Writing Through Cycles

For the past decade, I have struggled with all sorts of health issues. Disparate things like a buildup of neurotoxins during a mold exposure to a hormonal imbalance most likely caused by stress (and age) mean that I often have periods (sometimes extended ones) where I can’t get much done.

The 2018 Writing Olympics

  Sadly, the 2018 Winter Olympics have ended—and some how I managed to not see a single moment. Not the historic triple axel or the Norwegian Curling team’s pants during play. Nothing. But just because Olympic glory is over for the athletes, doesn’t mean it has...

The Beauty of Graphs

If you’ve seen my Instagram at all in the last month or so, you will have noticed how fond I have become of graphs. I have graphs tracking my daily word counts. I have graphs for projects showing words left until completion. I have graphs of my graphs. (Not really, but I’m a little surprised I don’t.)

Checking Off the Boxes

It’s a new year, and that means new organization. This year, though, I’m going to continue with a system that I started last year that worked well for me: Monthly and Daily To Do Lists.

Middle of the Book Blues

We’re coming upon the end of the year, and in my case, I’m coming upon the end of my WIP. I’m now 2/3 through the novel I started for NaNoWriMo, and I have hit the hump. You know, that slow, excruciating point in your writing where you already have ideas for...

A Character’s Needs

Last month in my newsletter, I talked about the difference between a character’s wants vs their needs. I also mentioned that there are two types of needs: physical and emotional. I thought we could explore that a little more.

Publishing Tips Short Reads

Over the past few weeks, I've been experimenting with Short Reads, one of the sections on Kindle. Taking classes and conference speeches and other material, I have been slowly, but surely converting them into articles to publish using KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)....

Prepping for NANOWRIMO

It’s that time of year again! Time to get ready for that month of frantic writing and nail biting experience known as NANOWRIMO or National Novel Writing Month. For those who don’t know, the premise is pretty simple. On November 1, you start a brand new novel. On November 30, you finish said novel. Simple, right?

Building Your Author Brand

Nowadays when we hear the word “branding” we tend to think in terms of marketing, but branding originally meant to mark something or claim it. Whether this was done to prove that a cow belonged to a rancher and not to the rustler that stole it or whether it was done to ostracize someone, the point was to notify the world.

As authors, it’s time for us to make our own marks on the world and claim our writing space as our own.

Motivated Villains

I attended RWA 2017 last month, not as a speaker, but just as a normal attendee. There’s something freeing about attending workshops and classes for writing that is outside your genre.

So, you think you’re a …

Plotter or a pantser, right? The thing is, it doesn’t really matter. At some point, you will have to outline your book. It’s just a matter of when.

Book Review: The Creeping Shadow

This book is the fourth in the Lockwood & Co series that follows a group of teen ghost hunters as they try to rid London and the surrounding countryside from the paranormal problem that’s been hunting the world for just under 100 years. Fast paced and well-plotted this entire series is a must read for anyone who is writing middle grade or YA adventure. (They’re also just good reads!)

Marketing Your School Visit

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be speaking at the North Texas SCBWI Schooled on School Visits Event. I’ll be talking about a number of things including MG/YA school visits and doing joint visits with other authors. And I’ll be talking about marketing. I always end up...

Running a Critique Group

One of the best things for your writing is to get feedback from other knowledgeable authors. The easiest way to do this is to set up a critique group. Then, you and like-minded individuals can get together to review and strengthen each other’s works.

The Lost Art of (Hand)writing

Most of the time I write on my computer. It’s more convenient; it’s easier to edit. However, I’ve taken to keeping a handwritten daily log/idea journal, and the results have been amazing.

Dragons & Witches

Purchase: IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble Paperback, Anthology, Fairy Tales $9.95 Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks Ebook, Anthology, Fairy Tales $4.99 Dragons and witches have traditionally been the creatures of nightmares, the villains...

Book Review: Reawakened

After stumbling upon a half-naked, very hot (no pun intended) Sun God at the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lily gets sucked into his battle against the Egyptian god Seth. Moving between the world of elite New York and the ruins of Ancient Egypt, the story pits the ancient Egyptian gods in their never ending battle for supremacy.

The Joy of Reading

As authors, it can be hard to read for fun. It’s hard to not notice the character arc or the plot structure. Turning off your brain so you’re not analyzing the theme can be a challenge. And although there are definite benefits to critical reading texts, it can take the joy out of reading.

Book Review: The Lunar Chronicles

I am possibly one of the last to do so, but I finally got around to reading the 4 main books in the Lunar Chronicles Series. Basically, the books are retellings of Grimm Fairy Tales set in a techno future with the Earth pitted against the humans on the Moon.

The Case for a Good Editor

No one’s going to argue that when it comes to creating a book, the most important person is the author. After all, it is the author that brings the story to life, that brings the idea to the page. But just like with any career, there are people that can make that idea the best it can be. Right now, I am specifically thinking about editors.

Book Review: A Study in Charlotte

By Brittany Cavallaro A Study in Charlotte updates the Holmes/Watson mythos for modern teens. Jamie Watson, yes, the descendant of THAT Watson has just started boarding school in Connecticut not far from his estranged father. His interest though isn't in repairing his...

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