What do you like in a story?

What do you like in a story? Have you ever thought about it? And by that, I mean more than for a few seconds. Have you ever sat down and made a list of the things you enjoy about the stories you read?

I read Chris Baty’s book, No Plot, No Problem last week. For those of you who didn’t know, Chris is the guy who started NaNoWriMo and I was curious to see what he said about writing a novel in 30 days. If you’ve never written a novel before, you would benefit most from the book, which gives you tips to keep track of word count, how to tell your family you’re writing a book, along with advice on how to stay sane during the month-long challenge. Read more

Star Wars Disappointment

20151220_131736I had a difficult time choosing today’s post. Not because I didn’t know what to talk about, but because I had originally planned to write about the books I read this year. However, we saw the ‘new’ Star Wars movie over the weekend and now I can’t get it out of my head.

* Warning — Spoiler Alert *

Star Wars is our thing. It really is. If my husband could have had a Star Wars wedding, we would have. We met playing Star Wars Galaxies (pre-combat expansion). We have a bookshelf full of the books. We have Star Wars Christmas ornaments, underwear, pajamas, coffee cups, decals, games, miniatures, wrapping paper, and a dozen other random things. Star Wars Lego contraptions, built by our little master builder, litter our home. Our son’s name is based on a Star Wars character. At pre-school each kid gets to choose a special word and the other kids have to learn all about it. Our son chooses words like ‘droid’ and ‘star destroyer’ and the poor teachers are pulling me aside asking me what these things mean.

If a new movie comes out, it’s a big deal for us. Read more

5 Tips to Weave a Little Madness into Your Writing

To combat the summer madness, a couple of days ago my husband bought me a new game. Other than Civilization and The Sims, I haven’t played much of anything over the past year. When I had free time, I wrote, researched or read books. When I didn’t, I focused on the kids. It was as simple as that. Entertainment, what’s that? You mean . . . I can have that, too? Are you sure? Read more

Dying Empty

Last Thursday I ran across an amazing podcast from Joanna Penn and Todd Henry.

It began with two little words:

Die Empty.

Contrary to the photo, it’s not as creepy as it sounds. What’s it all about? Turns out, the graveyard is the most valuable place in the world. Not the Louvre, a luxury hotel in Hong Kong, or the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The cemetery is worth more than all of those places. Why? They contain all the unwritten novels, unpainted masterpieces, unwritten operas, and millions of other things left undone that people like you and me carried around inside of us. Read more

Jakob’s Journal Update

As mentioned previously, I’ve stumbled across the personal notes of Jakob Borchain, one of the priests in Aramas. For those of you who’ve read Ashborne, you might have remembered his encounter with Riatha. (For those of you who haven’t, what are you waiting for?) As you’ll discover over the next few months, his part in Riatha’s story is far from over. I will try to update his journal entries every Friday, beginning with today. You can find the journal entries here.