Archives for the writing life

Drive-by Writing

  If you’re a writer, you are probably familiar with the tendency to try to write ideas down while driving. I seem to get my best ideas when I’m driving, and it’s the most inopportune moment to do it. Surprisingly, I don’t always have a pen handy. That’s why I bought one of those key chain attachable sharpie markers… But then there’s not always paper. I know this sounds crazy for a voluminous writer like myself not to have paper and pen….there were times when an idea was so good, I considered to pricking my finger and writing it in
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Thoughts from a Literary Contrarian

I enjoy the commonality and compatibility in my current relationship. (Wait. Current relationship makes it sound temporary. It’s not. Let me give that another go: I enjoy the commonality and compatibility with my love, my life, my soon to be wife. (Better). Anyway, we have this ritual of reading every night before sleep, if not also in blocks of time during the day. As authors, that ritual would be expected, but I’ve never been with another author before, so I’m going to notice these things. I like it. A lot. Digression Alert: I remember one night, I’m lying in bed
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Writing Words of Wisdom

I was recently asked (again) for words of wisdom regarding being a writer and seeking publication. So I thought I would just blog it. I have some strong opinions about writing and publishing, springing from my own experience over 20-25 years of pursuing it, and numerous blogs, articles, essays, and having written and rewritten 13 books; added to this is also webmastering, book cover design, typography, editing, and publishing. I wanted to learn all the aspects of completing a book. My most commonly offered caveat is this: don’t fall in love with your words; fall in love with your craft.
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A tale of two indies

Once upon a time, there were two indie writers, Mary and Jane. They were writing books, publishing them through small press, and promoting them through social media. Their main difference was their attitudes. Mary was negative about everything. Jane was positive about everything. Mary hated promoting her book. When she tried writing blog posts, it came out mean and horrible. Her tweets pulled people down. And let’s not even talk about what memes she posted on Facebook. Jane, on the other hand, was positive. She advertised her book in social media, making use of her circle of friends online. She
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Becoming Brianna

As I hold the paperback copy of Enchanted Heart in my hands, I realize that this is a bittersweet time for me.  I am so happy that I have finally accomplished my dream of being published (and in print). But at the same time, I am sad that my son Brian is not here to celebrate with me. You see, he was my biggest fan.  When he was nine years old, he sketched the cover picture to the novel that I had been working on.  I still have that novel tucked away in a box with his drawing proudly displayed on the
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Are Independent Authors the New Publishing Paradigm?

In music and movies, it’s always hipper to be indie. It means you have met success without a corporate blessing. It’s the spirit of individualism made manifest. Being indie allows us the freedom to explore, to push boundaries, to not have to worry about whether or not we are addressing a wide enough, all-encompassing audience.  Being indie means that in order to succeed you have to be original, innovative, cutting edge, and at times, controversial. And finally, that same reputation is moving into the world of publishing. Sadly, this new reputation is still too new to cause massive sales, but
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Tips for the would-be author

With indie publishing booming and e-readership expanding daily, there’s never been a better time to become a writer. As a published author and writing instructor, my advice to the “would-be” author is this: Write your book. Plenty of people say they are going to write a book someday, but they never do. If you’re serious, then stop talking about it and start writing. Re-write until you never want to look at your book again. I know this probably sounds crazy, but if you read about successful writers, you’ll find that most have this in common: by the time they finished
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Before You Write

There are plenty of days where I can think of nothing else other than getting home so I can get back to writing. However, there are plenty of times that as the day goes on, my enthusiasm and creative charge fades by the time I can finally get to it. So I’ve developed a system to help me out, and I thought I’d share my ideas. You could think of it as a method for setting yourself up for a creative and productive writing session. Before you write: 1.) Read Read something, even if it’s just a paragraph. You should
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The Art of Getting “Snowed In”–Notes from a Writer’s Retreat

I can still recall the first time I visited Walden Pond on a misty winter’s day.  Having read deeply, or rather “sucked out all the marrow” from Henry David Thoreau’s literary retreat into the woods, I vowed that one day I too would live so deliberately, so solitarily, so close to nature that I might feel that inspiration which is lovelier than diamonds descending all around me like heaven’s crystalline tears. Back then, I was a college student in Boston and there were classes to attend, unfinished reports and exams to consider—not to mention the constant demands of friends and
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