Category Archives: The Writing Life

Waxing Poetic

April is one of my favorite months. Spring is in full bloom, Long Island days seem slightly sunnier…and it’s poetry month. To put you in the poem frame of mind, here’s a haiku I wrote, just for you.


Sensory snapshot in words

Lines, rhymes, alliteration, stanzas

Rhythm rolling off my tongue

When I’m in the mood for a little poetry pick-me-up but don’t have the energy left to write my own, I surf on poetry websites. The next poem is courtesy of

Tropical Island

Palm trees sway

To the beat of the drums

As my plane lands

My Caribbean escape awaits


I dip my feet

Into the refreshing warm water

The ocean sweeps me away

To my personal paradise


Flashes of color

Shimmering scales

Crystal blue water

A blissful sight


The burning red sun

Battles the soft ocean breeze

My toes dig deeper into the sand

I don’t want to leave


The reef is a playground

To all curious creatures

And the seaweed rocks back and forth

To the rhythm of the water


But sunset comes

In shades of orange, yellow, and pink

As it settles to rest

Sinking beneath the ocean waves

by Peyton Alexis

Do you like poetry? Why or why not? If you like poetry, do you have any favorite poets or related websites you’d recommend?

P.S. – If you’re not into poetry, no worries. Next week’s post will be written in prose. 🙂


The Romance Writer’s Handbook

Happy Romance Writer’s Wednesday. Today’s post is about the first book I ever read about crafting a romance story, Rebecca Vinyard’s THE ROMANCE WRITER’S HANDBOOK. This how-to book took my vague dream of becoming a serious writer to a set of achievable skills and goals.

Here are my Top Ten Nuggets of Writing Gold mined from Ms. Vinyard’s book:

10. Study the market as you consider which premise holds the most promise. But write with love in mind, not dollar signs.

9. Formatting matters.

8. Use strong verbs to make your writing active.

6. There are sixteen master archetypes to use when creating characters.

5. Using POV correctly, you can keep characters guessing about the other characters’ feelings–increasing tension and conflict.

4. Romance plots have a difficult-to-solve problem keeping our hero and heroine apart. The internal conflict heightens emotion.

3. Create a colorful, rich sense of place using descriptive language–short and sweet–and show it through a character’s POV.

2. Write what you know you are ready to write. Research is the backbone to every story.

1. Write, write, write…to find your voice. Be confident–only you sound like you. Then keep writing for those who love your voice.

Romance Writers:   What nugget of writing gold you have mined from writing experts? Romance Readers: What do you feel makes a good romance?

The Angst before the HEA

Happily married to my best friend many years now, I have to dig deep to remember the uncertainty of new love or unrequited love or betrayed love. Music helps me to reconnect to these various types of angts my hero or heroine may experience at the crisis point in the story–where all seems lost.

Adele’s award-winning song, SOMEONE LIKE YOU, draws me in. I feel her pain, and it becomes my own.

Listening to this song, I begin to imagine “What if.” What if my husband weren’t mine? What if he fell out of love with me and we parted ways? What if he then found someone new, someone to share a new beginning, leaving me behind to start over–alone? That’s when I sit down at my laptop and click away, the tears streaming down my face, feeling my character’s pain as my own. Exhausting? Yes, but I believe it makes a difference in the quality of my writing. The emotions are authentic, the character’s actions and dialogue match the depth of his/her despair.

Writers, what resources do you use to create authentic character responses at the crisis point in your story?