• It’s Been A Helluva Week & A Little Milestone Is In The Books

    The life of a writer: Wake up. Think about your writing. Edit your writing. Worry your novel isn’t good enough. Edit some more. Worry some more. Write more and delete more and rewrite the damn thing. Pretend like you don’t actually talk to your characters like a lunatic. Drink a lot of coffee and curse a lot of curses. Write. Edit. Write. Edit. Publish. Celebrate. Collapse. In all seriousness, I do want to collapse. And I’m just starting to think about the “celebrate” part, but I’m not quite there yet. Next week on campus, on Tuesday evening, we will officially LAUNCH my new novel, LITTLE MILESTONES, in conjunction with National…

  • When You Majorly Alter Your Work in Progress After Writing 50,000 Words: The Hard Truth About Writing A Novel

    * Today, my dear readers, I am going to give it to you straight. Straight up, as Paula Abdul once sang. And believe me, what I’m about to share with you is going to cause me to do quite a bit of work. Lots and lots of work. But in the end, I am hoping it will all be worth it. And also, you must know this about me: if I didn’t love crafting stories and the agony that goes along with that job, I wouldn’t do it. If you’ve been with me for a while, you know that I am a professor, writer, author, and as you see me…

  • #NaNoWriMo Tribe: Proud of Us as the Finish Line Approaches

      I know this doesn’t mean a lot to many people, but for the few of us who adore telling stories, I’m very proud of you. I wouldn’t be much good to anyone as a writing cheerleader if I didn’t actually participate in National Novel Writing Month and help encourage others to do the same. Haven’t you ever done something just for the love and sheer joy of it? While I’m still 7,000 words short of my goal, with tired eyes and a lot of coffee, I’ll continue until the bitter end…along with thousands and thousands of others of us who are all doing the same. Bonding with other writers…

  • Not Quite There With 5 Days Remaining

    It’s the 25th of November, and I’m still making progress, although it’s not moving as quickly as I would like. The goal for November was to complete 50,000 words (which is, in essence, a small novel). The problem is, this novel (Life with Nan) will more like 80,000+ words, I’m guessing. So, my friends, I have a way to go, but if that’s the case, then I’ll try to find some solace in the fact that I hit the halfway point by going over 40,000 words. Nan and my main character, Calista, still have more to uncover as their relationship of living together as granddaughter and grandmother continue, and as…

  • Reflections on Feeling a Loss of Hope

    It’s probably pretty shocking to some of you who follow my blog, a “safe space” for positivity and a place where lifting up others is standard operation. It’s always been my goal for Steph’s Scribe to inject a dose of  inspiration into people’s lives. But today, just days before Thanksgiving, I’m feeling something tampering with my state of hopefulness. A bleakness has entered my atmosphere. A sense of time slipping away and dreams fading a bit. I hate this feeling. A culmination of many things swirling around my personal domaine, I felt it was appropriate to be real with you for a moment, to illustrate that life is not always…

  • 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…

  • Getting in the Write Frame of Mind

    ​​ I can equate the feeling of getting in the right frame of mind for yoga to getting in the right frame of mind for writing. It’s time to stop finally stop saying you’re going to write it and actually do it. All I can do is strongly encourage you to write, to tell the stories you have held deep inside of you. I can’t physically make you do it. But as your self-appointed writing yogi, I am hopeful that you’ll join me on this adventure we call #nanowrimo – National Novel Writing Month. Or, if you’re not ready to begin drafting your work, just grab a journal and have…

  • National Novel Writing Month Kick-off Next Week

    Writers get excited about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) like kids get excited about gifts at the holidays. It’s fun, it’s fulfilling, and it can be frenetic. Why? Because you’re trying to write a novel during the month of November. That’s 30 days, people. And if you can’t finish it, you can at least make some progress toward it. Novels such as The Night Circus and Water for Elephants were started during NaNoWriMo, so if that doesn’t motivate you to begin that work you’ve been thinking about for a while, nothing will. In conjunction with the Stevenson University Library and the communication club on campus, 47 House, I’ll be kicking…

  • I Decided To Have A Go At It

    Last summer, I wrote a short story called Life With Nan. You can find this story in my recent publication The Postcard and Other Short Stories & Poetry. What’s happened to me after writing that story is interesting. Just as Contelli’s Mimosa, a short story I wrote in college, became a full novel entitled Beneath the Mimosa Tree, so has Life With Nan started to become a novel. I fell in love with Nan and the main character of the story so much, that it prompted me to write a longer story, and so I think I’ll have a go at it. That’s right. I’m using British lingo there. The…

  • Gearing Up for #Frocktober and #NaNoWriMo

    October = #Frocktober November = #NaNoWriMo As this will be the third year Steph’s Scribe has participated in #Frocktober, and the second year we’re partnering with the Stevenson University Library to present #NaNoWriMo, we’ve got a lot of planning and work ahead of us. There are outfits to pick out and novels to work on. But isn’t that what makes life fun? Having projects to immerse ourselves into each year? Fall is absolutely my favorite season…and these two months are exciting. My husband and I married on November 1 in a barn in the fall season. Despite that the weather was much like it is today in Maryland – drizzly…

  • What I’ve Been Up To

      *** It’s Monday, November 20, and I’m not as far along with National Novel Writing Month (#nanowrimo) as I would like to be. I’ve hit over 12,000 words, but if one is trying to finish a novel in four weeks, one has to do better than that. But there’s been a slight problem. Father time has keep me busy in other areas. Because it’s been so busy and I have not been fulfilling my obligations very well as a promoter of #nanowrimo, I believe I owe you the reasons behind why I have not held up my end of the bargain. Let me present you with my Three Main…

  • T H A N K F U L | D A Y 14 | NaNoWriMo

    With Thanksgiving around the corner, I am thankful for my family who always encourages me to continue with my passion. It’s important to have a good support system around you when you tackle something as big as a novel. And it’s wonderful to have people who support you, even though it’s a time-consuming endeavor. T H A N K   Y O U   M Y   D E A R   F A M I L Y. * * * Now, for TODAY’S PROMPT Write 500 words For Fiction Three characters are stuck in an elevator in their 24-story building. The three have never met before. One has claustrophobia, one is exhausted and…