Back to Work

It’s the beginning of a new school year at our house — a time of new lunch boxes and backpacks and school supplies. My kids love school, and as much as I love our lazy summer days, I crave the structure that the school calendar brings to our lives. I have taken most of the summer off to reset and recharge, including an almost two weeks long social/screen sabbatical. During part of that, I took my kids’ camping for the first time, and it went well. The best part was the campground had no cell or internet connection, true freedom from 24/7 overload, and a fantastic digital detox. I am energized and well-rested and finally out of the blender.

What is the blender? It’s those times in your life when, just as you are getting settled, starting to get used to the new normal, something else occurs which requires you to change your plans, to find a new way to accomplish the five million and two things on your to-do list. And for those of us who struggle with our ADHD on a good day, and schedule disruption can send us right off the rails and destroy our ability to focus. The unstructured time of summer is both marvelous on one hand because I do like spending time with my kids, but I also struggle because I crave alone time to create. I coped this summer by using my bits of time to research and outline three projects.

Are things going to settle down now? Nope. There will be all the craziness that fall brings. But my kids will be busy at school, and I will have uninterrupted time for writing, or as I like to think of it, playing with my imaginary friends on paper. Now that my kids can read, and read very well, it is hard for me to work with them around and I can’t sneak in the time I used to when they were younger. The fall and winter are my most productive time, and last year, I managed to write two novels and a novella between September and March. I cheat a bit by doing NaNoWriMo every year, and that pushes me to complete a novel in a month.

This year my goal is to complete all three of the books I outlined by May of next year. Can I do it? I don’t know, but I’m sure as hell going to give it a good go, and having the framework in place makes me feel like I can. Not writing over the summer was super hard. Writing is essential for my mental health. Blogging, one of my favorite things to do, and the one thing I try to keep with, no matter what, has been hit or miss the last few months and that has made it much more difficult for me stay on an even keel. Writing, art journaling, and telling stories are my touchstones. The past four months have made that clear to me that no matter what I need to provide time for myself to create. Going forward, I’m getting back to work, knowing that when everything is wacky, and I’m in the blender, the one thing I can do to anchor myself, is writing. My advice, if you are a creator and you’re struggling, set aside a few minutes to create. Even fifteen minutes of writing/drawing/painting or whatever is your creative outlet, can make a difference, make time and create.  

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking hereSign Up for her email list here  www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

 

Rainbow Snippet July 6-7

Hi all,
This week I’m busy doing laundry and packing for The Golden Crown Literary Society’s annual conference. It’s a short drive from my house to Pittsburgh, and I’m stoked to meet a bunch of folks in real life that have been so very supportive of my work. My fantastic publisher and the ever fabulous Natasha Snow have created another gorgeous cover for my next novel, Complex Dimensions, set to release in September.

I’ll be reading from the manuscript during my Author Spotlight so if you’re at the conference on Thursday, July 11th come on by and listen. I’ll be reading with four other authors, including Erin Zak and Carsen Taite.

This week’s snip is from Complex Dimensions.
Millie looked up and grinned. “You okay?” A tiny smirk twisted her mouth. “Have I stunned you with my Scrabble talents?”

Veronica laughed. “Dude, you have thoroughly spanked me. All I have left is Us and Ns. And nowhere to play them.”
Millie grinned. “You’re good. The last person I played with I beat by three hundred points.”
Veronica leaned back in her chair as a tiny flare of jealous ignited in her chest. Ridiculous. I am ridiculous. She’s not mine. So what if she played Scrabble with someone else? “Thank you. We played a bunch growing up. I’m rusty.”
“If that’s your version of rusty I better be prepared for our next game.” She stretched and her shirt pulled tight across her chest and Veronica had to look away before she embarrassed herself.  “I hate to say it but I’ve got to go and try to get some sleep. I’ve an early pickup tomorrow.”
Veronica stifled her disappointment. “It’s okay. Maybe we can do this again sometime.”

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

Brenda Murphy writes erotic romance. Her novel, Knotted Legacy, made The Lesbian Review’s 2018 Top 100 Vacation Reads list. She loves sideshows and tattoos and yes, those are her monkeys. When she is not loitering at her local library she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot. She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here. Twitter here  Sign Up for her email list for sneak peeks and more at   www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

 

Hitting the Reset Button

 

If you follow my blog, you know that this spring was a difficult one. We lost my brother-in-law to depression in March. To say we’ve been on a spinning wheel of emotions is not an exaggeration. We are in the process of organizing a celebration of his life, and dealing with all of the feelings that accompany that: sadness, grief, anger, overwhelm, frustration, and disbelief to name the most often occurring ones.

In spite of everything I managed to finish and submit a novella I had been working on, and now have no deadlines to meet which feels odd at the moment. I’ve worked steadily since last September and was able to write and submit two novels, and a novella.  I have to remind myself that it’s okay to take a break. That it’s enough for now. The photo at the top of this blog post also reminds me that writing is not a race and that maintaining a constant state of production is not healthy for anyone. It’s okay to sit and think for a while, to take time to plan and daydream and watch a storm from your porch. Slow progress is still making progress toward your goals.

My way of hitting the reset button and filling my creative well is home repairs and improvement projects. I have two rooms to strip wallpaper from, patch and repair and then paint.   It may seem odd that home improvement projects are one of my favorite forms of self-care, but it is very relaxing for me to spend hours solely focusing on avoiding brush strokes and roller marks. I also keep a notebook nearby because more than once I have had to stop painting and write down story ideas that pop up while my focus is elsewhere. Never be afraid to hit the reset button and give yourself the time you need to fill your creative well. For you writers and creatives out there how do you hit the reset button? 

 

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.  Sign Up for sneak peeks, information on new releases, appearances, and occasional recipes here   www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

 

Rainbow Snippet May 25-26

 

Hello Snippeteers,

I’m celebrating this week because I submitted my erotic paranormal romance duology with Megan Hart to my editor at NineStar press. Today’s Rainbow Snippet is from my story in the duology, Shifting Flames.

Eve and Celeste have been two of my favorite characters to write and I expect that I will write more paranormal romances after dipping my fingers into the genre, so to speak.   I’m taking some time off this summer to noodle my next series and spend some time with my family but I will keep up with snips. Be sure to check out the other fabulous snips from other others at #rainbowsnippets

From Shifting Flames:

After lunch Eve returned to the study. Celeste was standing at the window her hand against the pane of glass, staring out at the valley.

“Are you okay?” Eve placed the cup of coffee she had brought with her on the desk.

Celeste turned from the window and shrugged her shoulders. “I’m sorry for before. I’m ready to work now.”

Eve sat and opened her laptop. “Why don’t we set some guidelines, map out what is most important to you as a storyteller, then we’ll work through the scenes and dialogue to make that happen.”

“Are you a magician? You think we can really tell the story in one-hundred ten scenes? I must have been mad to agree to this.” Celeste turned back to the window, her hands clenched into fists.

“Look at me.”

Celeste turned back to Eve.

“We can do this. It may not be exactly what you want but if you’re serious we can make this happen. Trust me. Please.” Eve held Celeste’s gaze. “Don’t give up on this.”

Celeste rested her hands on her hips and inclined her head toward the window and the snowstorm outside. “It’s not like I could send you away.”

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexy times, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local library and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.  For news about upcoming releases, appearances, sneak peeks and giveaways sign Up for her email list at  www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

 

Rainbow Snippet May 18-19

Hello Snippteers,

I just sent off my second round of edits for the Complex Dimensions, book four in the Rowan House series and thought this snip was perfect for this week. My kids only have seven days left of school and I’m trying to cram in as much work as I can before summer break. I hope you enjoy this week’s snip.

From Complex Dimensions:

Millie crossed the room and clasped the woman’s hand in both of hers. “Signora Rossi, so good to see you again.”
“And you as well.” The woman leaned in and kissed Millie on both cheeks. Her voice was warm honey laced with a hint of seduction. “And didn’t we decide you would call me Aurora?”
Veronica squelched the flare of jealousy that ignitied in her chest at the way they greeted each other.
Aurora turned and raked her gaze over Veronica. “Who have you brought me?”
Millie grinned and held out her hand palm up. “Veronica Fletcher meet Signora Aurora Rossi.”
Veronica held out her hand. “Pleased to meet you, Signora Rossi.”
Aurora took Veronica’s offered hand and held it tightly as her gaze traveled over Veronica’s body. “My pleasure. Call me, Aurora.” She dropped Veronica’s hand. “Turn for me, please.”
“Um, what?” Veronica gripped the seams of her jeans. Under Aurora’s gaze, Veronica had the sensation of being naked.
“Arms relaxed at your side, turn in a slow circle. I want to see your shape.” She murmured to herself in Italian as Veronica turned as she had directed.

“Millie, get the notebook out of my bag. Be my scribe.” Millie grinned and walked over to a burgundy leather case leaning against one of the chairs. Aurora fixed her gaze on Veronica’s face. “Now strip. I need to measure you.”

The brisk businesslike tone of her voice had Veronica tugging at the hem of her shirt to comply. “Everything?”

Aurora tilted her head at Veronica, a sly smile on her face. “As much as I would enjoy you completely naked, that is not what we are here for today. Leave on your underthings.”

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).
In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexy times, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local library and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.  For news about her upcoming releases, appearances, sneak peeks and giveaways sign up for her email list at  www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

 

Rainbow Snippet March 16-17

Hello Snippeteers,
It has been cold and snowy and cloudy and I’m ready for Spring in the worst way. This week’s snip is from Complex Dimensions, the fourth book in the Rowan House Series contracted to NineStar Press and set to release September 2019.

From Complex Dimensions:

“This is amazing.” Veronica ran her fingers along the cherry wood shelf. Floor to ceiling shelves, full of books complete with a rolling ladder covered three walls of the large room. Opposite the shelves, three wide windows looked out towards the far mountains. A large overstuffed sofa that begged lying about with a book, a butler’s table and two wingback chairs with matching ottomans completed the library of Veronica’s dreams. Millie stood with her hands clasped behind her back. She glanced at Veronica before she looked down at the carpet. “It’s my second favorite room in the house.”
Veronica studied the way a blush stole over Millie’s face. Not asking which one is her favorite. What room is it? What could make her blush from her collarbones to her hairline?

 

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!). In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.  Sign Up for her email list here  www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon 

NineStar Press

Knotted Legacy

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

 

Rainbow Snippet September 8-9

Hi all, it has been a crazy week here with the kids back in school, working on my yard and the rental house, and other things to keep busy so I don’t freak out too much about my novel release on Monday. I should just plan this kind of obsessive, can’t sleep, have to keep moving kind of anxiety into my schedule when I’ve got a book coming out. So far I’ve distracted myself by canning 44 pints of crushed tomatoes, 7 pints of zucchini bread and butter pickles, slicing up 10 pounds of peaches for the freezer, mowing, weeding, and tilling three garden beds, and planting my fall vegetables. Not to mention cleaning my office, my house, the basement, and the garage. At least I’m productive in my creating my distractions. This week’s snip is more from Knotted Legacy, available at most book retailers on Monday, September 10th. Wishing you all a fantastic week ahead.

From Knotted Legacy:

“YOU LOOK LIKE hell. Up all night?” Elaine’s smirk made Martha wince.

“No. And thank you, sister dearest.” Martha turned her back to her and bent to slip her boots off, not wanting to discuss what had happened.

“She turned you down? I knew she was a bitch. Why’d you waste your time?”

Martha turned back to face Elaine and quirked her mouth at her. “This is not open for discussion. Please don’t ask.”

Elaine’s taunting expression morphed into sisterly concern. “I won’t. It had to be hard to be there without Octavia.”

“I wanted to have lunch there. And I didn’t expect to have to stay.”

 

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted.    You can find her on Facebook by clicking here. If Twitter is your thing follow me @bmurphysideshow 

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

 Rowan House Series

Knotted Legacy 

Both Ends of the Whip

Sum of the Whole 

Other Works

ONE  

Dominique and Other Stories 

Filling the Well: Oslo and Stockholm

I’ve written before about using photographs and my travel journals as part of my writing research for books. My most recent trip to Oslo and Stockholm is no exception and I expect to write a least two novels set in each country. I spent much of my time simply absorbing my environment and letting my senses soak up the scents, sounds, sensations, and sights. I enjoyed local food and as always I asked questions of my friends and hosts. The thing I noticed immediately, mostly because I am an avid gardener, were the types of flowers blooming in public and private gardens. As a writer, I work hard to add the little things that lend verisimilitude to my work. The gorgeous flowers I saw everywhere in Oslo and Stockholm will feature in my next novel.  Here are some of my favorite photos from the trip.


Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted.    You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.

 

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories 

 

Rainbow Snippet July 28-29

Hello all, I’m celebrating this weekend because I am officially finished with my day job as of  August 1. I’m stoked and happy that I will have more time for my creative pursuits. I’ll be finishing another novel in the Rowan House series, working on a paranormal duology with a good friend, and spending more time with my family. Today’s snippet is more from my September release Knotted Legacy, the third book in the Rowan House series. 

From Knotted Legacy: 

The waiter arrived and took their order, and they passed over their menus.

Lucia looked around the dining room. “I want to memorize this room, all the small details so when I think of this meal I’ll be able to close my eyes and remember it. I’ll be right back here. A perfect day. A perfect meal.” She brought her gaze back to Martha’s eyes. “Perfect company.”

Martha flushed. The sincerity in Lucia’s voice fanned the tiny flame of hope in her chest. Could this be more? Does she want more than lunch? I want it to be more. Please let it be more. She focused on the sensuous line of Lucia’s mouth, unguarded, she opened herself to Lucia and let her desire show.

The waiter arrived with their wine, breaking the moment. Martha stifled a groan. She sipped her wine. She held Lucia’s gaze over the rim of her glass. “To more perfect days.”

Lucia touched her glass to Martha’s before she took a sip. She raised her glass. “To unexpected pleasures.” She sipped her wine. She set her glass aside and slid her tongue over her lower lip.

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted.    You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories

 

Rainbow Snippet June 3-4

A blast from the past this weekend, a snip from my first novel in the Rowan House series.

From Sum of the Whole: 

JAYA STOOD IN the courtyard in front of the stable. The soft sounds of birds interrupted the morning quiet. Perfect, so utterly perfect. She had been up most of the night thinking about the ride she had planned. A woman led a large bay, fully tacked out for Jaya. What was her name? Jaya had considered her before settling on Sarah. The faded jeans fit her like a second skin, showing off her curves. She had the sleeves rolled back on her loose chambray shirt to reveal the exquisite vine tattoos accentuating the defined muscles in her arms.

“I didn’t get your name.” Jaya tugged her black kidskin riding gloves on.

“Octavia.” The woman met Jaya’s appraising gaze with one of her own. “Mistress.” A switch or a bold submissive. Enticed by the woman’s boldness, Jaya considered altering her plan for the morning.

Octavia held the reins and ran a hand down the horse’s neck. “He’s a real gentleman, Mistress, all seventeen hands of him. A real goer but he won’t leave you if you don’t make a fence.” She did nothing to hide the amusement in her eyes. Jaya supposed many people who came to Rowan House imagined themselves as better riders than they were. It had been years since Jaya had taken the time to ride.

“I’m not planning on riding a steeplechase.” She climbed the mounting block and settled into the saddle. She checked the fit of her stirrups and adjusted the length.

“He’s a good fit for you.” The woman frowned as she caught sight of the crop Jaya had in her hand. She raised her chin and pointed to it. “You’ll not be needing that, Ma’am.” Her voice was loud.

Jaya rubbed the bay’s neck. “Rest easy. I would never use a crop on…” She raised the crop and traced the edge of Octavia’s cheek with it, looking in the woman’s eyes. “Any horse. This is a pleasure ride this morning.”

“Do you fancy company, Mistress?” Octavia rested her hand on Jaya’s boot, her eyes full of hope. “I could show you some sights.” Her generous mouth spread wide in a smile. Jaya wanted to dismount and kiss the cheeky grin right off her face. She cupped the woman’s cheek and traced her thumb over her full lower lip.

“Maybe tomorrow.” A purposeful scuff of boots on gravel made her look up. Sara stood in the courtyard in tan jodhpurs and a white shirt. Her brow was furrowed and her mouth set in a thin line. She stood with her hands on her hips.

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.

 

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories