Get Yourself a Posse!

Part of my Group

Part of my Group

Friday nights at Barnes & Noble, you can find me at a table with a cup of coffee and three or four members of my writing group. We try to meet once a week. For me that weekly confab is extremely important–I get a new dose of enthusiasm for my writing and an honest appraisal of my latest work from dedicated authors.

However, I didn’t have the help of other knowledgeable and caring people when I finally decided to write in… Continue reading

The Importance of Editors and Beta Readers

As a reader years ago, I often thought that authors simply sat down and wrote their books from beginning to end. Sure, they did some editing, but otherwise it was a chronological process with an occasional bumpy, but mostly smooth, road. Now that I write books, I see how naïve I was.

ThreeMayKeepASecretFront My first novel, Three May Keep a Secret, comes out in November. Before I began looking for a publisher, I hired an excellent freelance editor to give the manuscript a once over. Not only was it the best… Continue reading

Nerd Arise!

I love this month’s topic. In my previous life (maybe in this one, too), I must have been a real nerd. The card-carrying kind, with the pen clip for my blouse pocket and a baseball cap turned the wrong way, bill forward.

nerdess

Credit: nosmeus16.blogspot.com

I probably had red hair in kinks that stuck out all over. And definitely freckles.

My idea of fun was to collect “Resources.”

Maybe I landed a job at MI-5. Or maybe I was a librarian, before they got cool… Continue reading

Help! I Can’t Write.

No good!

No good!

As far back as grade school, I loved to write. I tried poems, short stories, and eventually, technical writing. I always yearned to write a novel but knew I wasn’t good enough. I’d started a few and the stories simply petered out. What to do?

Through a lot of trial and error, I found that one of my best resources was other writers. I can hear you all now, “Duh!” Of course other writers are the resource. But how do you access and… Continue reading

Research: Make Mine Wiki

Writing, for me, is an act of pure joy, a chance to leave the world and enter a frothy bubble of thought and creation. I look forward to it as I move through the day, the way a child might, when promised candy at the end of chores.

While writing is my one true love, research has always been a second passion. In my university years, I was lucky to be just a few minutes hike from a paradise of sorts, the Library of Congress, with its heady combination of almost unlimited resources (838 miles of shelves!) set in… Continue reading

Social Media – why, what, how, who

Instead of discussing how I use social media I’m going to share an overview of a variety of social media platforms.  This post will cover Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  A later post will discuss Google+, Pinterest, and Tumblr.  I’ll discuss why to use social media, what the demographics and best uses of each is, how they can be used, and who is using them well.

First of all, and most important of all, is the why.  Why use social media?

Analyzing what the words mean provides the answer. Social is both a noun and an adjective – an… Continue reading

Writing Resources that Never Lose Their Style

When I began writing novels, a friend who works in publishing gave me this advice: “You’ve been reading ABOUT writing for a year.  Isn’t it time to start writing?” Yes, I do cop to a certain amount of insecurity before I started my first book. My office shelves are filled with writing resources, but three in particular have proven priceless.  They didn’t come out last year.

One of the best purchases I made was buying a copy of The Synonym Finder (Jerome synonym finderRodale, editor, 1978.) I remember reading about… Continue reading