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

Join or Start a Critique Group

Every critique group I have been in has taught me something, not only about my writing, but about myself.  Some critique groups I’ve been in have worked well, some worked okay, and some didn’t work at all.

My current critique group has been active for nearly a year, and it all started with my response to a request for a critique partner on one of the groups I belong to. It’s one of the most productive and interesting critique groups I’ve belonged to – thanks to my critique partners Lane and Carolyn

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

October Writing and Writers Events

There are quite a number of great writing and writers events happening in Virginia, D.C. and Maryland this month!

What: Creatures, Crimes, and Creativity Conference

When: October 10-12

Where: Hunt Valley Inn, Baltimore, MD

Who:   Readers and writers of mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal.

Why: The 2nd year of this conference promises the same great opportunity for local writers and readers to mix, mingle, hear great speakers, and attending interesting and informative workshops.

More Info: creaturescrimesandcreativity.com

What: Chesapeake Crimes “Homicidal Holidays” Book Launch

When: October 11, 12:00… Continue reading

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

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

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

Another Year’s Growth

2014 calendarOrdinarily, the onset of a new year brings on a sense of melancholy. I feel as though I’m losing something that I can never get back. You know, like the song lyrics, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot?” This year I decided to look back on 2013 with a more positive eye and focus on all that I’ve accomplished as a writer.

I was surprised at what I discovered. The most important result of my evaluation turned out to be growth, growth in confidence and growth in skill. In the… Continue reading

Three Words – An Alternative to New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not much on resolutions. I don’t find that I keep them for very long – or that others do either. But as I was following tweets and reading a few blog posts, I saw a few entries about finding 3 words for the new year. It’s a new take on an old concept and it resonated with me.

My three words are: Connect, Create and Contribute. I’ve chosen three words that can be broadly interpreted, can allow me to make large or small changes, and that are easily remembered.

Aides, Helpers, and Support

This is a bit of a question with no easy answer.  Who do I speak with?  I have no one person with whom I hash everything out.

I email my cousin if I have ideas or a short story.  I do not expect expert critique from my cousin – usually she will ask a question if she does not understand everything or she will say that she likes it … in a worst case scenario she will just forget that she received that particular short story!  Sometimes I will send her two beginnings of stories (NaNoWriMo that never reached… Continue reading