• Stay Positive, Writers!

    It’s the first day of summer break for me, and that means it’s time to dust off my work in progress and hunker down. I’d really love to have this novel done by the end of summer. However, in doing so, there are challenges. It’s really easy to tell ourselves that our work is mediocre…that it needs a lot more love and attention…and that may very well be true. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be wonderful! My current work in progress needs some love and attention. I have to start at the beginning and go through it, chapter by chapter and sentence by sentence. I have to pull this…

  • Let’s Do This Thing

    I’m back to motivate you. Are you open to it? Do you have an idea for a novel, memoir, nonfiction story, or a collection of short stories that you need to give some time to this month? You’re in luck. Welcome to National Novel Writing Month, or as we call it for short, #nanowrimo. We’re here to help you get moving. Along with my friends at the Stevenson University Library, our job tonight is to inform you on the best ways to go about writing and producing your book. In one hour, we’ll have you inspired and on your way to beginning this exciting path to writing and publishing a…

  • Playing With Book Covers For An Upcoming Collection

    I’ve started the editing process for my upcoming book entitled, The Postcard and Other Short Stories & Poetry. So far, I’ve organized the stories and made a comprehensive list of what will be included and what is getting pitched. It looks like the book will feature 15 longer short stories, 25 pieces of flash fiction, and about 20 poems. Along with the organization comes the idea of what the cover of the book might look like. As a visual person, I need to have this in my head as I work toward completion. For me, the whole creative process of putting a collection together encompasses so much—the storytelling is at…

  • Book Promotion for Inn Significant

    It’s looking like my new novel will be available in two weeks. I am down to the last few changes, and soon, my friends, it will be in your hands. I wish the process could be a quicker one (for all of us, believe me!), but producing a novel takes time, especially when you write, edit, design, and market it yourself. That’s why it’s called independent or/or self-publishing. We are jack of all trades when it comes to this hobby. So today, I’m sharing a promo piece I put together for the book that I’ll be using to help promote it. I got the idea from an advertisement for a…

  • The Art of Editing

    * * * * * I remember finding the copy editing course I took at Towson University grueling. It was a required course during my first master’s program in professional writing. It was tedious and tiring. My eyes grew weary, and eliminating words became a game to me. When the professor told us to get a piece down from 500 to 300 words, we had to do it, and the result had to be better than what we started with that day. Editing is not easy, my friends. It requires us step away a bit and consider the reader more than we consider ourselves and the prose we have written.…

  • Editing My Novel: “Baseball Girl” Is In Motion

    On Friday, I completed the first draft of my second novel, currently titled “Baseball Girl.” This sucker is seriously in motion. So, what does one do now that it’s complete? Well, my friends, now begins the difficult part, the part where you have to be critical of yourself, change things that are not working, and make sure your characters’ voices remain their voices, even if they develop and grow during the course of the novel. As well, it’s time to look at the overall plot and consider any flaws that may be lurking within its pages. As my fictitious love story is about a young woman who works in the…

  • Why I Write, Part III, The Finale

    One of my favorite authors is Kate DiCamillo. She writes beautiful, lyrical stories that you generally find in the young adult section of book stores. Her stories are somewhat mystical, and despite that her stories are geared to children through young teens, I believe they are wonderful stories for all ages. I recently watched a video of her where she was talking about becoming a writer. She mentions that she walked around for 10 years wearing the uniform of a writer—a black turtleneck and jeans—saying she was going to be a writer, but she never did anything about it. Then, she said, she got off her duff and wrote her…

  • Found on the Cutting Room Floor

    Sometimes I like to torture myself by reading first drafts of stuff I’ve written. Some of it’s just really, really bad, and then I come across something that makes me pause. I read it and wonder why I left it on the cutting room floor. This is what I came across this today: When I am with you, There’s a feeling of forever, For the love I have for you Is by far my greatest pleasure. A love so simple, yet divine Ages gracefully like wine. You are my happiness— You make my heart sing— Being with you Is my favorite thing. It was a poem written for one of…

  • William Zinsser’s Mad Wisdom

    “Few people realize how bad they write. Nobody has shown them how much excess or murkiness has crept into their style and how it obstructs what they are trying to say. If you give me an eight-page article and I tell you to cut it to four pages, you’ll howl and say it can’t be done. Then you’ll go home and do it, and it will be much better. After that comes the hard part: cutting it to three.”   —  William Zinsser, “On Writing Well” I don’t know this gentleman personally, but I sure wish I did. As a die-hard lover and endorser of all things E.B. White, especially…