Coffee Date with My Character

Wakeup time: 5 am
Word count: 4036
Playlist: Wake me up, Avicii
Last week I talked about how I was having trouble connecting with my female lead character in my novel. So, I’m going to get to know her better. Join us for coffee!
Laina, my character from the Jason Seare Series, sits across from me, her hands around an aluminum cup of rationed coffee.
“Thanks for meeting with me, Laina. I was hoping I could get to know you a little better.”
“Not much to know, really.” She takes a sip of the coffee and closes her eyes. She moans in pleasure. “I don’t know how you got this…” She glances at the cup and lowers her voice, “…past compound security.” She licks her lips and sets down the cup. “This doesn’t even exist anymore unless you get lucky and find a stash. But that stuff so very valuable.”She sips again. “Especially for trade against things we really need.”
I smile and dig in the small knapsack I have brought. “Would you like sugar?”
Her eyes light up. “Now, that’s just magic.”
I slide a tiny brown packet of sugar under the table and our hands meet as she takes my offering. Her finger are almost too warm. But not a damp sweaty warm, a dry familiar warmth. Something you would be grateful for after coming in from snow sledding on a cold winter day still in wet gloves and boots. Warm to the bone.
“Thank you so much.” Cautiously, she opens the sugar packet under the table, pours in the sugar and stirs with the back of a fork. “I feel bad taking all this. I really have nothing I can give you.”
“But you can.” I reply.
She looks at me over the rim of her cup, question in her clear brown eyes.
I lean over the table, elbows and forearms against the rough wood of the cafeteria table. “You can tell me your story.”

Paranormal Romance Free Chapter!

NEW! Chapter on Jason Seare Series is up today! #Free #Paranormal Romance! Click the link to check out the revision and next installment.
Thank you for checking out my blog and my book! The Jason Seare Series is #Paranormal #Post-apocalyptic Romance. If Underworld and Children of Men movies had a baby, they would have my book! Not coincidentally, those are two of my favorite movies. Please feel free to comment, SHARE, and offer constructive criticism. I’ll be posting revisions and new chapters as I write.

Click HERE to see veteran author, Stuart White’s initial thoughts on my first chapter of Jason Seare Series, From Where I Lived.


Wakeup time: 5:49 am
Word count: 3,022
Crazy in Love – Fifty Shades of Grey, Sofia Karlberg


The Life of a Romance Writer – the dirty secrets

The Life of a Romance Writer
Wakeup time: 4:45 am
Word count: 3,022
Playlist: Imagine Dragons, Demons
day 1
Please excuse my GIANT pink robe…so soft and fluffy. Disclaimer: Doubt if I will EVER wear anything else first thing in the morning.
The dirty details:
Struggling with writing about my female protagonist. I usually like my male protagonist better. It’s always been that way with everything I write. I think it stems from me having a hard time finding female protagonists I like when I read romance novels. There are some that I LOVE #JaneEyre, but I usually find it hard to identify with female protagonists in romance novels. I just don’t have the same all encompassing obsession with shopping for brand name shoes, applying makeup and friend drama. I know many women would be with me on this. @theinklinggirl [She’s the talented artist behind my gorgeous avatar]
J.Semmes Author avatar
It’s hard to find a female protagonist in a romance novel who likes jeans and t-shirts, keeping my kitchen sink clean and creative writing. Note: I just described what I  think of myself. Goodness knows other people would have a different description of me…
But, regardless, I made some awesome progress in my novel this morning. Well worth my ridiculously early wake-up time. I’m getting ready to post my next revision and next chapter in my novel, so stay tuned. Planning the next installment FRIDAY.
Inspiration for the day: @crystalpaine LOVING her series #makeoveryourmornings. I’m on #daytwo today and loving her gorgeous and inspiring course. Check it out! I do NOT get anything by promoting this, I’m just a fan. : )
BTW…Today is my anniversary of 4 years with my amazing husband! @knightsbayne He’s also a writer and #twitchstreamer You can check him out here. Who says opposites have to attract? Love my dude…<3
Who is your favorite female protagonist?

Guest Post: Stuart White

Hello friends! I will have the honor of having Stuart White guest-post to my blog with tips of how to get rid of writer’s block.

STARTING FRIDAY! We will begin a blog series of writing how-to’s for the stumped writer. This guy is great. He has helped me with several projects including a screenplay! He really knows his stuff and is a great guy too.

BE BACK FRIDAY! Sign up for our email’s to get a reminder.

Here is a link to his recent publication, a collection of short stories: We’ll Always Have Paris

Stuart is a professional and has traveled all over the world!

My beautiful picture

Stuart White – Author

Here’s his bio…

Stuart White grew up in an English industrial town close

to Liverpool, birthplace of the Beatles. At the age of

twenty-two he was in London working on newspapers

including the Evening News, Daily Sketch and The Sun.

During his career he covered the ‘troubles’ in Northern

Ireland, the drug wars in Colombia, the refugee crisis in

Rwanda and Zaire, and was in Israel for the Scud missile

attacks on Tel Aviv during the First Gulf War.

He also covered the civil wars in Croatia and Bosnia,

flying twice into beleaguered Sarajevo. He has been shot

at, shelled, arrested frequently, beaten up, and was once

detained and deported from the African country of Malawi

when he attempted to report on the plight of the Asian

population there.

He has visited every continent in the world except

Antarctica, a total of ninety-two countries, many of them

on assignment. During his career he also spent two years

in Hong Kong where he was city editor of a daily

newspaper. He also lived for six months in the Persian

Gulf working for the Gulf Daily Mail and helping set up a

leisure magazine.

In 1994 he was made the America bureau chief of a

British national newspaper and spent ten years in Los

Angeles. During that time he covered among other stories

the Oklahoma City bombings, and 9/11 – for which with two

colleagues he drove non-stop the 2,800 miles from Los

Angeles to New York when no planes were flying.

During his time in LA he was a frequent contributor to

TV programmes like Hard Copy, Extra, and CNN. He has

appeared frequently on BBC TV and radio in England, and

in various documentaries.

He has written several newspaper and Magazine columns,

including, “USA Diary,” “Departures”, (for Business

Destinations magazine) and “One Man’s View,” the latter

in Hong Kong’s China Mail.

He studied screenwriting in Hollywood and gave up

journalism in 2005 to write full-time. He has a teenage

daughter and lives variously in London and the South of





Three reasons I was up at 5:30am (and three reasons it’s super hard)

Today, I was up and awake by 5:30am. On a Monday morning. This may be the norm for many people, but I have struggled to get to this point. I have three reasons that it was hard for me and three reasons that I’m struggling to do it anyway. 

It’s super hard for me because:

1. I have a two year old whose sleep schedule is anything but regular. I volunteered to be the spotter for my son’s nighttime and super super early morning jaunts. I work part-time at this point in my life while my husband regularly works more than 50 hours per week. In order for my husband to get more rest, I take the crazy hours and get a nap when I can. This is the main reason I have struggled, for two years, to get into a morning routine.

2. I love to spend time with my night-owl husband. He is my best friend. He is more of a night owl. His “witching hour” for creativity (he’s also a writer) and life-in-general is somewhere between 10:30pm and 3am. I would (and have in the past) struggled to keep my eyes open at these times! My time is the morning. Going to bed on time in order to get up in the morning is difficult when there’s an “attractive nuisance” in the next room.

3. I Procrastinate. There is always something else that needs to be done. Some other reason for not sitting down to WRITE.

Three reasons I’m doing it anyway.

1. Personal Fulfillment. I love….to write. It’s been the juice that fuels my soul since I was very young. In fact, to remind myself of this, I still have the “book” I wrote when I was 7-ish years old. I’ll have to go pull out this embarrassing memento of my past and post a photo here. I remember reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck at the same age and thinking, this is what I want to do. It’s the reason I went to school for English and hung in there when I was reading page 300 THOUSAND of Madame Bovary at 2am and micro-sleeping every time I blinked my eyes. It’s the reason I took every creative writing course they offered for undergrads, submitted (and was published in) the campus creative writing publication and sighed enviously when I heard the graduate students for Creative Writing MFA talking about their latest projects. I would listen to them as we worked together at the campus writing center where I was also a tutor and got to un-gracefully knock knees under tables and bump elbows with those grad students. Not always by accident…

2. Financial Opportunity. Like anyone and everyone else in this world, I want a better life for my family. Even a small income from writing, if I could generate it, would make a big difference in when my husband will be able to retire. Which college my son will be able to attend. How much money I have to spend on fresh produce at the store. You get the picture.

3. Creating Catharsis for Others. The world that we live in demands self-control. A poker face. If you’re crying at your desk at work, you could get fired. Sure, there are so many arguments about why you might get a pass on this…but in the real world, if you show weakness, you will be eaten alive. So, shove down your emotions and get on with your day. Hold back the tears and the fear and work harder. Move faster. Focus on the job. So much gets pent up inside of us we’re on the verge of a national emotional breakdown. At least, that’s what it feels like to me. For me, I need an emotional release through art. Catharsis. Books, movies, artwork, music…they evoke emotions that draw from us what we hold back, down and inside. What corrodes us from the inside out. I have felt the sweet release of this magic emotional healing in so many stages of my life. When I was sad because my grandfather died. When I was stressed out because we were moving out of state. When I was feeling down because a friend blew me off. Through writing, I aspire to create for others a little of what I have been given.

There are so many reasons why I don’t have time to do this. But I’m going to write romance anyway.

What are you making time to do?


Awesome resources for just about anything you need in self-help/self-improvement and finances/business:

How to Set Yourself Up for a Productive Day


Chapter One (Coming Soon!)

I’m Scout. Thank you for visiting!

I’m a self-published author of paranormal romance (among other things) and this is where I’m posting chapters of my books, one at a time. Like episodes or serials.

I like to think I’m following a Dickensian tradition. You know, like olde tyme newspaper publications.  Or, I’m only posting as it’s being written
…or AM I?
Please read and enjoy, share my page, and come back for more.