Finding Inspiration

As someone who writes fiction as my side job, I seek inspiration, either from other people or from places. Additionally, as a writer who is about to publish my 4th novel, I use places almost as I use characters in my novel—they must have a personality and purpose.  Setting is very important to me, and…

Writing About Women + Friendship in Little Milestones

For the past several years, I’ve watched a PBS show called Call the Midwife. It’s a series based on the memoirs entitled Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End by Jennifer Worth, a district nurse and midwife who was living in the East End of London during the 1950s. The show intermingles…

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…

When Things End

Another semester is in the books, as our university will host graduation ceremonies this Thursday. My grades are just about closed out, and the sun is shining outside, marking the beginning of summer for those of us professors in higher education. I love teaching and being in the classroom—for me, it’s all about that. Waking…

The Wonderful, Wacky World of Writers

I’m just gonna put this out there because it makes me sad: too many people are not reading. They are spending their time on other things, which is great, but I would like to see the average books people read a year climb (see a piece I wrote last year about average number of books…

A Garden, a Book, and a Library

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. – Cicero * No matter how big or how small a library is, I love the feeling of walking inside and sensing the books call to me. I’m also amazed at the 19% of Americans who say they have NEVER visited a…

7 Takeaways from Blogging on the 8th Anniversary of Steph’s Scribe

I was sitting in my office approving students for registration when I saw an alert from WordPress, my blogging platform. It said, “Happy Anniversary.” It hadn’t even occurred to me what today was because I’ve been so busy and in so much pain recently due to my herniated disc, but I can’t talk about that…

Fictography For Old Time’s Sake and as a Teaching Tool: Back Home

/FICTOGRAPHY/ def. — The intersection of photography (submitted by readers) and fiction (written by me!). A few years ago, I executed a writing challenge whereby readers submitted travel photos they took, and I would write the story that I imagined went along with that photograph. Today, as I write this, my students are engaged in…

Three Important Tips Writers Should Always Remember

Two of these tips I want you to remember are from writers—Mark Twain and E.B. White; the other one above is from Steve Jobs. There’s always “stuff” going on in our heads as we write: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes when our writing is thriving and it’s good, we feel fantastic. Other…

Keep Your Head Down

I’ve learned a few things from being an independent author and as someone who loves to write and tell stories, and it’s this: Just Do Your Thing. When I saw this quote from Michael Connelly, I paused, and then posted it on my Instagram page, where I post often about writing (and some fashion, too!)….

Book Review: A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

* After reading Christina Baker Kline’s wonderful book Orphan Train last year, I knew I had to read her newest book, A Piece of the World, based on a woman named Christina who was supposedly a muse of Andrew Wyeth’s and the subject in his painting Christina’s World (pictured above). Knowing little about art except…