Artists: Be Here Now…or face this Duchman’s wrath

Apparently I have the attention span of a month-old shih tzu. Despite making a pledge to be more present,  I only managed to reign my mind in to the moment for all  of about 37 seconds over the course of two weeks. Pathetic, I know. And yet despite its brevity, I did manage to get […]

Read More

Goodsreads poll on how not get dumped

Sometimes all my sentences sound stunted. Other times I wonder what is wrong with me that I can’t spell ‘unfortuentley’ right for once? Then I become Totally Convinced that my main character is as fake and unbelievable as Apple Pie Extra. Then I cry. Thankfully none of that apparently matters—at least 46.4% of the time. […]

Read More

Debbie Millman on writing sucess and why I don’t need a bigger home

The last time I completed a manuscript I was filled with excitement and anticipation. This time, it was more like WIDE EYED FEAR. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the last few projects have fallen flat on their 12 point font faces, that after over a year of work I am […]

Read More

When a story fizzles:advice from YA author Shannon Hale

Like the forever sagging waist band on my stretch jeans, something about my latest manuscript is not working. Despite a few strong elements, it just doesn’t seem to crackle, pop, or even fizz, and I wasn’t sure why till I read this quote  from Shannon Hale about the importance  of telling a story that doesn’t come […]

Read More

Take a trip because Stephen King say’s so

    If it was up to me, I would probably spend every minute I am not sleeping or drinking coffee so I don’t have to sleep, or going to Starbucks to get said coffee, or peeing in the bathroom because coffee always has that effect on me, writing. Naturally, it took me a very, […]

Read More

Something I learned about writing today: what makes a killer page one

The first page is the most valuable property in a book. If a reader doesn’t feel compelled to get beyond those first few paragraph than the rest might as well be pi numerals. I have been told this many times by editors, and yet one of the biggest pieces of feedback I got about a recent manuscript was that […]

Read More

Something I learned about writing today: It takes a village

I don’t know if anyone else besides the author and the people listed within them ever actually reads them, but I have soft spot for Acknowledgments pages. They are like a little peak behind the scenes, a tiny glimpse into how the book in my hand was created. And sometimes a much needed lull at […]

Read More

Things that inspire me to write #3: Eleanor Updale’s The Last Minute

Like setting and conflict, time is one of those Important Novel Elements discussed in every writing class I have ever taken. When does one scene take place in relation to another? How is that conveyed? And whatever you do, don’t go overboard on the flashbacks. All good advice, of course, however, nothing makes me more […]

Read More

Things that inspire me to write #7: Rachel Vincent’s idea fog

  Anything two feet ahead of me no longer exists and the sky is a constant slate of white. The fog has settled on my part of the world and doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon–and I’m starting to think that may not be such a bad thing. In the acknowledgements section of Before I […]

Read More

Things that inspire me to write #10: The Queen Who Stole the Sky

  Apparently I have always harbored a weakness for really pretty clothes. One of my favorite books as child (after Cinderella for Obvious Reasons), The Queen Who Stole the Sky, is about a woman who cuts down the sky and turns it into a ball gown—her hem shimmering with golden stars and rose colored sunsets as she […]

Read More