?

In other news, I visited my Mom in Iowa last week. It was her 75th birthday. My latest book, Bubba and Squirt's Shield of Athena is dedicated to her because she inspired my love of reading. I gave her a copy on her birthday. Here she is with it.

 She looks pretty good for 75, doesn't she?


Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Circle of Life


Before I get into my story, I will answer the IWSG question of the month, which is, in this ever-changing world, what services should IWSG offer?  Hmmm. Well, first of all, I think it's so awesome that IWSG offers shoutouts for member accomplishments and new releases. That's awesome! I don't know. Maybe point out resources for authors. Places to look when seeking publication. Marketing suggestions. Online classes to help develop the craft of writing. I'd be interested in hearing some of your ideas.

So, here's my big news:  Bubba is married! I can't even believe it. Wasn't he just chasing butterflies a couple of years ago? How does this happen?  I'm super happy for him. And his wife is a terrific young lady. Couldn't ask for a better daughter-in-law!

And speaking of making me feel old (was I speaking of that?), I attended my high school class reunion. So weird to learn of my classmates who passed away. But it was great seeing some of my old friends!


Sometimes it seems like time is going slowly. But when you look back, you realize it sure goes fast! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2024



Do you find yourself constantly distracted?  Does it take away from your writing time?  These are the questions for this month's IWSG post. Life is a giant distraction. Mostly it's work that takes me away from writing. My to-do lists are endless.  Seems like as soon as I check one item off the list, two more pop up! Can you relate?  I admire people who can actually carve out time each day to write. And people who write thousands of words a day? All I can say is WOW! 

When I do carve out some writing time, I make sure my phone is on silent. I don't want to hear the constant dinging of message alerts!  I also make sure I'm far away from anyone who might distract me. I write in solitude. 

Are distractions a problem for you? How do you deal with them?

Here's a distraction for you—a vacation to Virginia Beach! I went there to visit my son, Bubba, who's stationed there (in the Navy). He now has his own apartment. It seems like just yesterday he was chasing butterflies!

 And my last bit of news—the fourth book of the Bubba and Squirt series, Bubba and Squirt's Shield of Athena is coming out on May 7th! It went on vacation to Virginia Beach, too!

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Blogging through the Years


Today's IWSG question asks how long I've been blogging and have been on Facebook, and what has changed about them. I've been blogging for a long time! About 15 years. What has changed?  Well, for one thing, I'm not sure blogging is as popular as it once was. I don't know if this is my impression because I've gone from posting stories about my kids every day to showing up once a month to do these IWSG posts. My kids have grown up and are out on their own. No more funny stories about them. And I'm pretty busy working.  I've noticed though, that many bloggers who were regulars way back then are no longer on Blogger. Maybe for the same reasons I don't show up often.  What do you think? Is blogging not as popular or is it still going strong?

Facebook. I've been on Facebook even longer than I've been blogging. I think Facebook is good for keeping in touch with people you don't see regularly. It's okay for marketing, but honestly, I think Instagram and TikTok are the more happening places. It's gone through periods of being political, which I don't exactly appreciate. When that happens, I avoid it. I think Facebook has lost some of its popularity. And I think it will continue to do so since the younger generation is more into TikTok and Instagram. What do you think?

Other news: The next Bubba and Squirt book comes out on May 7th. If you'd like to be a part of the tour, you can sign up here. Thanks! 

And here's a very cute Spring picture of Mama Dove and her babies. 😄 (Not sure what I think of her nesting choice, but it seems to work.) 



Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Using AI to Write a Synopsis


There has been a lot of debate on whether or not AI should be used to create books and illustrations. But what about writing book blurbs?  Today's question for the IWSG group asks if you've ever used it to write a blurb or synopsis.  After hearing about all the controversy, I decided to give it a shot when writing the blurb for my last book. (What do they say? Curiosity killed the cat?) I was curious. So I put in the information about my book and waited for it to spew out the blurb. It wasn't bad, but I wasn't enamored. I played around with the words, trying to see if I could create something spectacular. No dice. So I scrapped the whole thing and came up with my own blurb which is way better. (I think). My conclusion? I think the human brain is better than AI when it comes to creating, and an author knows his/her book way better than any AI does. Have you ever used AI? Were you happy with the results?    

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Author Websites


Have you ever been frustrated while visiting an author's website?  Today's IWSG question asks what bothers you when visiting an author's website. Honestly, I've never been bothered by anyone's website, but I'd say a big factor is the ease of getting around and the ease of finding the book(s) and making the purchase.  I'd say the home page should give a sense of who the author is, and what kind of books the author writes. 

What do you think? Is there anything that's a personal pet peeve when visiting an author's website?

On a different note, thanks to all who have purchased or reviewed my new book, or visited the tour stops for Bubba and Squirt's City of Bones. If you'd like to win an autographed copy of the book and a $50 Amazon gift card, there's still time. Visit this site to see the remaining tour stops and enter:

I will mail the books anywhere in the world (as long as they can be mailed to the destination).


Thursday, January 4, 2024

Book Bub and book release announcement


Happy New Year, everyone! Hope you all have a happy, healthy, and productive 2024!  We'll start off with the IWSG question of the month:  Do I follow readers who follow me or just other authors on BookBub?

Honestly, I don't spend much time on BookBub. I visit when I have a new release, and I'll visit when I want to post a review, but that's about it. I do more following of people on AllAuthor. It's easy. As soon as I log in, there's a list of authors to follow, so I check just about everyone.

What about you?   Are you on BookBub? 

And here's my big announcement:  My book, Bubba and Squirt's City of Bones will be released on January 16th!  I'm super excited about it. It's the 3rd in the Bubba and Squirt series. 

If you'd like to follow along on my book tour and have a chance to win an autographed copy of the book and/or a $50 Amazon gift card, here's the schedule:

January 16 The Children's Book Review

January 17 Icefairy's Treasure Chest

January 18 The Momma Spot

January 19  Life is What it's called

January 22 Crafty Moms Share

January 23 Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

January 24 Barbara Ann Mojica's Blog

January 25 A Blue Box Full of Books

January 26 One More Exclamation

February 5 The Fairview Review

February 6 Country Mamas With Kids

February 7 Twirling Book Princess

February 8 My Reading Getaway

February 9 Cover Lover Book Review