• Meeting Guidebook Author and Travel TV Host Rick Steves

    Today, my magazine writing students and I, along with members of the Stevenson University community, were treated to an afternoon session with guidebook author and travel television host, Rick Steves. Steves’ warm and friendly demeanor and sense of humor had the attendees listening intently as he shared his travel and work stories. If you’re not familiar with this expert traveler, you are missing out. Steves runs a company called Rick Steves’ Europe, which has grown from a one-man operation to a thriving company with over 100 employees. In this capacity, he produces more than 50 guidebooks on European travel and is able to host a weekly hour-long radio show on…

  • When An Idea Hits You, You Jump [for joy]

    Hi You All, I’m glad you’re still here reading my blogs. I’m so thankful and happy about that. As you’ve been with me for a while, you know that this summer I experienced what we might call burnout, or the feelings of being a little tired from all that has occurred over the last several years with my writing and the promotion of my writing. Since 2012, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind, and I’m not complaining at all. It’s all been wonderful and crazy and fun. It’s been non-stop high energy as I’ve turned out three fiction books and a textbook all within the span of five years…

  • Be Like Stella, Writers, and Get Your Groove Back

      I’ve taken a lot of time off from creative writing. Oh, I don’t mean the blog. I keep on doing this because, of course, I love it. And I do post an occasional Friday Fiction piece. But it’s not the same as tackling the writing of a novel. After completing the event planning textbook in January, I needed some time away to clear my mind, teach my classes, focus on my family, and maybe even go for a therapeutic walk now and then. But now, I’m ready to get my groove back. Like Stella from the novel by Terry McMillan, sometimes we need to get back in the swing…

  • Called Out for Laziness

    Slap. Slap. Slap. Splash water on your face. Grab a LARGE CUP of COFFEE. Prepare for the interaction again. * * * (Microsoft Word): Girl, where have you been? You haven’t been playin’ with my keys for a while. What? You on holiday? (Me): Apparently. (Microsoft Word): You are getting lazy, girlfriend. Why haven’t you been stroking my letters? Writer’s block? (Me): No…it’s just … I’ve been kinda busy. (Microsoft Word): Sounds like an excuse to me. (Me): Well, I recently moved, my kids are on three teams, I’m still unpacking, and I went on vacation all in a span of four weeks. There hasn’t been much time to… (Microsoft…

  • Sufferin’ Succotash

    The above words can only begin to describe how I feel about my inability to write this week. I am experiencing a very extreme case of writer’s block. I watched cursors flash. I sat and stared at a screen, blindingly white. I couldn’t even come up with something clever to blog about. Nothing. Came. Out. Of. My. Head. I’ve never really had it happen to this extent before. I whiled away the hours looking at Pinterest and pinning home décor and sayings instead. It was really quite mindless, actually. I tried to motivate myself, but alas, even now as I sit here writing this, all I feel is quite…empty. Even…

  • On Writing Utter Crap

    Last week I wrote a post about struggling with writer’s block. I’ve come to the conclusion that one only has writer’s block when one is writing crap. If the story were good and moving along and the characters had depth and juice, it would be difficult to blame the pause in writing on the story and the characters. It’s when one is writing garbage that it becomes difficult. Ironically, last week I also finished reading THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern. Although I didn’t give it the full 5 Stars (it was amazing), and only 4 (I really liked it) on GOODREADS, that book has stuck with me for the…

  • Writer’s Block & Gut Instinct

    Wow. I’m at a loss. This hasn’t happened to me in a while, but I’m suffering from writer’s block. Even writing my blog posts has become more difficult. I don’t know if it’s because we’re in the throws of summer and life has revolved around entertaining my kids, but finding time to sit at the computer and write has become challenging. I’m in constant motion—entertaining, taking the kids to the pool and visiting with friends, going on vacations, and trying to keep my kids grounded with a little bit of schoolwork this summer are full time jobs. Trying to fit in writing a syllabus and organizing for the fall semester,…