Archive | 2017

Prepare for a Writer’s New Year


The New Year promises a fresh start, but only if we truly bring the current year to a close. If you don’t resolve the physical and emotional “incompletes” in your life, January 1 will look remarkably like December 31, with the possible minor difference of needing to clean up after the party. One of the […]

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Halfway through the Dark


Take heart – we’re halfway through the dark. No matter how bleak it seems, we’re halfway through the dark. We are a nation divided, yet we are still a nation. We have been shaken to our Constitutional core, but we still have a Constitution. I won’t assume that you and I see the same causes […]

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Writers: If People Insist on Giving You Books… Get the Good Ones!


While there is a bit of debate about Albus Dumbledore’s claimed regret that “People will insist on giving me books” instead of socks, the truth is, books are not a bad gift. Especially not for writers. In fact, many of us have trained family and friends to give us books. (If you’ve trained complete strangers […]

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Kid-tested, Writer-approved, Surprising Gifts to Boost Imagination


“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Of course books are outstanding gifts, but like Albus Dumbledore, I do think other gift options are underutilized. […]

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New Book Update: The Gift of Being Rejected


Thank you to the Loft Literary Center for offering and to agent Kelly Van Sant for teaching the online Query Comprehensive class where I revised (and revised again and again) my query letter. I wasn’t sure I needed a comprehensive class; after all, I knew the basics. But the timing was ideal — I had […]

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Random Scene Generator: 10 Steps to Solve the “I don’t know what to write” Problem


It’s day 10 of NaNoWriMo or November 10 for those of us not doing NaNoWriMo. So it seems like a good time to revisit this, my most popular post. Even if you aren’t doing NaNoWriMo, you can still play with the Random Scene Generator.  Random Scene Generator It takes about a half-hour to create your […]

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When You Don’t Know What to Write…


When you don’t have a clue what to write about, let yourself be inspired by whatever National Day is coming up. Since National Donut Day is right around the corner, let’s use donuts. No, not by eating them. All right, go ahead and eat one, then consider other ways you can use be inspired by […]

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Forget Plot Outlines! Is Your Habenula NaNoWriMo Ready?


(NOTE: Not even considering NaNoWriMo? Keep reading; this stuff applies to any writer.) Of course, knowing who your characters are, what they want, what they need and what stands in their way is important, but if your habenula isn’t firing right, NaNoWriMo is going to be a month-long lesson in frustration. To be precise, I […]

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How Scratching the FOMO-Itch Blocks Your Writing


FOMO is real – both the fear and the missing out part – and is particularly risky for writers. The Fear Like any fear, FOMO will activate your limbic system, which evolved to react fast to tangible, immediate danger. In the face of imminent life-or-death threats, your brain doesn’t waste time contemplating the pros and […]

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Writing Your Best is Your Worst Idea


  “The best is oftentimes the enemy of the good; and many a good book has remained unwritten… because there floated before the mind’s eye the ideal of a better or a best.” – R. C. Trench, 1861 In 1861, people had the luxury of contemplating ideas in elegant language like this. Today, we consume […]

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