What I did during my holiday

I rarely get personal but since I’ve been MIA for three weeks I thought I’d share a little.

First, we went to Paris, France to visit family and celebrate the high school graduation of my beautiful granddaughter. 

The day started out a little overcast and cloudy with a chance of showers. Oh boy, do I wish I’d taken pictures during the ceremony but I was afraid my phone would be ruined. During this outside ceremony, the heavens opened and a torrential storm soaked us all. The tent canopy nearly collapsed before all diplomas were handed out. LOL This was one day no one will forget.

Must visit at least another museum while in Paris. This trip we went to the National Pantheon. Under the dome can be found the oldest paintings, frescoes begun under the First Empire. A crypt containing tombs of honored men and women.

Over the next three weeks, we visited the beach in Sete, France. I wasn’t prepared for a beach where the water could turn a person into a human popsicle. Brrr. Beautiful but too cold for this Texan. However, the best part was five days with my daughter and granddaughter. 

The best part of this trip was getting personal one-on-one time with each of our three granddaughters. We rarely have the time and this was special. 





Next, we headed to Edinburgh, Scotland.

I’d always wanted to visit Scotland, so we decided to take a quick jaunt over there this year. It is a beautiful place. I discovered a little about my roots and a lot about Scotland.

Mrs. MacIntyre's Cafe in Edinburgh Scotland
A namesake cafe!
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle






Birds eye view of Edinburgh, Scotland
Birdseye view of Edinburgh, Scotland
Photo with Owls on Streets of Edinburgh
Photo with Owls on Streets of Edinburgh

There was Harry Potter stuff everywhere. Including live owls.

And of course, no visit to Scotland is complete without tasting a few good whiskeys.






Well, that’s what I did on my vacation. What about you? Big plans for the summer? I’d love to hear, so share.





How to know if your book is the right length

The words come and the words go, but where do we stop, I don’t know.


Some days I’m ready to stop after one paragraph. Other days I think the story will be a saga the likes of War and Peace. Not! But truth be told, I just hope to write something somewhere in the middle. A story that a few people, other than my family, will enjoy reading.


Then there is the question, how long or short is enough?

Apparently, it depends on the genre. I’ve written about this before, but it seems I’ve more to learn.

This article Word Count for Novels and Children’s Books: The Definitive Post  By  breaks it down by genre.

Like with most “rules,” there are exceptions. However, if you’re the least bit like me, you like to have a general goal to shoot for.

So here’s a cheat sheet for you!

  • Literary novel: 80,000-90,000 good average.
  • Memoir: Same as Literary Novel.
  • Short Stories: 1,000-25,000
  • Novellas: 25,000 – 55,000 words, over 55k you’re so close you might as well expand it into a novel.
  • Literary saga: 100,000-110,000 (over that and you might want to consider a series.)
  • Science fiction and fantasy: 90,000-100,000 on average. However, some can go to 115,000. Readers expect this genre to be lengthy.
  • Westerns: 50,000-80,000 is the range for this genre, so aim for the middle.
  • Middle grade is a bit tricky. Depending on age and subject matter, shoot for 20,000– 55,000. Younger kids = lower word count. Older teens = higher word count.
  • Young Adult (YA) genre, according to Chuck gives the writer more flexibility. Somewhere in the 55,000-70,000 range is a safe bet.  Science fiction or fantasy can go a bit longer.
  • Children’s Picture Books: Standard is 32 pages and no more than 500 words.

More reading on word count:

LitRejections Word Count Genre Guidelines 

What is the Ideal Word Count for a Novel? by CG Blake

Ask The Agent: Your Novel Word Count Guide and More!