Where are my people who believe in messages from the Universe?

“I found a nickel in my shoe this morning, so the universe is telling me that money is walking my way!”

C’mon, where are you?

‘Cause I need help.

I’m obviously doing something wrong….

This is my message from the Universe?

Dun dun dun!!!!!

I definitely better hurry up and finish my damn novel!


Ahhh, yes, the new Devil’s Party header, here now too.

What’s going on with me these days?

Well, if you follow this rambling blog you know we moved house for the daughter to go to art school, and we’ve resettled, and that I have stopped doing the adjunct thing as part of that, simply because it involves too much driving for Los Angeles, too much driving in general, and too much driving to be able to get the kiddo back and forth to art school, because adjuncts never get to choose their schedules.

This is the “famous” commute I photographed back in the days of free-standing GPS. You can see I start in Maryland on this day, and, in the course of a day, would often have a class at all 5 schools:

Sometimes I would have to get out and wander through a gas station convenience store just to keep from falling asleep.

Often times I was the only car left in the parking lot at the end of the night, because I stayed to help students.

Often I smuggled my daughter in to class when she had off, and college didn’t:

She’s excited here because she doesn’t have to sit in a corner and color and be quiet anymore. Mom is done for the day!

I was always well-reviewed by my schools:

I did a lot for my students, like starting this little free library in my classrooms whenever I could, and soliciting books from friends and neighbors. This one was having its first day of life, so there’s not much there:

Putting in extra effort on my own time and my own dime:

And nominating my students for awards:

And my students really appreciated me, which was great, and I appreciated them too:

(Surprise came in the mail after the semester was over!)

But the schools never did. They really didn’t appreciate me. They gave and took away classes as they saw fit or it suited their budgets. They had me prep and interview for jobs they had already filled. It’s a demoralizing and losing proposition whenever you’re not directly in class with the students, which is a wonderful experience.

And while we do this, adjuncts everywhere, we get less healthy, less wealthy; our cars slowly deteriorate and die, and so, sadly, do we.

At the same time, busy busy, I started a writing workshop, and a publishing company.

AND, all along, I had been editing professionally, starting with doing Fred’s book in 2011.

So, now, we’re taking it pro, Dave and I. We offer services on Reedsy, if you like your services to cost more, or on our site. Great things about us:

Between us we have 40 years in publishing, editing, marketing, and writing.

Between us we’ve edited over 400 short stories and memoirs.

Between us we’ve edited more than 30 full-length books, most of which have gone on to publish and garner awards.

And it’s all there on the same site as our publishing company.

All folks who think they might need editing can get a free sample edit within a few days.

AND we have our unique piece-by-piece editing style, which no none else currently offers, where we work with our authors to truly support them from start to finish. We don’t just edit the whole thing, send it back, and cash the check.

So, you know me, if you follow this blog. I’m kind; I’m giving; I work hard, and I care deeply about every writer I’ve ever worked with. I got the “helper gene,” and, I’d venture to say, I’m actually a bit gifted at adopting another writer’s voice, so I am quite good at spotting inconsistencies or missteps in writing: quickly, confidentially, and expertly.

In addition to all the services DPP now offers, you may just want to subscribe to our newsletter while you’re there, so you can keep up with what we’re doing, see opportunities, and learn about book marketing too.

Thanks so much for your support!


Through November 30, 2022 (or until the quota is filled), submissions are open for volume 4 in the popular HALLOWEEN PARTY series. For submission guidelines and to submit a work for consideration, visit the Duosoma Page.

This anthology will be edited by Jeffrey Keeten, and designed by Juan Cantu! DPP is so excited to be working with such a powerhouse duo. If you know anything about Keeten, you know that he knows great writing better than most men. And if you’re at a all familiar with “I love bad art” artist Cantu, you know how compelling, dark, and soulful his art is. We’re so excited to see this book!

All authors chosen for the book receive a $25 honorarium in addition to a free copy of the book, and this payment makes them eligible for membership in the Horror Writers Association!

If you’re unfamiliar with the type of stories we prefer, or if you’re searching for a great gift for the horror lover in your life, consider picking up the HALLOWEEN HORROR BUNDLE, available throughout October at $20 below retail. This makes a great holiday gift for that hard-to-buy-for person in your life, like Uncle John!


Well, there is no music at the conference. It’s a writer’s conference, and not a song writer’s conference.

But I use music to get me going in the morning, and it just sort of hits me, what I need. Yesterday was:

And this:

And this morning this is the only thing working for me, over and over and over:

What are you listening to this morning?

Time to drink that coffee and take my critique meetings….


“Take lots of photos of the conference,” Dave said. Here they all are; see them?

I failed miserably at the one task to which I was assigned. 😦

But, regardless, I have had a wonderful day, photos or not, hearing so many great book ideas, and everyone is so warm and friendly. And the Atlanta Writer’s Conference is managed down to the smallest detail by people who care about these writers, and are giving them the best damn experience possible. There are a lot of conferences out there, but this one truly seems to be about helping writers sell the work to publishers or agents.

I sat on a panel, and took some query letter meetings.

Of course, I meant to write “query letter meetings,” as I did above, but at first I typed something like “bloated radish,” I am definitely exhausted, I now realize, because I wrote “bloated rabbit, and I’m falling asleep, So, more soon!

Woo! Asleep again. Better stop now. Conference comes early.

Excuse this if it is garbled. I will check it in the morning!


If you are local to Atlanta, don’t miss this fall’s Atlanta Writer’s Conference, November 4-5 at the Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel, 4736 Best Road, in Atlanta. I am so excited to be among the invited guests, and I’ll be on hand to talk with writers about their works, provide feedback, and more!
PS. I am a shy, shy person, so if you see me, please eat dinner with me. LOL


That ad went out in March 2015, on a local FB group, and posted in 2 local Starbucks. The result was amazing, and from our first meeting in April of ’15 until I moved in January ’22, people came to my house every other Sunday, come rain, snow, sun, death, plague (we went on Zoom)….

Suffice it to say, I know how to help writers write, and how to run a decent workshop.

Why do you need a workshop?

Most of all, for the deadline, and the camaraderie. It’s a lonely business, writing.

So I’m gearing up to run some workshops in the new year, now that I’ve settled in on the west coast.

Could you use a workshop? Do you want to finish your damn novel?

Check out the dates, and if you don’t see what you want, there’s a contact form, where you can request it.

Live in the LA area and want something live and in person? You can request that too!



Recently I noticed something disturbing with the students that I have been working with, and that is a spate of assignments from their teachers that ask them to fill out a grid form with QUOTES from their sources.


C’mon people, who is proofreading these things?

Quote is a verb, as in TO QUOTE.

QUOTATION is a noun, as in this is a QUOTATION from John Lennon, “All you need is love.”

So, students and your teachers, you should not be filling your paper with QUOTES, you should be filling it with QUOTATIONS, and you shouldn’t be doing that in any case, because you should be paraphrasing, but that’s a whole other conversation.

Grammar pet peeve of the day.

I’m not perfect; I make mistakes too, and I seldom see my own errors, which is why everyone needs editing, but among a college full of English teachers, many with PhDs, somebody should be giving their course materials a proofread. Write once; edit twice.

That is all.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled good day. 😉