Springtime in Endurance

As I sit in my office looking out at the rain and wind in our Illinois spring, I am reminded that the little town in my mysteries, Endurance, is based on the spot where I live. Right now the ornamental trees and shrubs are in full bloom, and the gingko tree in my 009 (320x249)front yard is just starting to grow its interesting triangular-shaped leaves. Mother Nature is definitely changing courses and revving up the green colors to move into summer. Nature is something we can’t hurry.

In recent weeks… Continue reading

Grab a Group

lonelyWriting is such a solitary occupation, that I’ve often felt at a loss as to my literary abilities. I can look at a piece of writing and think it’s award material, or I can look at the same piece of writing and think it’s garbage. I’ve noticed that most of my insecurities attack me right after I’ve finished reading a riveting book.

I know. I know. One of the Golden Rules–Don’t compare.

That’s why input during the creative process from other writers is so important. Without help from someone… Continue reading

The Fat Lady Sings (Again) – to Beat Sheets

CORRECTION: The wonderful Jami Gold has made a correction to this post. Although a number of “Beat Sheets” below are attributed to different authors, they were actually created by Jami herself. She’s drawn from the teachings of Larry Brooks, Michael Hauge, etc. to assemble them, hence their names. The Blake Snyder Beat Sheet was created by Elizabeth Davis. Confused yet?  Don’t worry. All will become clear as you read further.
Two other suggestions from Jami: first, she recommends this link for her Scrivener Beat Sheet: jamigold.com/2013/12/can-we-use-beat-sheets-with-scrivener . And second, she provides a “clearinghouse” link for all Beat Sheets

Talking Books, Films and Garage Sales with Author Suzi Weinert

Today I am thrilled to be talking with Suzi Weinert who is the author of the Garage Sale mysteries series. First a bit of history:  Moving regularly as an Air Force brat, after college Suzi married an Army officer and in the succeeding 21 years, moved 11 more times across the US, Germany and the Philippines. Transforming each new house into a home, she discovered on-post thrift shops where military families consign for sale whatever they can’t take on a move and later supplement their belongings from their new destination’s thrift shop.

The Business of Writing: Budgets

As a small business owner, every decision I have made to date for my business is based on the anticipated return on investment (ROI). The main goal of my business is to make enough money to pay my business expenses and have enough left over to pay myself so that I can contribute positively to my household and my future.   My business has been in a state of flux since I started it over three years ago. I always knew I wanted to be my own boss but this business was not planned, it was a knee-jerk response to a… Continue reading

Theme? My Story Has a Theme?

 

Begin bookAs we all know, writing, especially fiction, is not as simple as deciding on a story and penning it. Each chapter, scene, paragraph, and sentence must work together to tell the story you want and ensure reader satisfaction. A story has many crucial elements: plot, characters, pacing, setting, point of view, etc. Then there are things like arcs, story and character, to consider. It’s hard to believe how much goes on behind the scenes of each printed page. As an author in the midst of editing, I often find… Continue reading