Self-editing is one of the most critical parts of the creative writing process, and one of the hardest to master. Over the last year, I read and critiqued a dozen memoir and fiction manuscripts. All were excellent stories, worthy of publication. All contained at least two of the most common bad habits writers have. In …Read More
Finding Story Ideas in the Strangest Places
Writers need to keep their eyes open and their wits about them at all times. A long day of travel and a middle seat in the back row of an airplane create opportunities to overhear interesting dialogue. Annoying people make excellent victims. A day in a hotel room with no window triggers a setting. People-watching …Read More
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Pandemic?
Wouldn’t you know it. A few days before a scheduled trip, virus hell breaks loose. As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with birds sucked into jet engines, now we have to worry about viruses spreading among the passengers by air recirculated during a four-hour flight. I’m telling you, I have a couple …Read More
Friday’s Excuses for Not Working on My Novel
1. Critiques to do for writers’ group. 2. A trip to the post office to mail materials to publisher. 3. Write and post blog. 4. Answer important e-mails. Scan unimportant e-mails. 5. Tried to figure out where the time goes.
Seven Things I Learned About Twitter in the First Three Days
I spent most of my first three days on Twitter reading random Tweets and searching for Twitterers to follow. Here’s what I’ve learned so far: 1. I have more fun stalking (I mean “following”) people I know than following strangers. For instance, I find it incredibly motivating to know a friend in my town has …Read More
White bricks and hollyhocks
When I was very young, maybe three or four years old, my mother and I stayed with my father’s parents while Dad was in the army. My grandparents lived on a farm in central Illinois in an old two-story brick farmhouse painted white. I can picture the white paint chipping off the bricks, smell lye …Read More