When Words Aren’t Enough . . . or Too Much

Prioritize my passions and you’d find writing leading against automotive. However, when it comes to some basic instructions on repair or simply locating a component, I turn to visual aids. No matter how many times my husband might explain something, I’ll go cross-eyed somewhere in the middle and yearn for a dry-erase board to depict the basic points of his highly detailed explanation.

I find it happening in well-described fight scenes or exceedingly specific settings of fictional material as well. Does anyone else share my struggle?

For some instances, there is nothing that can be done. However, for other moments, I seek out assistance via the all-knowing web, with a grain of salt, of course.

My point, beyond a tendency to acquire functional knowledge via observation, is should you ever feel overwhelmed by description and think it beyond you, try finding an animated version or even a real-life version (YouTube) of the event, activity, or component location.

For example, my Ford’s owner’s manual insisted there was a place to plug in my iPhone and allow such things as listening to online radio. For the life of me, I couldn’t find it. There was even a photo! Yes, well, whoever took the photo must have had the car turned inside out or had the camera perfectly positioned inside the center console. After a couple internet searches, I ventured on my quest and made the discovery previously made by others. It was more of a touch, can’t see, sort of find.

If any of my previous or future blog posts cause the cross-eyed side effect, feel free to inform me, (I have been known to overwhelm with the minutest details and lose focus on the over-reaching idea) but I also encourage you to widen your search before throwing in the towel. It’s amazing and great how resource materials can simplify the most complicated of concepts or, for some, like me, those sources just arrange the pieces together until I finally get the ah-ha picture leading to a possible self-duh moment.

But that’s when you just delete your search engine history so no one will ever know you had to look it up in the first place. 😉




Under No Obligation

Do you have to like my work? As I share the release of my debut e-book, Sara’s Last Resort, with friends and family, I’m suspecting I might back them into a corner.

I found the right words to explain things, though, as I spoke to a colleague at my Book Release Party. I’ve wanted to be published so my work would be available to anyone whom it might interest. For me to muscle through and finish the work already suggests I was interested in the story line. I took my automotive experience, applied it to fictional characters with related backstory in a what-if circumstance where the events agreed with my preferences. Basically, I wrote something I would like to read. Man, I miss the mountains. It’s great to re-visit them during editing.

My words had greater clarity, it seemed, when I explained off the hip while holding a White Russian. 🙂 On a side note, I found slicing and dicing my ms to meet my editor’s request of a faster pace opening proved easier to accomplish with a tumbler of Tullamore Dew. It eased the pain.

Additionally, I am thankful for a recent road trip with my toddler son. Before leaving, I read editor comments. Then, as I drove, I kept the radio turned off and allowed my brain rumination time. It generated great results in the less restricted mental meadow where I held no pen or paper. (At that time, I was fueled by caffeine.)

However, when I did my final read-through prior to Release Day, I aimed for sobriety as I scoured for potential typos because I wanted to avoid anything throwing you out of the story.

#WhyIwrite also has a lot to do with tracking my thought sequence. I leave a bread crumb trail from where I began and it helps me figure out where I’d intended to go as opposed to where I ended up. Although, I usually find myself appreciating the direction my characters take.

In summary, you don’t have to like the content, but I do wish you find my writing style–at least in my fictional work–doesn’t read disjointedly. I swear it is too much effort for me to try to sort my brain out than ask you to do so as well. A favorite quote of mine is credited to Mark Twain (versus his alternate identity): “Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flowing through one’s head.”

Okay, professional posture and maybe I can feel this is satisfactorily composed. It appears I wanted to share some tricks I found useful during my editing process and also self-revelation post-release day. Telling friends and family of my accomplishment also motivates me to keep writing, because if I don’t, I’ll have no answer when the next time I see them, they rely on my hobby/career as a fallback topic and ask what I’ve written lately. 🙂 I have a few ms’ up my sleeve already.

Tweaking My Book Blurb

My editor promised me final round of edits after this one. That’s great! But, now what?

I toil under sleepless nights. Why touch my next WIP (Work In Progress) because her word could come any day?

Getting published this first time is . . . everything to me. I am quite skilled at looking down the road, planning ahead but, right now, I seem to have trouble getting the horizon to focus.

A fellow writer previously suggested areas in which my book’s back cover synopsis could be strengthened. I decided to apply my indefatigable mental prowess to the chore. Okay, that sounds arrogant. How about I just say I want to exhaust my brain muscle so I can find slumber in my bed tonight? Why couldn’t it be this insatiable on a write-my-next-scene night?

If you’re in the mood to nitpick at the level I am, please apply your given (God, DNA, both) talents and hard-earned skill to the lines below:


By: Kendra Vasquez

Sara McDaniels, educated automotive technician, drives her truck off the road in a small, Rocky Mountain town. She never intended needing another mechanic in her life, but Jason Cole, Sauk City’s only grease monkey, has the resources she needs. After abandoning Denver, Colorado with its cheats and liars in the auto repair business, she has no reason to trust Jason but, when she follows his non-assuming, muscular form over a few mountain trails, meets his intense gray gaze, she feels her defenses weaken. Her fierce will builds up its walls, ever wary, for how can she learn the truth about him without revealing her hopes and heart in the process?

Jason Cole must salvage his shop from a greasy pit of fraud compliments of his ex-employee. Hearing of Sara’s arrival in town and her background in automotive, he tracks her down and finds her completely unwilling to cooperate. Her education could get his shop back on track but her prejudice keeps anything automotive-related at bay. He takes the personal route, discovers the mountains are her natural element, and stumbles upon her more fragile side. The last thing he’d planned on was getting lost tracing trails in her wide, forest-green eyes. He holds off telling Sara about his fraudulent past. If he breaks her burgeoning trust, it may be the one thing he can’t re-build. How can he ever see the mountains again without her in them?

Neither of them wants to see Jason’s business fail. They share a passion for hands-on repairs, and for each other. Sara means to see this through to the end, see if Jason can exceed her expectations. When she discovers his secrets, will Jason’s past make her run again? Did Jason have any idea in the beginning he was her last resort?

Thank you for your effort in providing feedback.

My book release party will see more invitees than my wedding!

Compose Then MUST Summarize

My publisher recently posted a blog regarding book blurbs right after I shared in the wonderful struggle of composing one for my up and coming release.

Yesterday, I heard the quote attributed to Albert Einstein, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” I haven’t satisfied my nagging need to balance out the equation because I want to acknowledge the truth in his words, but how does it match up with my publisher’s admittance that numerous writers flee in terror at the thought of summarizing their book?

Here’s what I’ve got so far: Continue reading

How’s My Bait?

My book hook needs a critical look, please.

Greetings Fellow Writers and/or Readers:

I entreaty help. My editor appreciates the condensed blurb to my upcoming release. However, the head of promotion finds it a little offside.

With the scales balanced, I ask you to provide your weight via your input. Does the below summary titillate or should it capitulate to something else?

In the Rocky Mountains, there’s more than one way to fix cars and passions, but Sara doubts anyone can repair her level of distrust even as she gives a small town mechanic the chance. With no other way to gain what she desires, she agrees to his suspicious deal of following him across the Rockies in exchange for her specialized automotive education. Down to her last hope, she fears her heart will never be the same once their bargain is over.

Looking forward to your feedback as it will make all the difference, Kendra

For a more in-depth description please visit SMP–Sara’s Last Resort.


The Good with The Bad

Not taking a break from being a stay-at-home mom has cost me a few days hard labor. As in, I was forced to sit on my hands and let my husband carry our son around for a few days while I recovered from a herniated disc. Say what? How could this happen?

Well, apparently, lifting car parts for a decade didn’t toughen me up for the repetition of lifting my son for changing, feeding, sleeping, comforting, etc. My weakness for slouching probably had something to do with it, too.

Anyway, on the same day I was forced to call my husband and rush him home from work due to lancing pain in my lower back and down one leg, we waited for the time to make my urgent appointment and I checked my e-mail. I received the cover art for my first ebook and it looked excellent. It was a sheer delight on a rather ridiculous-seeming day; a yet-to-be toddler who gets better at toddling/walking each day had reduced his mother to crawling. Bleh!

I thank Soul Mate Publishing for giving me the opportunity to think up my own cover art. Some publishing houses say they’re in charge of the art and the author must accept what they create. Since I had been expecting such, I had never thought once of what my the cover for my book would look like, composition and color. Then Soul Mate, after signing their contract, sends me a form and I am in the driver’s seat. I enjoyed taking the scenic route 😉 and hope you do, too. Please come back for a visit when I have the chance to reveal what their artists and my input had put together for my contemporary romance to be released in the near future.

(I lifted my son again, today. Yay! What a pleasure and should keep me motivated through several more PT sessions.)