Show Don’t Tell: Passive Verbs

I’ve been writing for some time now and some of the advice that gets pushed around is “show don’t tell.” Which is fine advice but no one ever gives a practical way to accomplish this. So here it is. A way to move your sentences from passive into active and therefore show instead of tell….

I’m Not an Island

I’m a fairly prolific writer. I get ideas fast and can follow through quickly. That’s my normal. To my peers it looks effortless, like I’m a creative island unto myself. I assure you it’s not easy nor as secluded as it seems. It’s a carefully tuned balance in a multifaceted creative life. Currently, I’m not…

The Case for Story Dummies

Listening to the Literaticast Podcast (#34) I finally have been able to get a better handle on the term board book. If you aren’t listening to the podcast I highly recommend it for great industry thoughts and information all around children’s books. So board books are for the youngest readers, ages 0-5. They are usually made…

Watercolor Words Project

Most of you have seen my home library. What you don’t see is the boxes of books in storage waiting for space on those shelves. One of those boxes is full of mini sized book and the box behind that is full of broken books. Books too cool to throw out but too damaged to…

Magical Editing

Most the time the book is made in revisions and it’s magic. However, there is the moment when it’s dark magic instead of the the happy sparkly kind.  #amwriting #amediting #writingcommunity #writetip

Competitive Writing

Not all competition happens in the gym. I’ve been struggling with a picture book for over a month now. It’s driving me crazy. I need to rework my pitch so it doesn’t get an automatic no. I need to revise, revise, and revise some more. I need to brainstorm like it’s the end of the…

The Highlighter is Mightier Than The Pen

The highlighter is mightier than the pen, which is also therefor, mightier than the sword! At least in the world of editing it is. This technique is essential for editing your opening and perhaps your whole story. While reading the October issue of Writer’s Digest this beautiful side bar gave the best advice I’ve seen…

Creating While Waiting

My cookbook has been on submission for a few months now. I’ve run the gamut of emotions. I’m starting to feel like those bouncy balloons kids pummel back and forth endlessly. I wanted something to happen. Then I had a breakthrough. I’m not in control. That fact is positive, good even. If things had happened…

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ― Louis L’Amour

Blog Time Travel

It’s my fourth year of blogging. I’ve been reviewing my blog a bit and doing research on ways to improve it. One source recommends reusing older blog posts as a way to save time and reuse material. Sounds nice to a thrifty person like myself. So that lead me to digging back into my older…

Critiques Aplenty

I’ve been doing a lot of story critiques lately. I see a few different stages of writer because of this, each has pros and cons. Here’s what I’ve observed thus far. There are the one edit writers. All they want is for someone to say they are brilliant and the story is ready to submit….

What it’s like being on TV

If I had to sum it all up in one word it’d be FAST! I had a four minute segment and it went by in what felt like thirty seconds. But that’s near the end of the story. If you’re on the fence about TV or just plain curious here’s how it went for me….

One Day to Go…

Tomorrow is the big day for being on TV… (If you want to how I tumbled into a TV segment check out my last post). I’d like to say I’ve got nerves of steel but let’s be real it’s more like nerves of Twizzlers. So let’s take a moment and talk a bit about stress….

“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” ― Madeleine L’Engle

Pitch Parties Post Agent

One of the biggest pitch parties of the year just came and went… I’ve got the blues a bit. I like participating in online events. I miss it. Don’t feel too sorry for me though since I do have an agent now, who’s fabulous. It occurred to me that I should find ways to participate…

Based on a true story…

I’ve read so many stories lately that are a true story. While I do like true stories the best true stories tend to be embellished… Like Grandpa’s whopper fish story. It’s way better when he adds ten inches and whole lot more hassle to reel it in. My point is true stories are exciting but…

Don’t ask me who has influenced me. A lion is made up of all the lambs he has digested, and I’ve been reading all my life. -George Seferis

Groceries & Characters

My grocery list is typically all groceries with a few extra items here and there. But those extra items and the groceries themselves tell a story. The whole list tells about my life. It tells my tastes, my eating habits, my faults, my milestones and my successes. I tend to write characters that don’t feel…

What NOT to ask at a Writing Conference

I’ve been to a fair number of writing conferences over the years. There is nearly always open question time for a presenter or two. There is also always those one or two people that take over the time. They ask things like, “How do I get an agent?” or “How do I write a query…

The Math of Writing

Let me say that math was never my forte. I barely skimmed by in Algebra and for some reason I did great at geometry (still don’t know why). When I set out to write this post it occurred to me that writing can be shown as a form of math or presented within the parameters…