How my Interior Design Degree Prepared me to be a Writer

~ By Christine Meram “Did you major in Creative Writing?” That was a question, at a family event, that had me recollect my writing journey. How I got into writing, starting from an unfamiliar place, yet with very familiar settings. I never sought a writing career, in fact, at times, I think it chose me, through my love of storytelling. I was in my mid-twenties, finding a way to creatively express myself, outside of the rigorous and grueling Interior Design program, I had found myself. I would spend hours, compiling research about different places, creating intricate backstories for my pretend...

My Story as a Playlist

~ By Melina Kantor When I tell people that I always, always, always create a soundtrack for my WIP, the response is often, “Oh. Well I can’t write to music.” You know what? I honestly can’t either. I get too distracted and too lost, especially by songs I feel connected to. Music can turn my brain into a sort of popcorn popper, causing all kinds of disorganized ideas to zing around my head. Which, actually is the point. Building and listening to a story soundtrack (a trick I learned from Lani Diane Rich) helps me discover my stories and create...

My Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

(Or how I eventually got an agent) ~ By Laura Trentham  I’m casting back a couple of years to tell you about my worst writing week ever. What’s the old adage? Bad things come in threes (or more!) Alexander had lots of bad things happen to him over a long, miserable day. My bad stuff was spread over a week. Your bad stuff may happen over a month or a season, but it never fails to come in a clump, in my experience. Let me set things up by saying the months leading up to my terrible, horrible, no good,...

And then came Annie’s Karma

~ Chelle Cordero Writing a sequel wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve done. I had written series books before: Bartlett’s Rule & Courage of the Heart (Survivor Series); His Lucky Charm & Within the Law (Cousins Series); Final Sin & Hyphema (EMS Series) — but this was the first time I wrote an actual sequel. What’s the difference? In two of my series I did have recurring characters, but it was always another couple who was the main focus of the book. I created Annie and Dave in Karma Visited and the story could have ended there, but it didn’t. You...

Sometimes It’s Better to Pretend You Just Didn’t See It

~ By Jeff Salter It seems I have interesting experiences quite often. Take, as an example, this one from March 29th last year — which should have been an ordinary morning visit to my local credit union. Even though most of the staff know me, I still pull out my billfold to show my I.D. (as several little signs instruct us to do). On this occasion, when I flipped my wallet open, there sat a tiny orange thing that resembled a short piece of a rubber band. The teller lady seemed as surprised as I was. She didn’t ask,...

GOAL SETTING FOR 2018 – GET SMART

~ By Katina Drennan  Out with the old, in with the NEW, right? For most of us, the NEW means setting NEW writing goals for the coming year. Some of us have been at this a while and we know what works for us and what doesn’t. But many of us go about this task with “fear and loathing”. This year, I’m borrowing from my past. As a safety consultant, I taught my clients how to set SMART goals, and darned if they don’t apply to writing as well as accident prevention. How do you know if your goals are...

The New Year’s Goal Advice You Don’t Want but Probably Need

~ By Nicole R. Locker The beginning of a new year is so exciting for some of us. People stop to reflect on the previous year, what they’ve accomplished, and what goals they still want to achieve in the next 365 days to get them a little bit closer to that pie we’re all reaching for in the proverbial sky. To me, the New Year is like the ultimate Monday. You know what I’m talking about. Monday is that day of the week when some people I know start new diets, or that new workout program, or whatever the...

Reentry and Giving Yourself a Break

~ By Melina Kantor We hear it all the time. BICHOK. Want to be a writer? Write.  Writers write every day.  And of course, all of that is true. But I’ve got to confess something. I just finished a first draft of a story. I sat my butt down and put my hands on the keyboard for several hours for 29 days and won NaNoWriMo. For a month, my dogs were neglected. My refrigerator was empty. My nice gel manicure slowly peeled off, leaving me with broken nails. I was exhausted. And people were talking about starting revisions on December...

Giving Up

~ By Laura Trentham  I was discussing TV shows with my hubby the other night. He wanted me to binge watch a show with him. I told him I did not have time to pick up another show. His response? “You have the time; it’s just not a priority.” Well…he’s right. My free time is limited these days, and I’ve cut back on certain things. I went from stay-at-home mom with plenty of time to volunteer at the school and watch TV to a full time writer on deadline while trying to do all the a stay-at-home mom stuff...

Writing Sprints Make a Difference

~ By Leigh Duvan When you hear the word Sprint your first reaction might be to think of Olympic Runners or Track & Field Events – you know like the 100-meter dash. Sprinting is associated with “going fast” and the actual verb definition is: run at full speed over a short distance. Today we’re going to take the sprint to another level – a writing level. A few years back when I started writing “for real”, I came across a group of writers who would “sprint” together. The more I learned about writing sprints, the more I fell in love...

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