Author Archives: NL Quatrano

About NL Quatrano

Author of Murder in Black and White, Still Shot, Merciful Blessings, Keeping Faith, Always Chasing 'Em, and numerous published short stories. Award-winning author, speaker, editor, and ghostwriter, Nancy owns a full-time editing, writing, and specialty publishing business: On-Target Words/WC Publishing. Volunteer/member of professional writing organizations including Authors Guild, Florida Writers Assoc., Sisters in Crime, Florida Author and Publishers Assoc, Independent Book Publishers Assoc., and AWAI. 2010 Professional Woman of the Year by the NAPW. Linked in Editor Pick May 2013. International Women's Leadership Association nominee for Outstanding Leadership 2014.


For a  journalist, humorist, essayist, and probably more than a few lobbyists, nothing provides more fodder for commentary or jokes than the presidential elections. People who pushed each other under every bus they could find just weeks ago are suddenly “credible” supporters for the survivor after throwing in the towel on their own bid for the toughest job in the world.
This is all well and good unless you are a voter in this great nation who’s seeking a leader with integrity. But then, would someone with real integrity even want to be the president? I’m not talking male or female, here; I’m talking about an intelligent, educated, service-minded, morally courageous person.

Why would anyone want to be President? To be a target? To expose self and family to the hardiest mud-slinging contest in the world? To be second-guessed and ridiculed and featured on Leno and Letterman’s Top 10 Baffoon lists?
I’ve got a good friend who is the woman I want to be when I grow up. She’s not perfect, but her integrity is solid and her commitment to God, family, friends, her students, and her community is so strong that she juggles church, husband and daughter, teaching full time and serving as a town council-woman seemingly without effort.
When she announced in a hoarse and exhausted voice this past summer that she was running for reelection, I should have said, “Good for you and good luck!” but instead, I said, “Why in the world are you doing that? Have you lost your mind? Your fellow committee persons have spread horrible rumors, told lies about you to the newspapers, sniped at you in and out of session and you still want to play in that cesspool?”  She chuckled a while and then simply replied, “There’s more to do.”

I want to protect her from the filth that I see in politics. She wants to contribute courage, morality, and integrity to a world that has a hard time supporting those things. She’s doing it for her daughter and all daughters. She’s doing it because she believes that every kindness, every compassionate decision, every chance to reach out and make things better is like a pebble in a pool; even a small splash creates a ripple that goes on and on until it has touched every blade of grass along the shore.
I think that the men who signed our Constitution of the United States had those qualities in mind for our leaders; people who, for a term or two, dedicate themselves to serving an entire body of people with a passion to make life better. Be it in a town, a county, a state, or Washington, D.C.
So, because this honorable woman who will never be Prime Minister of England or Secretary of State for the USA is in essence, a politician, I am willing to believe there are others like her. Some might even be in Congress or the Senate already.  And I’ll believe there must be a fine someone running for President who is humble, that has integrity, courage and the desire to serve the people for just a term or two.  After all, just like in a good novel, it’s all about the motivation.

Be well and don’t forget to exercise your right to vote! Your country needs you!


Stranger than Fiction…

While Jeff and Nancy have been out speaking to writers, Mike has been working hard at Clear View Press, Inc. And not be outdone, Bridget has just broken through to the publishing realm herself!

So while the Rogues writers have been busy, so have we. Georgie Mae, David, Marty and I have written our own little mini-book, guaranteed to delight the reader in you!!  We’ve talked Mike into publishing it for us. At 2 stories each, for a max of 2500 words per author, we decided to stretch ourselves and create an “appetizer” of sorts for you.  So, sometime this month, you’ll be able to buy a taste of our writing styles. Stay tuned for the details!

If you enjoy Poe, Hemmingway, Serling or Hitchcock, you’ll really enjoy these tidbits!

All of this is leading up to, of course, the 2012 launch of our novel, or rather, the Rogues’ novel, The Method Writers.

See you next week – and be safe out there!


Things a Baby Taught Me…

This little fella was hanging on the railing one night when I thought I’d just sit outside and enjoy the quiet of midnight. Well, I didn’t know he was there at first; when I realized he was, I nearly fainted.

But, in keeping with my pre-New Year resolution to go with the flow of life more and worry about the bumps a bit less (and since he wasn’t moving in my direction) I sat back down in the chair and decided to share the stary night with him. (Yes, could be a her, I have NO idea. I got no answer when I asked that question.)

I realized later that my little partly-furry friend had made some very elegent points, though narry a communication was shared:

  • When scared, running may not be an option. Just hang in there. This too shall pass…
  • When new creatures and experiences show up, observe all you can. You might learn something you didn’t know you didn’t know…
  • Hair is overrated. You CAN be quite cute without it…
  • Ugly, or pretty for that matter, is in the eye of the beholder…
  • Possums do not stink…
  • If you sit still enough long enough, the crazy lady who talks like a two-year old WILL go back into her home and leave you be…

So open up your hearts, minds and arms and embrace all of life in 2012. Despite appearances, things are under control. All you need is to be quiet, stay strong in your faith, and exercise a boatload of patience!

Happy New Year!!




Merry Christmas and all that stuff…

Sorry, Marty – and everyone else!! Deadlines and holiday preparations just stole the last two weeks away from me! And, being Christmas Day, this will be short and sweet. Georgie Mae and Joe are joining me for dinner, though I’m sure the Duffy’s are disappointed GM won’t be with them – she’s like a daughter to that old couple!

I’ve spent the past four weeks searching for the perfect Christmas spirit story. And I had a really hard time of it.

You’re probably thinking, well, that’s because there’s so much bad news. But, that’s not what I mean.

I had a hard time PICKING the best Christmas spirit story and the hard times make the stories more poignant.

Like the young woman forced to flee her abusive home two days before Christmas, only to delivery her baby girl on Christmas morning among kind-hearted strangers; or the homeless man who found a shopping bag on the side of the road that contained almost $500 and what were probably Christmas gifts, and went to great lengths to get it back to the owner – intact. Or the children with nothing of their own, who gave away the gifts given to them by well-meaning neighbors, to those who had even less.

The stories are heartwarming and hopeful and they don’t just happen at Christmas time any more. Hardship not only makes us stronger and more humble, it makes us more generous and genuinely concerned for others.

Sort of like what Christ tried to show us maybe….

May your new year be full of blessings and peace. And whatever your holiday, hoping that brings joy and meaning to your life.


My Slice of Life…

Hey, Marty’s really getting into the short stories, isn’t he? Isn’t it terrific you can buy an entire story for less than a mocha cappuccino?? I’m still one story behind but life’s been kicking my butt. I promise to get it done, but the challenges are many.

For instance, today I have to write all day to meet my other deadlines, or some hairy editor is going to fire me, then I can’t eat. Monday before the sun comes up, I’m headed on a plane for New Jersey to visit an important person in my life who isn’t faring too well with lung cancer. I’ve got such a battle of emotions going on, I almost feel schizophrenic since I got that call. MY Friday was black, for sure. Not even Jack Daniel’s is helping with this one.

Anyway, life may be kicking my butt, but I’m tough. And I’ve got friends. Friends known as the Rogues. And since they’ve got my back, I may be in for a rough week, and my story may be late, but they’ll still love me.

Aren’t friends just awesome?? I wonder if another word for friends is angels? Even cranky ones who write sexy short stories…

See you next week – in the meantime take good care of yourselves.


Lights, Nights and Other Things…

How about my buddy Marty, isn’t he something?? And Georgie Mae’s written a short story that will rock your world! Did I tell you she’s in the frozen Great Lakes region for a few weeks? I really miss that girl.  Even David’s been busy with moving into some new digs, as well as working on his Kenny Black sequel.  And of course, our novel The Method Writers is making great progress, too, though editing is NOT for the faint of heart!  Don’t forget to stop in at and leave us an update on what YOU’RE doing these days!!

Me? I’m writing a lot of things, but not working on the novel much. With Thanksgiving just three days away, I’m getting myself into listening mode. I love to listen to the sharing that families do this time of year; funny tales, dramatic memories, and those precious “back in my day” stories meant to teach us what life is REALLY all about.

Guess that’s why I love writing. The stories have inherent power, but the telling of them, the choice of words, the phrasing, the pace, all tools for the writer to employ so the stories are memorable and shared again and again. Yes, like the Wizard of Oz or A Christmas Carol – tales and lessons that live on and on.

Here in North Florida, St. Augustine has kicked off the holiday season by launching their Nights of Lights festival. Trees and light poles are decorated in ropes of greens dotted with the occasional red bow or ribbon. Every building for miles and miles is decked out in tiny white lights, as though together they can keep the short, dark days from forcing us to hibernate.

In addition to the great food and fun presents, enjoy the gift of the stories you hear. Write them down or share them with others. The memories of the past and the dreams of the future are, like personal faith, parts of us that no one can take away. The economy cannot dampen them, the bank can’t repossess them, and as long as we have them, we have hope and energy and a chance at real joy.

So enjoy the tales, the food, the laughter – and know that I wish you and yours a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!


Another Saturday Night…

Well, not just any Saturday night. THIS Saturday night was the time change and we gained an hour of sleep. That’s only newsworthy, because I just realized that I was excited about getting another hour of sleep. How lame is that?

I need to get a life. Sure, I’ve got my writing career, my wonderful writing friends, great parents and my favorite holidays are coming along, but at the age of 29, I’m excited about the time change. Jeesh.

I’d share these thoughts with my buddy Joe, or my dear friend Georgie Mae, but Joe is WITH Georgie Mae in Michigan or someplace cold like that and they don’t need me disturbing them with this revelation. Unlike me, they are probably blissfully unaware of the time. And even less aware that it has changed.

Maybe I need to figure out how to meet someone nice and explore a romantic relationship. One that will last like my parent’s marriage has. Or maybe I should get a cat. I could visit that shelter that Georgie’s adoped and look for a furry companion, I suppose.

She would enjoy the extra hour of sleep, too. And when I’m writing, she’d curl up in my lap and be content for the occassional pat on her head.

Now that I think about this a bit more, a cat is a better idea than a romantic relationship. At least for now. There’s a ton of work to do to get THE METHOD WRITERS launched, so I won’t have time for a new relationship anyway.

Well, enjoy your extra hour of sleep and I’ll see you next week. Might even have a picture of a new companion by then. And in case you want to get a piece of THE METHOD WRITERS action, drop in and pledge a few dollars. The rewards are quality and our gratitude is forever.

Be safe,

Halloween, Pirates and Rogues

Hello, everyone!! Hope you all had a great week. Mine flew by and before I realized it, wham, it’s the weekend again. But not any weekend – the weekend before Halloween!

The nice thing about Daytona is that you can get to almost everywhere from here. The hayrides and harvest festivals in Elkton which is near St. Augustine, attract thousands of people during mid-October. Bikers from all over the country descend on the region in good-natured revelry to celebrate Biketoberfest. And, in St. Augustine this weekend, they hosted the Pirate Festival and that was terrific fun. Pirates young and old paraded along San Marco Blvd, then ate, drank and made merry during the daylight hours, and pub-crawled (adults only) after dark.

I’ve turned in my articles on fall festivals, taken a thousand photos and travelled many miles this month. And as I was relaxing this afternoon on the balcony of my apartment, I thought of some similarities between the pirates I’d met this weekend, and the Rogues.

The Rogues are law-abiding, well-intentioned, talented writers who test the rules because sometimes rules need to be tested. Because sometimes it is better to challenge the status quo than to blindly follow it. What they lack in judgement on occasion, they make up for in courage, that bunch. Hats off to the Rogues Gallery Writers as they gallop toward the finish line with their novel, THE METHOD WRITERS!

Don’t forget to support them – and get yourself a piece of Rogue History!! Visit KICKSTARTER.COM and make your pledge today – you won’t be sorry! And if you really want a three-cornered hat with a feather, they just might get you one!

Have a great week!

Great Expectations

For some reason, I start out every day with great expectations; like, “today I’ll get my entire to-do list completed” or “I’ll get all these deadlines cleaned up before I go to bed”, etc. And I run out of day long before I run out of tasks.

This seems to be compounded by the changes going on around me. The seasons are changing, the weather is changing, my friend’s lives and my parent’s health are changing. And I really don’t like change much. I know,  I sound like Andy Rooney. But, it’s the truth.

Anyway, teetering on the edge of complete overload earlier this week, I grabbed my Daily Word in search of the peace that I know is available when I calm myself down instead of giving in to the meltdown. In ten minutes I was at least no longer considering myself an idiot, so I jotted a quick list of all I was thankful for, including the things I HAVE managed to complete. Then I finished my 20 minute sabbatical with a quick list of tasks yet to be accomplished and gave them more reasonable deadlines, or noted who could help with them.

This exercise is helpful for someone like me whose unreasonable expectations for herself often run her right into the ground. A couple of good friends rounded out the “reality check” I needed this week and I once again got out of bed this morning, thankful for good friends, good health, a full and bountiful life and great expectations!

Hope you have a super week as we near the end of October – and I hope you have good friends to help you keep balanced, too!

Have you visited KICKSTARTER yet and donated to get YOUR piece of this groundbreaking adventure??? Put that on your list to do TODAY!!!


Pumpkins, Witches and Ghosts

Writing is often something that a writer cannot refrain from doing. Be they journalist, poet, instructor or fiction writer, the words they produce change their world.

Yesterday, after attending an Florida Writers meeting in St. Augustine, I stopped into a local art gallery named Simple Gestures. There it seemed, were a gazillion children and adults alike, making scarecrows. These artful pieces featured pumpkins with various expressions, witches in festive colors and even a few requisite ghosts, most resembling Casper-of-the-friendly smile.

I thought of my friend Jack, an old-time journalist, and thought of what his British wit would do with the gathering, then shook my head. Best not to go there.

But what would THIS journalist do with such a magical gathering? In my heart I captured the gleeful laughter of children of all ages as their scarecrows were applauded. I watched as pumpkins were decorated by young and old and carried to local homes and vehicles by urchins barely able to manage their large orange prizes.

I think this month of October marks the beginning of the most powerful season of the year, at least in the USA. Our imaginations are set free with stories and tales of the supernatural beings of Halloween; to be followed with tales of family stories told around the Thanksgiving table in November; to culminate finally in the story of a son, born to a woman forced to deliver him in a stable, sent to save the world.

This sharing and imagining and encouraging makes my heart feel good. My writing will be more empathetic and passionate, I’ll bet. And I wish thatvitality for you too. Enjoy the stories you hear and the ones you create while you enjoy the next few months of magic. And don’t forget to record them somehow!

See you next week – oh, and don’t forget to visit Kickstarter and donate some money to THE METHOD WRITERS project!

Be safe out there.


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