Thursday, September 29, 2016


    Whether we are speaking or writing the words, we must always be cognizant of their power. As an author I try to keep this important concept in my awareness. It is not true that sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Words can and too frequently hurt the heart and the very soul.

    There are five ideals I try to achieve when writing: they are honesty, being ethical, and using good grammar. Even when writing fiction I need to stay true to the characters and the storyline. There must be a consistency in how the characters are described. On rare occasion I have read where a particular character in a book has a certain attribute that suddenly changes or no longer exists but the author does not explain why there has been the change. Sometimes it is hard for a new author to keep “small facts” consistent.

    When I write a non-fiction book or article, my statements must be substantiated by facts. My resources must be legitimate and current and be listed for the reader to see. In writing Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, I cited a number of resources so I could provide accurate information.

   The same is true for a book of fiction. The setting, geography, history must be consistent with the time period and location of the story. In writing Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens I named the resources for historical information.

    I try to be ethical when I create certain fictional situations for my characters that might say or do things that are considered immoral or illegal. For instance in my book, Novy’s Son the main character, Murray frequently lied to get his way or to bring attention to himself. As the author I attempted for the reader to see why he behaved as he did.

    Poor grammar can ruin a good story. Misspelled words, incorrect punctuation, or poor sentence structure can quickly have the reader close the book and not finish reading it. However, the language of the character must be true and honest. An uneducated man from a poor family will not speak the same as the well-educated man from an affluent family. Nor will a Southern woman have the same diction as a rancher in Wyoming.  

    Or often the error is incorrect spelling, wrong placement of punctuation marks, incorrect order of words, or just the wrong word. Here are some examples:

     Their probably just unaware of the affect they're words wood have on us. Its no big deal and we should just except it. I wouldn't altar a single word. They've been served there just deserts, and I would of maid the same mistake. Let sleeping dogs lay. They probably never past English class anyway, and your far two picky about these things.

Five Further Funny Grammatical Errors

  1. It takes many ingredients to make Burger King great but, the secret ingredient is our people. 
  2. Slow Children Crossing.
  3. "Should Madonna be aloud to adopt again?"
  4. Automatic washing machines. Please remove all your clothes when the light goes out.
  5. "Elephants Please Stay In Your Car."  (Warning at a safari park).

    There is such value in having authors be in a club or organization where they can communicate with one another. To share our struggles, to ask our questions, and to be supportive of one another are just some of the benefits. I see this as part of my responsibility as a writer.

    After I joined Rave Reviews Book Club, I met many Indie authors who have taken their love of and respect for writing to the same level as I have outlined above. They hold dear the power of words and their responsibility to the reader to be honest, ethical, and grammatically correct.

                               I invite you to also become a member of 
                                Rave Reviews Book Club

                                           DON'T MISS OUT ON THE FUN,
                                MEET OTHER AUTHORS,
                           OPPORTUNITIES TO PROMOTE,
                       TO SUPPORT OTHER INDIE AUTHORS
                                           PLUS MUCH MORE.

Sunday, September 25, 2016


Claudia Sanborn is a retired registered nurse and author. Her book, The Yellow Sick Road has received positive reviews and claims from those in the field of nursing and the lay public. I welcome her to share her most interesting story as a traveling nurse for many years.

What inspired you to write the book?

      When I started to be a nurse some of the experiences that happened to me were so surreal and unbelievable I started to keep a journal.  I said to my self--when I retire I'm going to write a book of all that I have been through. I wanted the public to be aware of what nurses go through.  I also wanted to write about some of the most moving and memorable experiences.  I was afraid of getting blackballed and labeled while being a nurse so I waited until I knew no harm could come to me as far as my career.

How did you come up with the title?

     When I was working as a travel nurse in Washington DC I went to the Smithsonian Museum.  While there I saw the Ruby Slippers Dorothy wore in the Wizard of Oz.  I was so homesick and related to the movie quote--"there's no place like home."  I was obsessed to find out more about the Author Frank Baum and how he came up with the story. I wanted to see if there was really a Yellow Brick Road.  I read the book and the characters reminded me so much of my many work experiences that I implemented it into my book.  I even spray painted a sidewalk I have that goes to a cabin by my house--yellow.

Do you see writing as a career?

     I have two more books in mind that I keep thinking about.  I had help with my book by going to a writer’s guild at a small junior college that is located near where I live.  They helped me a lot.  I found an editor and all the right people to help me put it together and on amazon.  I got close to having it published and it was referred to one of the top five publishers---but I think I didn't have enough notoriety to really make it happen.

If you could do it all over again, would you change anything in the book? 

     I'm thinking of doing a revised version.  I think I would not have mentioned certain family members--even though I asked permission--certain things that happened to me.  My revised book I'm working on right now has some quotes from famous people, which are more inspiring.  At the end of each chapter I am putting Lesson Learned.  I'm putting how it helped me to go through some of these experiences and why I'm now a better person (hopefully).  I would like to be more of an inspiration.  But--I could not lie.  The things that happened to me as far as abuse and bullying in such a fragile setting are very serious.  I am not alone and my feed back from readers is that it helps validate what they also have experienced.  New nurses need not be afraid of my book but be aware and go into the field knowing what some of their challenges are going to be.  They need to know in the beginning if they are cut out for this occupation.  It's better than going through and then finding out later.

My brother-in-law Bruce Sanborn is an art major and has taught at junior colleges in California. I was fortunate enough that when I did a nurse travel assignment there I would go to his house and we would work together on cover and pictures throughout the book. I loved the creative part in doing the book.  I don't think I have seen a nurse book out there that is like mind.  I wanted it to be whimsical and to imagine what it was like to experience what I experienced. I didn't want a boring sad storybook.

Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?  

     I spoke at the Pre-Rally this year in Washington DC.  I am trying to help make change for the nurses and the patients.  We need public awareness for change.  I'm on a committee in Utah where we are trying to make it a misdemeanor to abuse or bully in the workforce.

     I would not discourage anyone from being a nurse.  My last 22 years have been the best and the worst--but have helped me be who I am today.  You just need to be prepared and tough. I think I helped my patients and some will probably always remember me.  I have been fired to protect cna's and nurses.  They don't even know I was their advocate--but I do.  It is a secret quiet feeling I have deep down that I did the best I could.  I am still a nurse and in good standing.  I have two more months before it has been two years since I last took a travel assignment.  But I think I want to leave well enough alone.

What were the greatest challenges in writing this book?

     I should have been more organized and did an outline first.  I wish I had known more about writing memoirs and nonfiction.  I have lost a lot of sleep wondering if I was going to be sued for what I wrote--even though I tried to disguised places, times, and people. I wish I knew the laws better about nonfiction.  I probably would have used a pen name and that would probably give me more peace of mind.

An excerpt from my book:

     "In the morning, I put my levis on, added my cowgirl belt, slid into my western shirt and pulled on my boots.  Then I walked into the Witch's den.  It didn't matter that I had seven years of good standing at the Big hospital.  All they cared about was the last six months at their sister hospital.  
     I walked up the stairs into a big auditorium-type room where all the big chiefs. HR, DON, and management personnel sat with their Witch's smiles.  I don't remember what they said.  I just took there little termination of employment paper and walked out.  I wanted to yell, "Hypocrites!" but I didn't say a word.
     I drove away, beside myself, not knowing who to call or if I should just start yelling and crying.  If there had been a cliff nearby, I may have driven off it."  

     I want to thank you, Karen, for asking me to do this interview.  I wish I could have ended it on a more cheerful note but unfortunately that is not what this book is about.  Nurses have emailed me in the middle of the night so overwhelmed and not knowing where to turn and I feel I have helped them through some unbearable times.  

     In closing---"Before all of us stretches a Yellow Brick Road of sorts. Everyone born into this world gains life experiences along the way.  Some spots along the road are pleasant, while others may be bumpy and treacherous. For me, the road has been filled with many unexpected twists and turns."   

     Thank You


     Claudia Sanborn RN, ONS, ACLS, BLS  

Friday, September 23, 2016


What a joy it is for me to introduce Marlena Smith as today's Pay It Forward author from Rave Reviews Book Club. She is an author, blogger, and very active member of RRBC. 

From her webpage ( Marlena introduces herself as a Christian, writer, reader, student of life, believer in the impossible, and a dreamer with hope. How beautiful is that?!

Marlena has a very important role as the always helpful and available secretary for Rave Reviews Book Club. Her service, work, and expertise are invaluable. If you do not know about this outstanding organization here is the link:

Marlena wrote a contributing story to Rave Soup for the Writer's Soul published in 2014. 

Recently she interviewed Nonnie Jules in a segment of Rave Reviews Book Club. For the interview Marlena portrayed herself as Natasha Know-It-All, and the reader can quickly see Marlena's creativity and humor. And she is in the process of writing her first novel. 

Twitter: @mlh42812

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


                Please welcome JENNY HINSMAN to today's blog. She is my Rave Reviews Book Club PAY IT FORWARD recipient.


Her book SOULS was described as beautiful, touching, full of love.

ANGEL OF DEATH is the first published book by Ms. Hinsman. Some descriptive words from reviews were beautiful, mysterious, shocking conclusion, and suspenseful.

Go to these links to learn about and contact Jenny Hinsman.




Monday, September 19, 2016


            I am pleased to present, Yvette Calleiro. She is the author of Chronicles of Diasodz.

            She is an avid fan and reader of both young adult and adult novels.

            How fortunate her students of reading are at the local high school to have her as their teacher.

             She loves to travel, visit with family and friends, and just enjoy the ocean where she lives in Miami, Florida. 

             Living in Florida is a delight especially with her young son with whom she can enjoy children's books again.

             And, I must mention her large fish tank of interesting salt water fish.


Sunday, September 11, 2016


It is with great pleasure that I introduce Michael Giusti as my guest on this week's blog. I "met" Mike through his cousin who shared his book with me. I was immediately impressed with what I read and the true nature of this gentleman. His gift for writing is quite evident and his inner core of strength and wisdom is well revealed. You will enjoy and learn from his book, What To Do When The Wheels Come Off.

                                                               PAPERBACK COPY OF HIS BOOK

I love the title of your book and the front cover. How did you come up with both of them?

  Whenever something goes wrong I have always heard the old expression “The wheels are coming off.”  Then I realized that when the wheels come off my wheelchair, it just becomes a normal chair to sit in.  Therefore I concluded that having the wheels come off; (adversity), is not always a bad thing and I could grow from the experience.

The cover photo was selected because it represents a path that is uneven and a journey that is uncertain.  Those two aspects alone can make travel more fun.

You say in your forward: “I wrote this book because I believe that we all need to think more kindly and step more carefully through the imposing world we navigate.” Where did such wisdom come from? 

 Due to my physical circumstance, I have always been more of an observer than a participant.    I have just noticed that more people seem rude, rough, and opinionated since the invention of cable news and the internet.  I am a big fan of kindness and civility simply because they work well together.  As I stated in the book: Many intelligent people overestimate the value of their opinion. But this is just my opinion. Page 153

Who is or are your role model(s) and why?

 The biggest role model in my life was my great aunt; Helen Zeleny.  Everyone knew her as “nanny”.  She was simply the kindest, smartest, and most gentle person I have ever known!  Today my biggest role models are two younger friends of mine: Cameron Arnoult and Luke Garris.  They possess all the qualities of my “nanny” plus they are consistent and very easy to be around.

Your book is divided into three sections: Journey Begins, Pressing Forward, and Final Stretch. Within each section are inspirational and teaching quotes.  It appears that they are all your own original thoughts. Please comment how you came upon these thoughts? Were you meditating? Did you struggle to come up with them?

  The idea for most of my thoughts came early in the morning or late at night when my mind was  relaxed.  I just started to pay attention whenever I would talk to myself.  The struggle came later when I tried to refine an idea and sometimes that process took weeks.  Quite often the original premise would fall away and give birth to a deeper concept.  For me, the most entertaining part of the book is the wordplay and the double constructs.

You must be an inspiration to others. You have a career, you volunteer, and find time to work for your political party. You have not let your physical condition keep you from slowing down.  Please comment on how and what motivates you?

 The thing that motivates me most is a desire to contribute and make things better.  I enjoy relationships and laughter more than anything else.  How I do it is rather simple.  I just view the new day as another opportunity and blessing.  I try to keep pushing forward under all conditions just because I still can.

I have certain things I do (meditation, positive thinking, exercising, etc.) in dealing with my ovarian cancer. How have you coped with your diagnosis of cerebral palsy?

  My mother was a PE teacher and my daddy was a coach and they never prevented me from doing anything I wanted to do.  I never was an inspirational disabled athlete but I always knew I was emotionally intelligent.  I have always had the ability to communicate well because my Cerebral Palsy does not affect my speech or hands and I have been blessed with an ability to empathize with others.  But I feel my two biggest strengths are my “sense of humor” and my stronger “sense of serious.

Do you have plans for another book? If so, tell us a little about it.

 I am telling my friends it took me 62 years to write my first book so my next one will be out when I am 124 years old!  I still plan to write and share my thoughts but getting my first book to press was HARD!

"Thank you Karen for this lovely opportunity.  I plan to follow your example and try to help others find success and a deeper happiness." (Michael Giusti)


                             TO WIN A  PAPERBACK COPY OF HIS BOOK