Borrowing Character Inspiration and Traits From People You Know

The million dollar question writers are asked at book talks is this: How much of your characters are you or someone you know? It’s the question that has intrigued readers with every book or story they read. So, how does one answer this question? Very carefully. We can’t help it as writers if we borrow…

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…

Podcasts from Steph’s Scribe

Last year I spent some time making a few Podcasts during National Novel Writing Month. In case you are interested, I am re-sharing them here, to get you moving. I have a lot of writing to catch up on this weekend, as it’s been a busy week on campus, but it’s important to try to…

How Reading and Writing Inspires Me

There are few things that give me more pleasure than totally immersing myself in (a) reading a book, and (b) writing a book. Reading has saved me in many ways. It’s made me smarter, more empathetic, more worldly, and a better writer. It’s given me a sense of purpose. As a youngster, I was too…

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…

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…

My Experience of Teaching a Travel Writing Course

I’ve been pretty fortunate to have the opportunity to teach a course called Special Topics in Travel Writing at Stevenson University, where I am a full-time professor. It’s one of my favorite courses to teach, and for years in another course I teach called Feature Writing, we cover travel writing as part of the curriculum….

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…

Friday Fiction : I Hate You (a flash fiction story)

On Fridays we write. Answering a prompt is a good way to stay in touch with your writing, storytelling, and creativity. In this flash fiction piece, the goal was to “write a story with the word ‘hate’ in it.” Simple parameter. I write a lot about relationships, mostly happy ones, and sometimes ones that are…

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…

A Previous Life – A Short Story

Last night at dinner with my friend, Elizabeth, she mentioned that she enjoys reading my short prompts and short stories on the blog. I haven’t written one in a long while, so this morning, I found a prompt that I decided to tackle. It goes like this: Write a scene whereby two people think that…

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….