New Publication

A couple of updates are due here on the blog.

First, my short story Singapore Wept was published in Zetetic: A Record of Unusual Inquiry. The story is short, five or six paragraphs, and worth reading. Very relevant in this age of gun-related violence. If you have the time, hop over to it and give it a quick read. Also, every time you click on the link, it helps the spider bots of the internet with searches related to my name =).  Read more

Revision Tip: Write it Twice. Or Three Times. Or Ten.

I once saw a video by Anthony Marra, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, where among other things he talked about his revision process and how he typed his story over and over. That moment was special for me. Angels didn’t sing or anything, but it was the first time I had ever run across another author who revised the same way I did.

When I came to the end of my Ashborne drafts, I printed them out. Then I proceeded to type them in again–line by line. I worked on the language a little more. saw the story in a new light. I encountered each page and each scene as if I were discovering it anew day by day. Read more

World Book Day 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017 is World Book Day!

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My son loves these books!

Most of the holidays I see advertised are always ‘National’. National Friendship Day, National Novel Reading Day, or National I like the Color Yellow Day. Sometimes it bothers me, this ‘National’ business, because I want to point out there’s an entire world out there. Why can’t we have more International days? But then I decide it’s all good in the end anyway, because I can’t keep up with all the different holidays. Read more

Book Exchange

Book exchange, CultureWANTED: Participants for a book-loving social experiment. Comment if you want to participate and I’ll send you details.

What do you have to do? Buy your favorite book and send it to a stranger (I’ll send you a name and address). I used Book Depository to send a book to someone and I didn’t even pay shipping charges.

You will only be sending one book to one person. The number of books you will receive depends on how many participants there are. The books that will show up at your door are other people’s much loved stories #SaveTheCulture #BookExchange. Read more

Support Your Local Bookshop – Join a Book Club

20160714_130434-001Instagram is my favorite form of social media. Twitter to me is like an endless autobahn. I use Facebook the most, but I really enjoy Instagram and I’ll tell you why. Facebook, loaded with political memes, angry judgements, and a sense of divisiveness, makes me feel angry or frustrated or judged or a number of other negative feelings. Mostly, I’m reminded of that old Monty Python skit where the guy wants to have an argument and he keeps running into rooms like Abuse and Hitting You Over the Head (love that skit). Read more

Analyzing a Story

I’ve been listening to The Story Grid with Tim Grahl and Shawn Coyne. It’s a writing podcast which pairs up the flailing new writer with an experienced editor and they talk about all things story related. Shawn relies heavily on Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces and Robert McKee’s Story, so if you’ve studied either of them, you’ll find much of Shawn’s work familiar.

One of the first things that struck me was how Shawn categorizes the different genres, but the more I dug into them, it made sense. I write Fantasy and Science Fiction. Sometimes I veer into the creepy, the edge of horror. Read more

Bug Out on Amazon

You may not have heard from me over the past few months, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working hard. We’ve gone through an evaluation process with our daughter, and I took a part-time job, both of which left little time for social activities, especially when you add my writing time to the equation. Nevertheless, within the last couple of months I’ve written two more short stories, come five chapters closer to a finished sequel, and sold a few poems. Told you I’ve been busy ;). Read more

Writing Projects Update

Today’s post is a short one. I really just wanted to take the time to recap where I am on my writing projects.

Flameborne — The sequel to Ashborne. I gotta tell you, I’m loving this book. New plot twists. New challenges. Poor Joelle. The revision process is about halfway completed. It’s taken longer than expected because last year we had a little family chaos. But I have a new writing schedule, and I hope to have the revisions completed before spring. After that, it’ll go off to beta readers, an editor, and I’ll contact an artist for the cover design. Yay!!! It’s hard to believe sometimes this will be my second published book. If you haven’t read the first one yet, click here to get it.  Read more

2016 Reading Challenge

My post last week recapped the books I’ve read in 2015. In that post, I was excited to try to reach my goal of a book a week for 2016. With that in mind, I’ve created a reading challenge because I think they’re fun. I’ve based it on the alphabet =). Here it is:

  • Read a book with Animal characters.
  • Read a book by a best-selling British author.
  • Read a book with Cooking in it.
  • Read a Dystopian book.
  • Read a book with a character who’s an Engineer.
  • Read a book about Freedom.
  • Read a book about a Gift. Alternatively, read a book you received as a Gift.
  • Read a book about a character with memorable Hair.
  • Read a book where a character is Innocent.
  • Read a book written by an author whose name begins with J (first or last).
  • Read a book a King has read.
  • Read a book with a Long title (more than five words).
  • Read a book your Mother recommends.
  • Read a book by an author you’ve Never read before.
  • Read a book that has a character crossing an Ocean.
  • Read a book Published in 2016 and one Published the year you were 16.
  • Read a book about a Quest.
  • Read a book Recommended by your friend.
  • Read a book about a Spy.
  • Read a book about Time Travel.
  • Read an Urban fantasy book.
  • Read a book written by a military Veteran.
  • Read a book written by a mighty Woman.
  • Read a book with a Yellow cover.
  • Read a book about a Zoo.

Read more

Memoirs I Want to Read

It’s summer. It’s supposed to be anyway. The sun hasn’t shown up. It’s cold and wet and rainy, but the kids are home from school and rather than focusing on writing during the day (I’m still writing, but I’ve been sneaking away at night to write. Sometimes.), I’ve tried to work my way through a few books. I’m behind on my reading. I had originally hoped to read one book per week. It’s a good solid goal. At the end of the year, I’d have read 52 books. The only problem is I tend to read thick books. Many of which are over 500 pages. I should be close to 30 books. I’m still reading my 23rd book of the year. Sigh. 

But as I’m nearing the end of my current book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard (which has less than 300 pages actually, but wow, what depth on those pages!), I’m looking at what to read next. I actually have a ton of books to choose from. Literary fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, I even got my hands on a steam punk novel. For some reason, though, I’m interested in memoirs. I want to read about the lives of others. So I spent a few hours browsing this morning and I’ve made a list of the memoirs I want to read within the next year.   Read more