Meet Naomi, my Granddaughter.


By Erika Stambulski


July 11th of this year the most amazing thing will happen, Naomi Ann will enter this world.

For years Doctors and obgyn’s told me I would never have a baby due to a list of medical complications. Two of whitch include Polycystic ovarian syndrome and Endometriosis.

Today I am 23weeks. With no sign of either. My own little miracle letting me know she is there snuggled in my tummy! Streaching and dancing. Always moving around.

Recently, we found out that all was not well with our hyperactive little dance deva. During a routine ultrasound they were having a hard time seeing Naomi’s heart. We were refered to Barns Children’s hosp. In St. Louis MO. For a Fetal Echo.

At 20weeks Naomi Ann was Diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot. (A grouping of defects with/with in the heart.) Soon after if not directly after her birth she will have to undergo Open Heart Surgery.

Her daddy tries really hard to support us and pay for all expenses. But with me not working it becomes harder every day with todays economy.

Pray for our sweet baby girl that all goes well. I pray every day for her happiness. And as her parents, we will continue to do everything we can for her throughout our lives.

Thank you for taking the time to read her story. And for the next year I will be updating this poast and letting everyone know about her struggles and triumphs.

Again, thank you.

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Leave the Editing to the Pro’s

Editing is an art.

An art that I have yet to master because I am a free flowing, off the mast writer. I shun structure unless it is keeping the snow off my back or harboring me from lions, tigers, and bears…oh my…uhm. My job is tell a story in a fun, interesting way that keeps the reader amused, grabs their attention, and filled of twist and turns. It is not my job to thoroughly edit every punctuation mark. I am too busy writing to see the errors of my ways so I leave that to the pros. That is what we writers pay them to do.

Now, with that said, a writer should know the basics…I mean come on. Even I can tell when there is a break in sentence flow, sometimes, but not all the time. I write fast. I move from one story to the next with all the grace of Curly falling down a flight of stairs. My writing style, as I stated before, is free flowing. I write off the cuff and seldom if ever use an outline, which may come to a surprise if you read Fly Paper Soup. I used a chart to keep track of the murders and the antagonists.


Many writers I know use outlines and understand the rules of engagement. They write extraordinary stories. In no way am I taking away from their efforts. I am saying that I cannot write like that.

Now for my editing style. I punch out two thousand words or more and then I sit back and have a cup of coffee, walk the dog, eat a donut—anything to take my mind off what I just wrote. After about fifteen minutes or so, I will read it aloud. I find miss-spelled words or word usage errors, I find missing words, (like I said I write fast and do not realize I did not type a “to” or something like that). Then I move on to something else. The next day I will re-read it again and find more mistakes or decide to rewrite the whole thing. That is the extent of my editing.

Why? Well it is not because I am perfect. It is not because I am a grammar wizard, and it certainly is not because I am a writing master. Like Dirty Harry said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” I do not know all the rules to writing nor do I want to know them. I want to write unencumbered by rules and regulations that may inhibit my ability to put forth an entertaining piece. Besides, all the noise in my head makes it hard to find a rule for this or that. I write, that is what I do.

When I’m finished writing I hand off my manuscript to my beta’s, proofreaders, and editor with my chest inflated—my eyes beaming with pride. Then they hand it back dripping in red ink and my ego deflates. Humble becomes my middle name. That is their job. That is what they do.  Next, Book Covers.

Stop your complaining…and get busy writing

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Words From The Floor

So, you don’t think you are a writer because an editor said your writing sucks. Well, maybe it does, but that does not mean you are not a writer .

Editing is a treasured art only appreciated by writers. If an average editor is worth his/her weight in gold, then a good one is worth twice that and a great one is worth your first born child.

As an artist paints, sketches, molds, chisels, or snaps a shot, an editor meticulously reads each word, examines every punctuation mark, assures the story flows, and the characters remain true to themselves. It is not easy to do.

My recent book, Fly Paper Soup went through seven betas and each one found something worth correcting. Now, let us make something clear, a Beta reader reads for substance, for flow, and their job is to tell the author if the story works. Did it move them, did it capture their attention, was it interesting, or did it drag on, no spark, and cause the reader to jump off a bridge. After they dried off, they may find flaws in word usage, grammar, or any number of things. Your perfect work is not so perfect.

An editor digs, grinds, examines your story from top to bottom and then does it all over again. They are brutally honest and should be. If you have an editor that hands out lollipops and sprinkles everything with sugar, get rid of them.

You want your book top rated.

You want your book to compete.

You want your book in the hands of readers all over the world.

You want to make money…I hope.

If so, then stop being so timid. Write with passion. Write with zeal. Drive those pros and splash those cons. Have no fear. Read your work over and over again aloud, have others read it as you write. Take criticism constructively, even if presented with harsh and cruel honesty. The only way to grow as a writer is to know your faults and correct them. Then write, write, and write. Then write some more. When your betas deliver the news, be open to rewrites or changes they suggest.

Now when the editor delivers your manuscript back and it is dripping in red ink do not be discouraged. Examine the edits. Learn. Grow. Ask questions but never throw the manuscript away thinking you are a lousy writer. Make the chances. Accept your humanity. Swallow that pride.

You are a writer, first and for most. You write…that is what you do. Edit the best you can and move on…NEXT. Leave the real editing to the pros.

Major Announcement! Sort of I guess, possibly…depends really…Now that I think about it, you won’t miss out on anything if you ignore it.

Over the past few weeks, my writing future has steadily taken over my thoughts and consciousness. In a good way I assure you. Those familiar with my writing style know that I do not have a “genre.” I write horror, mystery, macabre, and science fiction in no particular order of what may pop up next. It is a crap-shoot, a fruitcake with lots of nuts and juicy fruits. Well, I made a major decision a few days ago and I am going to focus on two genres – Mystery and Science Fiction.

“Impossible!” you say.

Well maybe. I think horror and the macabre will still be there but on the back burner.

“Why, why do this us? Your rock steady fans love variety and don’t care if you flip-flop back and forth.”

The fact is my focus is becoming more and more centralized. Don’t get me wrong. I still love the Macabre but leaning away from horror.

“When will this change take place?”

Well, it has already. My last three releases were short stories and I have more planned for the Bedeviled series. All Macabre. The David Winter Mystery series is off and running with the first release out this fall. I’m also working on the fourth book of Nucor my Science Fiction series.

“Will we still be able to buy your older stories?”

Certainly. They will be on, Barnes and Noble, I-tunes, Smashwords, and many more sights.

“When will you have your next book signing?”

I received an overwhelming amount of emails requesting a book singing. My last one was in October of last year and I may do it again this year.

Please send questions to

Walk Away


Walk Away
©Cleve Sylcox

You can make the blue skies, bluer,
The soft ocean breezes, softer,
The warm bed, warmer.

You can make love, lovelier,
The soft full kiss, fuller,
A warm embrace, warmer,

You can never take,
What you’ve given,

You can never remove,
A memory you made,

You can never hide,
A feeling so deep,

As I felt the day you,
Walked away.