Debra St. John ~ Guest Blog Post!

The Writing Workout

I’ve been taking a great workout class for the past couple of months. It’s called Yogaloties and is basically a combination of Yoga and Pilates. The workout is great for toning and strengthening, and I leave each session relaxed, having left behind the cares of the day.

This got me to thinking. Sitting down to write on any given day is a lot like my Yogaloties workout.

In class, we start with some warm up breathing and stretches. This gets the body ready for the workout and focuses the mind on what’s ahead. In writing I always start with a warm up as well. I “visit” what I’ve written previously. Not to make any hard and fast edits or changes, but to re-familiarize myself with my current WIP. It helps me “get in the mood” and ready myself to dig into the core of the work.

The main portion of the workout is dedicated to Pilates. It’s the meat of the workout. This is where all the hard work is done. This is where I’m going to sweat. After reviewing a page or two of my manuscript, the time comes to move the story forward. Dig deep into the plot and get into my characters’ heads. Create natural dialogue, sizzling sexual tension, or seemingly impossible conflicts for them to overcome. On good days the words flow easily and I make a lot of progress, on other days it’s like the ab portion of my workout: painful, but with a well worth it end result.

The cool down comes at the end of the session. More breathing and relaxation poses. When I feel I’ve written all that I can for the day, I go back and re-read a portion (or all) of what I’ve written. Again, this isn’t the time for major edits, although I may tweak a few things here and there. Rather it’s a time to look back and give myself a pat on the back for what I’ve accomplished.

In both cases, it’s nice to walk away (either from my Yoga mat or from my computer) feeling satisfied with my efforts. It’s so gratifying to feel and see the results of those efforts over time: more energy, skinny jeans that fit in all the right places, or holding my latest book in my hand. These days, the jeans are fitting well, and last week two big boxes were waiting on my doorstep when I got home from work. My latest release, This Can’t Be Love, had arrived! I can’t ask for much more than that.


This Can’t Be Love blurb:After the disastrous end of another dead-end relationship, all Jessica Hart wants is solitude and time to heal at her grandfather’s mountain retreat. Instead she finds Zach Rawlings.
Zach has made himself at home at the cabin. He’s house-sitting while the owner is away, and the temporary nature of the job suits him perfectly. For Jessica, Zach is everything she wants to escape.
As she gets to know him better, she realizes there’s more to him than meets the eye. His patience and tender concern begin to heal something deep inside of her. But can she trust her heart to a man like Zach?


They laughed together, then fell silent. Crickets chirped in the darkness. The scent of Zach’s aftershave drifted to her on the light breeze.

After a while, he turned toward her. “Do you?”

“Do I what? Like apple pie and ice cream?”

“No,” he said softly. His gaze dropped to her lips. “Do you kiss and tell?”

Jessica’s heart kicked into a fast rhythm and she caught her breath. “I…”

“Shhhh.” He leaned closer. “I won’t tell if you won’t,” he whispered before his mouth claimed hers
His lips stroked over hers, not aggressively, but softly, tenderly. He didn’t touch her anywhere else, but brushed her mouth with gentle intent.

Her first instinct was to pull back, but something stirred deep inside her. A feeling she’d nearly forgotten. Whispery shivers danced along her nerve endings and fluttered in her stomach. Without meaning to, the action was purely a reflex, she opened to him.

The kiss deepened. Their breath mingled. Her palm slid up his chest, feeling the play of muscle beneath his shirt. She fisted the flannel of his open collar in her hand.

His knuckles grazed the sides of her face.

Her body tingled with awareness. Scattered thoughts flitted through her mind, but she couldn’t hold onto any of them. Not while Zach kissed her. Not when his mouth fitted so perfectly against hers. Not when the pulse racing at the base of his throat matched the cadence of her heartbeat.

She couldn’t remember the last time she’d felt like this. Had felt anything.

Should she be feeling this way about Zach?

Almost as if sensing her conflicting emotions, he softened the kiss, tenderly brushing his mouth over hers one last time.

She waged a silent war within, trying to calm her racing heart.

She still clutched his shirt. She relaxed her fingers one at a time, releasing the twisted fabric from her grasp. Finally she drew in a deep breath, then slowly let it out.

Her eyes found his.

Zach’s gaze searched hers. He smiled. A smile as soft and tender as his kiss. He touched his finger to her lips, then rose. “Good night, Jess.”

Blogs: Acme Authors Link, Heroines with Hearts



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