Rejections and Reviews

You did the hard work. You dreamed, plotted, wrote, and edited the story within you that needed to be told. Then you did more hard work – writing that query letter. Some think it’s more of a challenge than writing the book itself! I’m inclined to agree. Query letters and blurbs will be the death…

Captivate With Color

There are so many senses in which to immerse readers, and color plays a huge role in getting readers to feel like they’re right there in your story. In order to get the most out of each visual description, bust out that color palette and have some fun! Go Beyond the Obvious Sure, her dress…

A Wedding Gown – #15

There’s going to be a wedding, but not everyone is happy about it. Especially Lady Sophia, the newly-betrothed, bride-to-be. This match was not of her choosing, but that’s a topic for another blog. For now, the wedding is going to take place, and there must be a gown. This wedding is taking place in the…

Baking for a Baker – #14

Jenna’s an average baker. Nothing too fancy or complicated works for her. And she doesn’t really need to do much baking because Jim’s Bakery is downstairs from her apartment. Jim and his wife Rosa are of the same Slovakian descent as Jenna, and they’ve pretty much adopted her as their own since Jenna’s parents live…

Writers on Vacation

Even the most passionate, dedicated writer needs a break. Perhaps you’re in between projects, feel a bit bogged down by the process, or don’t have a clue where the plot of your story is headed. A vacation is a good way to step away from the writing process and give your mind a well-deserved respite….

Deadlines

Deadlines. We all have them, and probably chafe in varying degrees when they approach. Work-related deadlines, bill-paying deadlines, and the days of the week that the trash needs to be set out at the curb (yeah, that’s a deadline, too). Some are more constrictive than others, and some we can ignore or procrastinate about a…

The Shawl – #13

What do you do when something as seemingly unimportant as a shawl materializes in your mind and tells you it has a part to play in your story? It not only knows the place, it shows you. It leads you to the exact scene, and as it settles in, tells you of its significance going…

Two at a Time

A writer’s mind rarely rests. If a writer isn’t in front of the computer, their brain is most likely composing, editing, or solving a plot problem. It’s more than enough for a mind to manage if there’s just one story floating around, but what happens if another one steps in and tugs at your sleeve?…

Unsavory Characters – #12

It can’t be smooth sailing, hearts, and rainbows all of the time. A story worth reading and investing in has to have challenges, heartbreak, and times when it would be easier for your character to give up than to carry on. And the characters that fill the pages of The Ghost Writer can’t all be…

Across the Pond – #11

So… Jenna is finally on her way to Scotland! She works for Posey Travel and has lots of travel miles built up, so she won’t be flying coach/economy. Still, the stress of getting there is pretty much the same for everyone (except for the wealthy or those who don’t need to make their own arrangements,…

Secrets to a Series

Our first book was never written with the intent of becoming part of a series, but the characters had other ideas. They weren’t done telling their story, so (for my part) I had to figure out a way to keep it all straight going forward. Along the way, I’ve seen other writers voice the challenges…

The Inevitable Low Point

There’s no getting around it. Every successful story has to have a low point – the place where it all goes wrong, and there’s little hope in sight. Is there any point in struggling on? Highly doubtful, probably not. It would be so much easier at this point to give up and let whatever is…

Making Old New

With social distancing and sequestering still high on the priority ladder, it might be a good time to dig through the closet/flash drive and unearth that writing project you’ve been meaning to finish or thought was so bad that it was beyond repair. Dust Them Off! Pull those unfinished projects out and see which one…

New Year Writing Strategies

It’s the new year, and people are thinking about resolutions, changing their lives, and expanding their horizons. Those are great goals to aspire and work toward. I’ve even been working on a few of my own in various parts of my life. Then I wondered how I could apply those lofty ideas to my writing….

A Cozy Afghan – #8

I’ve been crocheting afghans for years as gifts or requests, but I never thought to look beyond the infinite skeins of yarn or countless hours of crochet hook-twisting to see what was behind the name or explore (beyond the obvious) why they’re more than just a throw! What’s behind the name? I did a search…

Story as Shopping

When I go to the grocery store, I like to have a list in hand. It helps me stay on track and (most of the time) keeps me from veering off into the chip/snack/candy aisle for something I don’t really need. That being said, I like to give myself the freedom to explore the “off…

Viggo’s Role – #7

Viggo would be considered an ancillary character in my story. He (a tuxedo cat) is a “background extra” who enhances the world of the story but doesn’t impede the paths of the main characters. He may create small diversions now and then, but that’s to be expected. I enjoy fleshing out the worlds of my…

The Great Balancing Act

It’s a tricky business, writing. A writer wants, and needs, to write. If only life were that simple. These days, a writer has to be so much more…editor, formatter, agent, marketer, webmaster, publicist, and many times a publisher. The days of writing a story and handing it off (so you can get started on the…

A Man Appears – #6

Finally! There’s a man from our time on the page! I knew someone of the male gender needed to show up in Jenna’s time, but I wasn’t sure exactly when it would happen. As it turned out, Thomas Keith found just the right moment to make an appearance. I’ll tell you what I can about…

Invisible Masks

October, 2020. Not only is it the month of Halloween, it’s also October in the midst of a pandemic. Hence, the wearing of masks. For fun. Or not. The news, shopping sites, and the world of social media is flooded with all things mask-related. In light of the bombardment, I seized the opportunity to put…

Storm Prep – #5

Whatever world the characters in a story inhabit, there has to be some sort of atmosphere surrounding them. There has to be weather in the world where they live, and it has to be more than, “It was a dark, stormy night.” Although, I’m about to tell you about that very thing:  a dark, stormy…

Through the Door

If you’re a writer, it’s bound to happen. You’re in one of those treasured sweet spots where your story is all but writing itself! Then, without warning, it’s over, and you’re up against it. Now what? There is a way forward, a way to emerge victorious and keep your characters doing what they need to…

Just a Name?

Names are how we identify things – people, places, things, etc. For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to concentrate on the names we give to the characters in the stories we write. I have found that choosing a name is quite an undertaking, and it’s one that should not be taken lightly! A…

It’s All in the Details!

Details breathe life into a story. The senses are awakened and heightened, transporting the reader into the world created by the writer. But there’s another, powerful purpose to small details that brings an added dimension to a story. Don’t Overdo If you choose to give an enhanced role to a small detail, choose wisely and…

Weaving the Backstory

When you write a series, you hope your readers will start the journey as you did – with the first book. That may not always be the case. Readers may pick up a book midway through the series or find one out of sequence that grabs their attention. As a writer, it’s your challenge to…

Valentines – Give and Get?

February is the month of love – Valentine’s Day and all. I listened as a mother told me she had to deliver valentines for the entire class at her daughter’s school. That got me to thinking about my own school days and the fact that we didn’t give valentines to everyone. It was a life…

Conquering the Messy Middle

We’ve all heard of (and endured) the “messy middle” of a story. When I get there, I start to feel fatigued; perhaps my characters do, too. They also seem uncertain, hesitant, and fearful of what’s to come. They hold back with good reason – the middle of my stories contains the low point, and what’s…

Too Much Sighing

  Writers know that emotion is an important part of a story. It draws the reader in and gets them invested in what is happening. It allows them to become emotionally attached to the characters (good or bad) and either cheer them on or applaud their demise. Just a Sigh… There are passages in my…

How This Writer Writes

  I don’t mean handwriting. What I mean is the journey my story makes from brain to page/screen. The process, rather than the actual act – well the act, too. Perhaps I should explain. When a non-writer hears that I’m going to be spending the day writing, I think they envision me in front of…

The Waiting Game

  So, one manuscript is done (are they ever, really?) and is navigating its way through the netherworld of publication or rejection. Each click of the “send” button brings with it a wave of hope, excitement, and terror. And so it begins – the waiting game, that is. What’s a writer to do? I gifted…