Writing process

From Befuddled to Eureka- Clarifying my narrator’s lens-P.B. Biography

My currrent work-in-progress has had me befuddled. That’s a good word, isn’t it? Befuddled. My Webster’s Dictionary defines the word as, “To confuse or stupefy.” Yep, that sums it up. Said manuscript is complete and it’s not half bad. Yay!  I’ve got a compelling story with suspenseful scenes and historical significance. But, my inner-editor has… Read more »

Who’s On First- “Showing” Lessons from The World Series

It’s the curse of a writer to always be in critique mode. Once the inner editor is brought to life, there’s no stopping it. When I go to movies, I subconsciously pick apart plot problems and character inconsistencies. When I pick up a magazine or journal, I zero in on structure and format. And, when… Read more »

Where to Begin a Story

It’s the toughest initial decision for me when I set out to write something new. Where should the story begin? And, truly, it’s a dilemma for all genres, fiction and nonfiction. The latter is my current focus. As we all know, biography is the story of a person’s life. Some people suggest that picture book… Read more »

Emotion- Memory’s Glue for the Reader

Memory is a fickle friend. Some things we remember in minute detail; The birth of our children; The death of a parent; crouching in a closet after a tornado alert; The moment we heard Elvis was dead (I was playing with my brother’s train set on my parent’s living room floor. I cried.). The glue… Read more »

Rock Time- Quieting the Mind

Temps of 105 degrees couldn’t keep me and my un-pedicured toes away. Eons ago, during a particularly stressful period of my life, an old friend quipped that I needed to head out for “rock time.”  In his estimation, I needed to find a big ole rock to perch upon as I pondered my way out… Read more »

Do you outline? Or do you write by the seat of your pants?

Do you outline or write by the seat of your pants? It’s a common question among writers. Samantha Clark has begun a fabulous thread on her blog about the subject. Today, she very kindly featured me. Next in her lineup are authors Bethany Hegedus, P.J. Hoover, Nikki Loftin, and Jessica Lee Anderson. Pop over to… Read more »

Reading: Exercise for the Writing Muscles

Many moons ago, the college professor who recommended me for the Honors English program, despite the fact that I didn’t have enough hours to be eligible at the time, took me under his wing. The last day of class, he walked me to the door and offered the most valuable advice from my limited college… Read more »

Surviving the Moat

  Standing on the threshold of publication is nerve-racking. I am teetering at this moment, waiting for that gentle nudge that is but a wisp away-fully at the mercy of market conditions and business decisions that are out of my control. I know my time is coming. I can feel that breeze of hope slipping… Read more »

Worth Repeating: Critique Guidelines and Tips

I created this document last year to help new critique groups, organized through our local SCBWI chapter. Interest in our critique groups is exploding, so it seems appropriate to post this again. Critique with the sandwich method. Positive comments at the beginning. Positive comments at the end.                                      Meaty feedback in the middle. Beware of overpowering… Read more »