Monday, March 31, 2014

Movin' on up - See you on the flip side!

Hello! You've reached the former blog of Denise Golinowski. Sorry I'm not here anymore, but if you'd be so kind, you can follow me over to my new blog at

It's been fun, but time to move on. Cue the Jeffersons' Theme song!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Starting again and Your Monday Fortune Cookie,

Off with her head!

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

SNARKY RESPONSE: Actually, first make sure the axe is REALLY SHARP!

A head? Get it! Yeah, been watching Reign, what can I say?

Okay...anyway, with my DH and myself having just celebrated our mumpty-mumphed birthdays, we've decided to do something very important for ourselves and each other. We've signed up for a weight-loss program together. In the past, one or the other of us (mostly him) has attempted a program on their own, but it's hard if the other partner (usually me) isn't participating.

Nope. Not Happenin'
I won't name names, but it appears to be a very well-rounded program, fully staffed with medical, nutritional, and physical fitness professionals. The first meeting included a talk about the program and their perceived road blocks to a healthy lifestyle. The combination of diet and exercise makes sense and is nothing new to anyone who has been on the weight loss roller coaster. Their difference is the level of support provided, which I admit, sounds wonderful.

Countin' down
I think for my DH and I, the key will not be so much the program, but the togetherness of our effort. I look forward to the challenge, hopeful that we can succeed (and that we don't kill each other along the way LOL).

Accountability is another key point, and I'm going to use this blog and you, poor things, as my accountability crew. You'll get to watch from a safe distance as I, we, once more wage our battle against the bulge.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Secret Smiles & Your Monday Fortune Cookie 3/3/14

You have a curious smile and a mysterious nature.


You have a curious smile and a mysterious nature.

Keep 'em guessing, Lisa! None of us wants to be an open book, and anyone who says they do, is definitely hiding something.

Then again, the key is the level of subterfuge. A healthy little secret here or there is to be expected, even in the closest relationship. It's when secrets begin to build that we run into trouble.


Because we humans are a curious bunch. Show us someone who's hiding something and even the most virtuous of us will want to discover why. If only to help. If only to satisfy that curious gene. No one can resist a good mystery.

Curiosity is what drives a writer to write. It's the temptation of that phrase - What if? What if I told my story? What if I shared my experience? What if I imagine something different? What if I turn that event around and explore a different ending?

And if we do it right, maybe then we can smile that curious smile to display our mysterious nature.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Eyes on the Prize! Never say Never! Get 'er Done! It's Your Monday Fortune Cookie, 2/24/14


 SNARKY RESPONSE: And sometimes it's just called not knowing any better.

They say you are stubborn; you call it persistence.

Despite the snark, I love this fortune. Anyone who has taken the bit in their mouth and pursued something to the end despite the naysayers has to be right there with me.

For folks who stick to their guns regarding dreams and goals, stubborn is the mortar that holds your efforts together. Anyone who's pulled out a hundred rows of knitting to correct one dropped stitch, anyone who has hauled themselves out of bed at the crack of dawn to put in a couple of miles, anyone who has corrected that bit of paint, clay, or pastel until they captured their subject knows that it's really stubbornness that pushes them through.

For writers, this is what keeps us sending out that novel, essay, or poem over and over until it finds a home. Even if, in the end, that home is in something you produce on your own. You wanted to get those words into print and by George, you were going to see it happen.

If it was easy, everyone who wrote would be published. Mini-Snark:No, wait! Thanks to some online publishing services, everyone CAN, but there is the matter of quality versus quantity.

The key, for me, is to have made the effort to produce the best possible writing you can, polish it until it gleams, and then put it out there. I see no reason why you can't sidestep the publisher route and publish on your own, just make sure that it's worthy of your time and effort as well as the time and effort, not to mention the cash, of your reader.

Persistence is a nice word, a pleasant word, a 'politically-correct/motivational speaker' word, but for true - 'stick-to-it'ness (how would you write that phrase?) - I'm putting my money on Stubborn.

What have you been Stubborn about lately?

Monday, February 17, 2014

No Cookie for You, but a Peek at My Writing Process

My Writing Process – Blog Tour
 I'm taking a brief break from Monday Fortune Cookies and am thrilled to be participating in the My Writing Process Blog Tour. Thank you, Tracey Livesay, for inviting me to play along. You can visit this amazing debut author at and her new novel is The Tycoon's Socialite Bride

What am I working on?

Currently, I'm working on a couple of projects. One of them is the second book in my Marant Clan trilogy, a romance involving Peter Marant, the eldest son of the Marant shapeshifter clan. The other project involves final revisions for Aces Down, another shapeshifter romance set in the same world as Collector's Item, but outside the Marant clan.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I'd like to think that while I adhere to most of what is expected for the Paranormal Genre, I give it all my own spin. For instance, I gave the animal sides of my shapeshifters their own personalities, complete with names. I've seen other authors including the animal side viewpoint upon occasion, but I wanted to go a step further. The animal personalities serve the purpose of the side-kick or advisor for my shapeshifters, sometimes helping my shapeshifters to pick up on things the human side might miss or stop over-complicating things. The back and forth between human and animal can often be amusing, give me the freedom to make observations that might be censored out of our human mental dialogue (or not).

Why do I write what I do?

I write paranormal and fantasy because that's what I love to read. I've written since I was a child, always exploring the "what ifs" and testing to see if I can add my own spin to the genres' tropes. All while trying to weave a story that I would enjoy reading myself.

How does your writing process work?

I'm basically a pantser, meaning I write by the seat of my pants. Generally, my stories evolve from a character who steps onto the stage of my imagination demanding the spotlight. Together, we explore their world and generally get into mischief of one kind or another. Then, as a member of two wonderful critique groups, I am required to regularly inflict pages of my current projects upon them for feedback. This keeps me honest, believe me. I have to write so that I don't look like a slacker. Writers Endeavor and RichWriters have been invaluable to me for learning the craft and art of writing. If you don't have a critique group or critique partner, do yourself a favor and find one or both. 

Next week, February 24th, I invite you to visit with three wonderful and diverse writers to read about their Writing Process. As anyone with a grain of experience in writing will tell you, there are as many ways to approach writing as there are writers, so I encourage you to visit with my friends see how they're navigating their paths.

Sofie Couch

Sofie Couch writes sweet romance with just enough piss and vinegar to make you spew your coffee and test your bladder control. With the help of 1,000 Typing Monkeys, (which also just happens to be the name of her blog), she cranks out romantic comedies and other literary mischief. You can find her at

Alleyne Dickens

Alleyne Dickens was destined to be a writer the moment her parents named her. It's just taken her a while to get there. Pre-published, Alleyne writes historical romance, historical mystery and historical fantasy (aka steampunk). Discover her at

Leah St. James

Leah St. James writes stories of mystery and romance, good and evil, and the enduring power of love. To learn more about Leah and her books, visit her at

Until next week, keep reading, writing, and smiling.

Monday, February 3, 2014

What dreams may come and your Monday Fortune Cookie, 2/3/14

Old dreams never die they just get filed away.

SNARKY RESPONSE: And my office is proof of that fact.

Old dreams never die they just get filed away.

The trick is to remember to go back through those files once in a while and see if anything has changed. Time passes, we change and those changes may give us more perspective, skills, or opportunity than we had when we opted to file that dream away. Sometimes we're just not ready to take that leap of faith. Sometimes we have too many irons in the fire already--one more would create a catastrophic meltdown. Sometimes we have to gain more experience, more knowledge, more skills before we can pursue that dream.

That's what I did in 2000 when I decided to find out if I could truly write something worth publishing. I set myself on the path to publication and have trod the path as best I could. There have been the inevitable quagmires, wrong turns, and darkest nights. There have been false starts, misleading middles, and abandoned endings. And there have been tremendous friendships, amazing guidance, and unexpected partnerships. Along with victories, big excitement, and enduring determination.

What about you? What dreams have you plucked out of the archives of your heart to pursue with your soul?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Two Poetic Twists on a Theme & Your Monday Fortune Cookie, 1/27/14

Cold hands -- warm heart (or poor circulation)

SNARKY REPONSE: So do cold feet -- hot buns?

At MarsCon, I attended a Poetry workshop where the moderator, Adele Gardner, invited us to write some poetry playing with the con's fairy tale theme. Here are what I came up with:

Point of Departure

Before stepping between, she pauses to breathe,
a golden girl in pinafore with eyes of tempest blue.
Fingers splayed to reach, to push, to pull,
she breaks the liminal boundary, icy as sorrow,
fleeting as fog on a wintry morning.
A step away from a world dark with memories,
a step forward into a vista of unknowns,
she arrives, safe but not sound, here and yet still there.
Beyond the looking glass, she begins to seek her ending.

Queen's Gambit

So simple, yet so right.
With dew drops lingering bright on crimson skin,
the unsuspected vessel of my assured victory.
A single bite is all that's required.
Tart sweetness to be relished until
the body learns what the eyes did not perceive.
Rose red lips will part to gasp,
to frame a question unasked,
release a final breath in a sigh.
Innocence once more felled by naivete,
How simple, yes, how right.
The fruit of innocence bears the seed of death.

If you'd like to share something of your own in the comments, I'd be thrilled to see and read it. If you'd like to share your thoughts about my words, I'll try to be equally thrilled to read them (depending on the tone LOL).

Monday, January 20, 2014

That thin line between vision and hallucinating AND Your Monday Fortune Cookie, 1/20/14

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.

SNARKY RESPONSE: It's also called hallucinating, and you might want to keep it to yourself.

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.

Well, unsuspecting guests walking into the Fort Magruder Hotel this past weekend probably thought they might be hallucinating, or stepped through the looking glass, when they walked into the midst of MarsCon's Twisted Fairy Tales.

Look in any given direction and you might see Dr. Who talking to a Klingon or a trio of giggling fairies pacing down the hall or members of the Manticorian Navy looking for recruits. This year's MarsCon theme was fully embraced by everyone, including enterprising science fiction costumers. This science fiction soldier added wings and became part of Project Flying Monkeys.

In celebration of all things Dr. Who, there were multiple daleks and a double seating of a Dr. Who themed tea.

Along with all the fantastic visuals, there were a regular plethora of panels covering everything science fiction and fantasy. My personal bent being writing, I was most involved with Jim C. Hines and Carrie Ryan as the writing Guest of Honors. I even sat on a panel with them to discuss Fairy Tales in literature.

I also sat on several panels relative to Erotic Romance and two spontaneous writing panels where panelists had to rewrite their chosen fairy tale including some random aspects from the audience. These aspects included an extra character, an object, a setting, an obstacle. Nothing like a little pressure, right? The first was an Over 18 Erotic Rewrite and the second a PG Rewrite.

There was plenty of music with, I believe, four or five musical performers, including Danny Birt. Here he is filking. What is filking? Well, my research reveals that it is rather free-form and basically indefinable, but resembles folk music with science fiction or fantasy lyrics, though there are also filkers who preform other musical styles and themes.

This was my first MarsCon and I was doubly honored and thrilled to attend as a panelist. It was enlightening, entertaining, and exhilarating. I'm looking forward to next year!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Beautiful mistakes? And your Monday Fortune Cookie, 1/12/14

How can you have a beautiful ending without making beautiful mistakes?

SNARKY RESPONSE: Well if we're talking orders of magnitude, then, my ending is going to be in 3D, surround-sound, techni-color.

How can you have a beautiful ending without making beautiful mistakes?

And a beautiful mistake is better than a regular mistake how?
Does it hurt less or more?
Is it less disappointing or worse?
Is it more instructive or destructive?

Is it just me or does this sound as if the Fortune Cookie Guru is saying "no pain, no gain" in a long and roundabout way? I can't decide if I'm impressed by the depth of this fortune or irritated by it's pompousness.

I guess it's that ol' "you appreciate it if you've earned it" mentality. If we've suffered for our goals, we'll be grateful. If we sacrifice for our happiness, we'll value it more. If we haven't seen the dark, we can't appreciate the light.

I seriously vote for achieving my beautiful ending without mistakes, beautiful or ugly. I think I'm able to appreciate the positive things that happen to me without having to be clobbered by a boatload of negatives first. What about you?

Monday, January 6, 2014

What the heart wants, vampires, and Your Monday Fortune Cookie, 1/6/14

The heart wants what it wants: an unending supply of human blood.

SNARK RESPONSE: First - EW! Second - and so do vampires. Third - you call THIS a fortune cookie fortune?

The heart wants what it wants: an unending supply of human blood.

The Originals on the CW

Been trying to catch up with The Originals on CW, so I've got vampires on the brain. Still in the first few episode, so please, folks, no spoilers. Certainly a very photogenic group of blood-suckers plus one witch. Or is she a werewolf? And a twisty dysfunctional family structure to boot. Still a little fuzzy about the who's who, but the setting, Nawlins, is always filled with promises of the bizarre and outre. Yep, definitely intrigued.

In fact, I'm thinking I may be doing some posts over at Tea & Strumpets for Myth Perceptions about the vampire myth and related tropes. So, consider this a little snark peek, er, sneak peak at vampires as seen through the eye of yours truly.

First, why oh why ARE they always so deliciously hunkadorable to look at? Of course, there is that whole seduction to obtain food thing. I suppose if someone less than fabulous wanted to nibble on your neck, you'd be more likely to think twice. And if you've got to live forever, it is preferable to do so in a body to die, or not die, for.

Second, if all  you can eat or drink is blood, talk about halitosis! How would you seduce someone if every breath smelled like an abattoir? I don't think Listerine would be completely up to the challenge, do you?

Well, I'd better stop now before all the vampire fans come after me with pointy objects. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy a good vampire story as much as the next one, and I'll be watching The Originals. For a while.