Writing View – Now and Then

This post is inspired by Cindy Knoke’s fabulous photo stories; Paul Militaru’s fabulous subject choices; and Jill Shalvis who used to regularly post her inspiring writing views.

All photo credits are mine.

Wind rustling leaves on spring trees sound like applause

Yay, Gina, you’re writing!

The twin tree is dressed in Spring foliage. Birds sing and chirp in every direction. Squirrels chase each other around the trunk and on the grassy ground. Fresh breezy air gently moves hair tendrils on my cheek.

The path ahead is the same yet not the same.

A week before Spring equinox, I started a new part-time job that brought more freedom, time, and appreciation to writing.

Snowy winter trees in February – I spent plenty of time writing and living the Food As Ally program. Inside. Under blankets with hot tea close by. I call this tree the Twins because there is one trunk.

The pond water changes color with the temperature and time of day. Details I notice from time spent staring while words form in my mind.

The world was black and white that day. No filters.

This is me, flushed and excited by my new home and moving boxes.

In October when I saw this balcony view I daydreamed of writing here before the cold weather chased me back inside. This is how it looked in early December, the day I moved in.

I hope you enjoyed my view and my words as much as I enjoy sharing them with you. Natural Gifts, indeed.



The Spotlights on –

Supporting Writers

An Editor’s Golden Touch

from Sharon Ledwith

Do you want to know how to make your manuscript stronger? Polished? Close to publication? Psst…I can help with that. Correction—my former editor, Kathy Teel, can help with that. The following advice is gold to writers seasoned or new. Read on…

  • The word “as” is not your friend. It is almost never your best choice. In any MS, find all occurrences of it and cut at least half. This is especially true when it occurs near a dialogue tag.
  • You don’t need both an action tag and a dialogue tag. For example: Jojo sneered at him, saying, “That was helpful.” Those should look like this: Jojo sneered. “That was helpful.” (This is where many of those words were cut)
  • Dialogue tags go after the first clause in the dialogue, not at the end, unless it’s a short bit of dialogue and we know…

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The Original Cakewalk

Leigh Goff

from Sharon Ledwith

Y’all ready to set the flo’? Say what? Not sure what I’m talking about? You’re not alone. I had no idea what “set the flo’” meant until digging into the research I needed to bring readers into my point-of-view character Drake Bailey’s world in the third book of The Last Timekeepers time travel adventure series. Set in 1855, during the antebellum period in Georgia, Drake discovers that it’s not the best place for an African American time traveler, but he endures and lives to tell his tale.

Plantation slaves in the deep south of America weren’t given many pleasures in their hard lives. Author Julius Lester sums it up beautifully when he wrote in his book, To Be A Slave, “The prayer meetings, the parties, and the holidays did not make being a slave pleasurable. Nothing could do that, but whatever pleasure the slave was able…

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Dan Dan Noodles

This post has me holding up a sign that says, “Will work for peanut-based noodle dishes.”


It’s no secret I love noodles/pasta and this dish has been on my “to make” list. Dan Dan Noodles translates as “noodles carried on a pole” or “peddler’s noodles”. There are many versions of these noodles and I finally decided on Joanne Chang’s version. She is the owner of Flour Bakery + Café in Boston and also has written a cookbook “Myers+Chang At Home”. This recipe was not in her cookbook but came to me via email from Food & Wine.

dsc_1863These noodles are one of the most famous of Sichuan street foods. The egg noodles are served in a savory, spicy broth made with chili oil topped with crispy pork and peanut flakes and then it’s all stirred together. Simple but with a numbing, smoky and spicy sauce.

The version I made is by no means the traditional Dan Dan Noodles from Chinese Sichuan cuisine as…

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Herb – a cook’s companion: cookbook review — My Custard Pie

Opening a new cookbook on your kitchen table, tearing scraps of paper to mark the most tempting recipes is such a pleasure. But the cookbooks that you put on your bedside to delve into more deeply, savouring the stories, slowly turning the pristine pages are the ones I treasure most. Herb/a cook’s companion by Mark […]

Herb – a cook’s companion: cookbook review — My Custard Pie

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels Book 1) by Ilona Andrews – Two-Minute Video Book Review

This is the first book in one of my favorite series. Reading Ilona Andrews and their title character, Kate Daniels, has inspired me to be a better writer and reader. Learning to write better should always be this fun.

For easy reference, I’m including my affiliate buy links for The Ripped Bodice. When you purchase through these links I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. To those who buy their books this way, thank you for supporting me and The Ripped Bodice.

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels Book 1)

Magic Burns (Kate Daniels Book 2)

Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels Book 3)

Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels Book 4)

Magic Slays (Kate Daniels Book 5)

Magic Rises(Kate Daniels Book 6)

Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels Book 7)

Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels Book 8)

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels Book 9)

Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels Book 10)

Thanks for watching and reading!


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