Surprising Writing Resources

When I think of my writing resources, the first thing that pops into my mind is the Internet. I’m constantly online looking for the information I need, from names for my characters to the latest in dart guns.

Today, I’m following a suggestion that I write about non-digital resources that make my writing life easier. Well, that stopped me. Not digital? What else is there?

I can hear the groaning ghosts of writers past. “Somehow, we managed, and quite successfully.”

Of course they did. As did I not too many years ago. As a matter of fact… Continue reading

A Writer’s Journey

Looking back over this past year, I see so much progress in my writing. The first signpost is my attitude. When someone asks me what I do, I tell them that I’m a teacher and a writer. Previously, I thought of myself as a woman who enjoyed writing stories.

Believing in myself is huge, and it happened gradually as I immersed myself in the writing world. I credit my new self-confidence to the people in my writing groups. Like me, they aspire to fulfill the promise of an entertaining read for everyone who buys their book.

Each of us… Continue reading

Christmas Eve Tale

The following is a short, short story or a flash fiction. Flash fiction can be fun to write and there is a market for it. For more examples of this writing, go to http://www.flashfictiononline.com/index.html.

In the silence of the dark living room, in the boughs of the Christmas tree, a strange conversation evolves.

“Okay, it’s safe to talk.”

“Is that you Snowy?”

Snowy2“You betcha, Olga. Mr. Snowman, himself. How’s our pretty little ice skating queen?”

“I’m still here.”

“Me, too “… Continue reading

It’s Christmas! Where Are Your Characters?

What would your characters do for Christmas?

Most of us have our stories wrapped around a mystery, life-threatening situation, or problems associated with fantastical conditions. Our main focus isn’t usually on holidays. So, what would the holidays look like for our characters? For instance, if they celebrate Christmas, who would be giving gifts and to whom? If not Christmas, what would they be celebrating at this time of the year?

My characters, although I’m not sure of all of their religious affiliations, would be having a traditional Christmas.xmas tree

***… Continue reading

Writing Conferences — Worth the Money?

Every time I’m about to hit the “Send Payment” button for a conference, the same mantra runs through my head. Should I go? Will this really help my writing? Is it worth the money?

NECRWA

NECRWA

First, let me admit that I don’t do a whole lot of conferences. I’m a regular at the Sisters in Crime (SinC) conference in November and the New England chapter of Romance Writers of America (NECRWA) conference in May. Both are in… Continue reading

November Equals NaNoWriMo

When I first heard about NaNoWriMo , I thought it was some crazy contest. All I could think of was Robin William’s alien greeting on Mork and Mindy, Na-Nu, Na-Nu.

I soon learned that NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) was a unique opportunity to get the bones of a finished novel written in the space of one month. Not even a thirty-one day month! http://nanowrimo.org/Shield-Nano-Blue-Brown-RGB-HiRes

Four years ago, in the midst of a writing dry spell, I decided to put my half-finished cozy aside and take the… Continue reading

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

After reading Britt’s post, Found, I mused about the many plot ideas it engendered. People always want to know where writers get their ideas. The answer, inevitably, is real life.

Seaweed

Seaweed

A walk on a deserted, seaweed-lined beach today, gave me an idea for a story. I’ve attempted to give you the steps I took to develop three different plots from my beach discovery.

As soon as I stepped onto the sand, I spotted movement off to my left. Covering my eyes, I saw a… Continue reading

Don’t Be Afraid To Get Lost

In the process of writing my manuscript, one of my favorite tasks, the one I thought would be so boring, was doing the research. Depending on the story, research can be surprising, intimidating, unnerving, intriguing, funny, heartwarming, or scary. However, it’s always enlightening. And, an enlightened writer is an interesting writer.

demonologist_copyThe most unnerving research I’ve done was for a paranormal story about ghosts and possession. One of my Google trips led me to a book by Gerald Daniel Brittle, The Demonologist, the Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren.

What Happened to My Time?

writing handOne month off! Hallelujah, I can write. 

I should be able to finish the manuscript I’ve been working on. What could possibly get in the way?

Of course, I do have my doctor’s appointments scheduled for this down time, so that will take a chunk out of a couple of days. And I do have two staff meetings for work and my student’s graduation. But again, that will only pull out a few more chunks time. Oh, and then there’s the wedding, three hours away in North Conway… Continue reading

Sensory Detail — Did I Achieve My Goal?

When you write your story, how much detail do you provide? Is it the correct detail, too much, too little?

cameraI’m always fighting to get the small, but important, things right. When I read, I’m interested in the setting. Not only the “where”, but also how the “where” feels. I want to be there, see the place through the character’s eyes. When I re-read writing that I loved, that kept me involved in the character, I see that the writer used the senses to pull me in.