Sandy Ward Bell



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Are We as Bad as Men?

Posted on July 18, 2017 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (1)

Don’t you hate it when a man explains Man-Splanning. It reminds me that we still have work to do. Women can be just as bad. At a meeting the other day, we were discussing medicines and a new lady in the group was contributing some solid, interesting facts, and then another women turns to her and asks, “Are you a nurse?” She replied, “No, I’m a doctor.” Maybe we should get our ducks in a row before hounding the men.

Blink Nose Twitch

Posted on March 16, 2015 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Cleaning my house is an awful job. I don’t hire anyone because I’m certain I will have to trail behind them wiping down what they miss. I wish I could sit back and not care. I try to make the chore fun with music or books on tape, but kneeling before a toilet to rid it of its grossness will never be fun. Glad to see companies trying to make it easier on us by inventing time saving devices. Maybe, someday, they will invent the blink nose twitch – you know, the talent of Samantha Stevens from Bewitched and Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie. When that hits the market, I’m the first one in line.

Why I Love Austen

Posted on November 6, 2014 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Jane Austen is a gem. I have been a fan for over twenty-five years. With the release of my new novel, I began to dig deep to find out why I love her work so much. It’s simple really. Her creations are timeless. Even though old English can seem thick, Austen makes reading her sentences so enjoyable you don’t even notice the multitude of semicolons and words like hallooing and boatswain. She knew what women wanted and she topped it with delicious humor. What makes it even more amazing is two hundred years later women still want to indulge in realistic romance, intrigue, and crazy relatives. Like I sad, she is a gem who is priceless.

Hello, September.

Posted on August 30, 2013 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)

When September comes, my head fills with lists of chores. When the yellow busses start trolling my neighborhood, I know it is time to organize my house decorations. When the leaves change color, I crave roasted turkey and stuffing. When September arrives, it is all down hill to the new year, so hold on to your hats my friends.

A Smile ....

Posted on April 7, 2011 at 12:20 PM Comments comments (0)

It arches at just the right moment.

Its red borders part with no effort.

I'm filled with joy, passion, and excitement.

I am not alone.

Good Talk

Posted on January 18, 2011 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I love a good scene with fun dialogue. The movie "While You Were Sleeping" has a delightful dinner table discussion. Everyone is having a conversation with themselves. It is cute, humorous, and moves the story along. I hope to bring that bravado to my next novel. Bravado is probably the wrong word - oh well!

Change to Christmas

Posted on December 21, 2010 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

With joy and optimism, the Holidays come to call. I clear my throat and breathe in the cool air. It is time for peace, love, and kindness. I allow their warmth to fill my heart. God bless everyone!

Guest Blogger for a Cause - Enjoy!

Posted on December 9, 2010 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Craig Lancaster, author of the widely praised 600 Hours of Edward and the forthcoming novel The Summer Son to be released by AmazonEncore in early 2011) wanted to do something for others this Christmas season, so he wrote a fantastic holiday-themed story, “Comfort and Joy,” to sell on Amazon and Smashwords for $1.

However, that he plans to donate 100% of the proceeds to Feeding America, whose 200+ food banks distribute to all fifty states, wasn’t enough for us at Inside the Writers’ Studio. When we learned of his plan to write some short fiction, he hadn’t yet begun “Comfort and Joy,” and we were more than happy to catch him early enough to challenge him to find a way to incorporate a few random words.

The words: snowman, hot chocolate, and jingle balls.

LANCASTER: I thought my "Jingle Balls" solution might have been a little reach, but I was 12 years old once, and it's something I might have come up with.

He managed to write the (approx.) 5,500-word story in just 24 hours.

LANCASTER: The idea has been bouncing around in my head for a while, and it's easily adaptable to a holiday angle. Short-story productivity, for me, comes and goes, and for whatever reason, I've been in a fertile period. I'll sit down in the next couple of days and knock it out. The funny thing is, I've never really written fiction on a deadline, but I have one now: I've pledged to send this story to the in-boxes of donors by Dec. 15.

He made good on his pledge; “Comfort and Joy” is available at Amazon and Smashwords right now (click a link to buy a copy – you can always come back here when you’re done), and it will stay there indefinitely with the proceeds continuing to benefit Feeding America. And, as promised, it’s only $1. “But why not charge more to give more?” we wondered.

LANCASTER: Two reasons. The first is the greater-volume-at-a-lower-price idea. The second is that I hope this isn't the be-all, end-all of people's giving. A few folks have written to me and said, "I want to give more than a buck," and my response has been this: "Send me a buck. Send your local food bank, or some other charity there at home, as much as you feel like you can give."

INSIDE THE WRITERS’ STUDIO: What made you choose this particular charity? : I've been reading a lot about how stressed food banks are. Times are hard, and charitable giving is down. And since (I hope) donations will be coming in from all over, it didn't seem quite right to roll whatever money is generated toward the food bank where I live, though it certainly could use the help. So I figured that Feeding America, with its national focus, made sense.


One of the things that put this at the top of my mind was seeing a plea from my friend Carol Buchanan on Facebook that people not buy her books as gifts but instead donate to their local food bank. She said she'd eat whether the books are bought or not. Others -- many, many others -- are not so fortunate.

This effort is nothing like the NPR fundraising drive—there’s no dollar amount in mind, no set goal (“I have no expectation here,” Lancaster says. “If it's five bucks, it's five bucks.”), but he does hope to turn this into an annual effort, one that involves more writers contributing to a holiday-themed anthology.

LANCASTER: Say, 15 or 20 holiday-themed stories, from a wide variety of genres, all with the aim of putting some food on the tables of people who badly need it. Wheels are already turning for next year: an anthology, from writers across the traditional and indie spectrums. Zombie Christmas, romance Christmas, bizarro, whatever. I think if I were to get people on board in, say, July, we'd be able to offer all kinds of options: individual stories, the entire collection, e-book, short POD run.

IWS: Do you think you might choose different charities in the future? : I haven't even thought about that. I'm pretty passionate about food banks. They're chronically understocked, and it's one form of charity that is completely without political overtones.


IWS: Have you ever donated to/worked in/needed a food bank? : I've pulled a few shifts stacking boxes and such, and I'm a reliable bring-a-canned-good-to-whatever-event guy, but I've never done it on a consistent basis. One of the things I hope to do, beyond the holiday season, is become a lot more involved with that sort of thing on a local level.


IWS: That sounds like a perfect New Year’s resolution. Speaking of the new year—your upcoming novel, The Summer Son, will be released in January. Tell us about it. : It's a multi-decade father-and-son story. Mitch Quillen and his father, Jim, have been largely estranged for nearly 30 years, and the breach stems from a violent summer when Mitch was 11 years old. In the present day, they've been thrown together again and they try to work through the distance between them. All the while, Mitch is reliving that long-ago summer in the form of a note to his wife, whom he's kept away from that part of his life, in an effort to reconcile his own failing relationship with her. It's a story about the things we experience and how those things shape us -- and how those same things get interpreted in different ways by other people who were there.


IWS: Final question. Fruitcake: yay or nay? : You know, I'd love to say yay, just to be the contrary bastard I tend to be. But I cannot. Fruitcake is a nay. It's a nay to the 100th power. It's a nay that pushes at the outer edges of the space-time continuum. It's the nay that keeps on giving. Let's face it: Fruitcake sucks.


Thank you for allowing us to post our interview on your blog site and spread the word about Craig Lancaster's effort. - Kris & Kel, IWS



Posted on September 27, 2010 at 8:34 AM Comments comments (0)

 When my mind goes numb and my attitude is grouchy as if I eliminated chocolate from my diet, I come to the realization that I haven't written any fiction in a few days. My need to spin a tale with made-up people with extraordinary characteristics is actually a physical longing like food and sleep. It is an addiction in a way. I must make some fiction or I will get the shakes.

Looky Here!

Posted on September 13, 2010 at 4:46 PM Comments comments (0)

There is a fluffy layer of snow draping the tree in front of my house. A red bird is resting on  a branch, wanting to sing, knowing no one will hear. The sun's dim rays are hiding behind a stormy, angry cloud. The road needs to be treated with salt. No sounds. No movement. All is still.

I put the photo back on top of the pile sitting on my desk. The mound of pictures is from last February's blast.

My hands are in the praying position.