Pleasing Yourself to Please Others

Why do I write?  Almost all writers will say they write because they have to.  But how do I choose which stories to write about?  I found two quotes that answers that for me.

JohnDMacDonald“My purpose is to entertain myself first and other people secondly.”

John D. MacDonald
American novelist known for his thrillers

American Modernist poet known for her irony and wit.




“Any writer overwhelmingly honest about pleasing himself is almost sure to please others.”

Marianne Moore
American Modernist poet known for her irony and wit.


Commas and Quotations Shared Chasing Nightmares

Commas and Quotations is a great site to visit if you want to find books.  They post the first chapter, the cover image and the links if you want to buy or learn more.  Today they posted the first chapter of my novel Chasing Nightmares.  Check it out!

Chasing Nightmares CoverCHAPTER 1

Lee Taylor watched the second hand travel toward the twelve. Then, for the first time, he moved. With a stealth nearly equal to the movement of the clock, he lifted his arms up off his bed and held them in front of his eyes.

White swathes of gauze circled his wrists.

Memory returned in ebony waves. The ride in the night, the scream of tires, sparks from the scrape of steel across asphalt, the blade of the knife as he slit through white skin to dark blood. All the scenes played back in slow motion. He fought the memories. His tensed arms shook until he no longer had the strength to hold them up.

He became still again, wishing he could turn off all awareness. The door opened and footsteps entered the bedroom. Still turned away, he knew someone looked down on him.

A cold finger tilted his face toward his visitor.

“There seems to be a little improvement in your color this afternoon,” Charles commented. “How does it feel to be alive?”

For an instant, hate flared within Lee. Buried deep, the ember of emotion glowed red but he would not allow it to gather fuel. Deliberately, he willed his body to relax, inviting back the apathy of before.

READ THE REST AT Commas and Quotations: Chasing Nightmares by Deb Donahue.

Mysteristas Blog Interview

Want to learn more about me and my suspense novel Chasing NightmaresClick through to read this interview on the Mysteristas blog.  They asked me some fun questions like this one:

If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?

A Hershey’s bar with almonds. Because it’s sweet and smooth but with “bumps” you can chew on a while.

via Mysteristas.

Calf’s Foot Blanc-mange

If you have enough calf’s feet jelly and don’t know what to do with those four feet you have left over from butchering, try this receipt for blanc-mange from The Young Housekeeper’s Friend.


Put four calf’s feet into four quarts of water; boil it away to one quart, strain it, and set it aside.  When cool, remove all the fat, and in cutting the jelly out of the pan, take care to avoid the sediment. Put to it a quart of new milk, and sweeten it with fine sugar. If you season it with cinnamon or lemon peel, put it in before boiling; if with rose or peach-water, afterwards; or, if you choose, boil peach leaves in it. Boil ten minutes, strain it through a fine sieve into a pitcher, and stir it till nearly cold. Then put it into moulds.

Calf’s Foot Jelly

Want a little jelly with your toast?  All you need is four calf hooves to make a little something special, according to The Young Housekeeper’s Friend.


Scald four calf’s feet only enough to take off the hair, (more will extract the juices). Clean them nicely. When this is done, put them into five quarts of water and boil them until the water is half wasted; strain and set it away till the next day, then take off the fat and remove the jelly, being careful not to disturb the sediment; put the jelly into a sauce-pan with whites and shells of five eggs, stir them in, and set it on the coals, but do not stir it after it begins to warm. Boil it twenty minutes longer; set off the saucepan, and let it stand covered close half an hour.  It will thus become so clear that it will need to run through the jelly bag but 0nce.