Writing on Research: Car Crash (Broadside/ T-Bone, SUV)

One of my books begins with a broadside crash involving an SUV, but since I’ve never been in a crash or seen much outside of movies, I needed to learn more about the physics involved, common injuries, and how do airbags work anyway?


Crashing SUVs (WickenburgNews.com)

A detailed cross-comparison of SUV crash tests, including but not limited to broadside. Includes specific models and where they rate on the safety scale.

Side Impact Injury (Car-AccidentLawyers.com)
A general list of injuries commonly received in a broadside crash and related symptoms.

Side Collision (Wikipedia)

Contains a general overview as well as charts of how different vehicles scored in the testing and where they fall on the safety scale. Two charts: Newer Cars (after 2011) and Older Cars (before 2011).

How Airbags Work (HowStuffWorks.com)

This covers airbags in detail. It also explains how the laws of motion work on passengers during a crash.

A collection of side impact stories. (Car-Accidents.com)
Some of the personal accounts are quite detailed (consider this as much a warning as anything else), and they all include pictures of the cars involved.

A collection of side impact injury claim stories. (AllAboutCarAccidents.com)

No photos, just a collection of short stories detailing the types of injuries sustained. Beware all the suggestions to talk to a car accident lawyer.

If you researched this topic and found other helpful links, please leave them in a comment!

See the (short but growing) complete list of research topics here.

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Flash Fiction Friday: Ailish and the Rat

Click here to read about my FF Keyword Challenge.

Keywords: Vegan, Beach, Dogs


Ailish and the Rat

“I love running. I absolutely love running!” Ailish exclaimed. Her paws dug into the warm sand, propelling her forward with ever increasing speed. Her tongue tasted sea spray as it hung out of her big, wide, open grin, and her wiry gray hair rippled in the wind she made.

A little brown Chihuahua zipped across her path, heading for the water, and she saw him just in time.

“Oh!” she exclaimed, jumping to the side in a graceful stop.

“You are big,” the Chihuahua commented, pausing to sniff at her ankle. “But you are not a horse. What are you?”

“I am an Irish wolfhound,” Ailish said proudly, her head tall. “My breed used to hunt wolves.”

Continue reading

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Flash Fiction, Keyword Challenge

tmp_5434-book-863418_12801904019198.jpgI’ve been thinking for a while that I need to get some actual writing on my blog, not just “here’s what I’m working on” or sharing research finds. Trouble is, I don’t have much in the short story department, and so I’ve decided to make more.

Anyone who uses the Reader on WordPress knows about the search bar at the top. For the longest time I completely missed the suggested keywords underneath, but there are always three, and they are always changing.

My plan is to take the keywords and run with them, turning it into flash fiction.

And I feel like this is going to be super fun!

Do you write flash fiction? How do you choose what to write about? If you want to do the Keyword Challenge too, I would love to see what you come up with!

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A Snapshot of Where I Write

For 1 hour a day, occasionally 1 1/2 hours.


Because nap time is it. That’s all I get.

You see, I have 5 kids ranging in age from 18 months to 8 years. Before I took on the more daunting writing goals, I decided I wouldn’t sacrifice my family for more time. I had to work with what I had.

It’s not easy. In fact, for 2 months last Fall it was so frustrating I quit writing altogether. I had to find a new method, and that became not just sitting with the 4 yr old while he fell asleep (he wouldn’t otherwise), but also staying in the room while he slept.tmp_11813-img_20170214_142048-463412669

The older kids (who don’t nap) know to Not Bother Mama and do their school or color or play with legos quietly. The 18 mo old sleeps at the same time, so I actually get an hour or so of solid quiet (most the time) to work on the novel or write a blog post.

Sometimes it means stopping before I want to (like the time I was 5 sentences away from killing off the bad guy, then the little man woke up), but I look at the kiddos and my husband as a bigger priority. I love them more than I love my book, and I want to make sure they know it.

In the mean time, I plug away at my literary goals little by little, one nap at a time.

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Writing on Research: Running Track & Field (Diagram)

I landed in the boat right where I was supposed to, but then an old hurdling injury reminded my knees why I didn’t jump anymore. (Novel, WIP)



One of my characters has a history in track & field. I couldn’t rely on my 15 year old memory to accurately recall details of my personal experience, so I set out to research!

Department of Sport and Recreation (Government of Western Australia)

I found this site helpful because my character tends to measure distances in her daily life based on track measurements, and the diagrams here were a little more specific and larger (and easier to read) than other sites. This link also gives details on the various track events.

Track and Field Dimensions (iSport)tmp_9843-track-740862_1280-1536842581

This site includes details (and printable diagrams) on the inner field sports as well as the jumps and track events. I needed info on hurdling specifically, so I appreciated the discipline specific diagrams.

If you have researched this topic and found other helpful links, please leave them in a comment!

See the (short but growing) complete list of researched topics here.

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Writing on Research: Exclamations (Non-profane, non-vulgar)

This is a nice list of uttered sounds that communicate a wide array of emotion, with definitions:

100 Mostly Small but Meaningful Interjections (Daily Writing Tips)

A similar list but not identical, no definitions:

Interjections (English Grammar Revolution)

There are other sites out there with more exhaustive lists, but they include vulgar and profane phrases alongside the clean ones so I haven’t listed them here.


See the (short but growing) complete list of researched topics here.

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Capture of a Waiting Room

One day my minivan needed its tires rotated and wheels aligned. I made my appointment, scheduled a babysitter, then off I went, completely forgetting that these sorts of things can take time.

When I heard “3 hour wait,” I inwardly cringed. I had no book to read. No yarn to crochet. No smart phone to play on.

Fortunately, I always have a small notepad in my purse. And pens. I spent the first 20 minutes writing down lists to better organize my life. I studied the finished products proudly, eager to make my life as good as it looked on paper. (Ha. Haha.)

Then I sighed, looked at the clock, and did the only thing I could think of: I sketched where I was.  Continue reading

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