Spooky Noise in the Dark Bathroom

~ By Jeff Salter We writers tend to have vivid imaginations… especially when it’s night time and we’re alone in the house. This is a true story from May of 2014. See if you can figure out the actual solution to this mystery. OR… how would you WRITE the solution? — Tap…clack-click. Tap…clack-click. My ears are more finely tuned to spooky unknown sounds at night when my wife is out of town. I had just gotten into bed, around midnight, when I heard this repeated eerie sound, Tap…clack-click. It seemed to be coming from the bathroom, the door of...

BICHOK, But Then What?

~ By Tanya Agler Note: Tanya’s companion post, Writing During a Family Crisis, can be found here.  Okay, we’ve all been there. We’re about to start writing and bam! The robocall of congratulations comes as you’ve won a free cruise to Nebraska if you turn over our checking account number now. A knock on the office door precedes your youngest running in with blood gashing out of his forehead and an ER trip is in your immediate future. A pop-up notification alerts you a prince in Nigeria wants to give you a million dollars because you’re a wonderful person....

Irish Alpha Heroes and St. Patricks Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Our chapter president Casey Clipper has agreed to tell us a bit about writing Irish Alpha Heroes.  How’s that for good luck?  So it back and enjoy.  If you also create heroes based on aspects of your own cultural background, please share in the comments.  Contemporary Romance: What was it about growing up in an Irish family that you wanted to translate into fiction? Casey Clipper: It wasn’t necessarily the growing up in an Irish family but more watching the men, like my father and grandfather and uncle (I have a few, but the one...

Writing During a Family Crisis

~ By Tanya Agler Overall, writing is a rather solitary endeavor. Many people, who’ve never finished a book, believe it’s the easiest thing in the world to let the words flow onto the computer screen or onto a sheet of paper. In reality, many writers have day jobs, families, and responsibilities. Many wake up early to write or stay up late. Some use their lunch breaks or the time after their children go to bed. Day by day, they see their word count add up until lo and behold, they have a first draft and finally a revised and...

Strong Writing Regimen. Strong Body.

~ By Liza Keogh My writing regimen is getting stronger. Fifteen months ago, I formally ended one career and began to write fiction. I had a yearlong arc of transition ahead of me, and the planets seemed well-aligned to support a multitude of big changes in my life. My body is suffering. My hip joints are achy, the herniated disc in my lower back is very testy, and my core strength is a thing of the past. Photographs attesting to what once was survive, otherwise, I might have a hard time proving how strong and limber I used to be. Any of that...

2017, Shakespeare, and a Dose of Inspiration

~ By Rebecca Grace Allen Let’s be brutally honest here: 2016 totally stunk. As a writer and, well, a human, I struggled on every level. My creativity shuddered to a halt. I hit a massive writers block. My relationships suffered. I gained ten pounds. There were times when I wondered why I was doing this whole writing thing in the first place. Then I remembered, it’s because there are stories bubbling up inside me that I have to tell. Stories that I hope will be timeless, ones that will live on beyond me. And sometimes, to write that kind...

Writing is Hard. Why Do We Do It?

It’s the last Sunday of the month, which means that it’s time for one of our chapter PAN members (PAN stands for Published Authors Network, a professional designation within RWA open to members who reach a certain level of sales) to visit the blog to share some of their wisdom and expertise. This month, Mary E. Thompson is here to inspire us with some thoughts on why we write. Which for those of you who are striving to write 50,000 words this month, may feel like an extremely timely question.  Take it away, Mary! ~ By Mary E. Thompson Eight...

Surviving NaNoWriMo When You’re Not Writing

~  By Brenda Margriet Note: On Wednesday, we posted an alternate view of National Novel Writing Month.  I am currently not writing. It doesn’t feel good, but I am trying not to beat myself up about it. So with NaNoWriMo going full swing and many of my online writer friends posting amazing word counts I just want to say: Shut up already! Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh. But for those of us (and I know you’re out there!) who aren’t doing NaNoWriMo for whatever reason, here’s some encouragement on getting through the month and beyond. Live your life Yes,...

Can You Touch Your Toes? The Need for Flexibility

~ By Gabi Stevens We all enter this writing career with dreams of best-sellerdom and fame. We all hope to write for a living and maybe even a little extra. Reality often derails those plans—your numbers were never big enough, you were orphaned, you never received support from your publishing house, your agent left the business; readers never discovered you in the morass of Amazon. Whatever. Honestly, your experience is not unusual. Few authors have had a smooth ride to superstardom, and I’d wager you can name authors who were on top a few years ago, but you don’t...

Organizing Your Time to Achieve Balance

~ Mary E. Thompson I have a confession to make. I’m a bit of an organization junkie. I fantasize about having a house that’s worthy of Pinterest. I’m not there yet, but when I put my mind to getting something organized, it always makes me feel so much better. The big thing I tackled this year was organizing my time. Both my kids were in school, so I had a full day to work for the first time ever. I just knew I’d get so much work done. But then there was laundry to do. Boxes to unpack (we moved...

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