What I’m Reading, What I’m Writing

20171230_164152Last year I read 23 books. By my standards, that number was completely unacceptable. I normally read at least one book a week, if not more. Books are what keep my creativity flowing, they are what I study to hone my storytelling abilities, in other words, they are necessary. So when I see how few books I read last year, I cringe.

As for writing, I only wrote three poems, two halfway completed short stories, two completed rough draft short stories and one novella last year.

Also unacceptable.  Read more

Project Update

Blue Light Revision
Blue Light Revision

As some of you know I’m a member of the Stockholm Writers Group, a select group of writers founded over twenty years ago to provide feedback, encourage each other, and support each other with their writing goals. We meet on a regular basis and offer feedback to those who’ve submitted their work. In addition, we pair up with a writing buddy. Some terms we switch buddies, some terms we keep the buddies we have. At the moment, my buddy is a wonderful writer named Rebecca, and this past week when we met, the conversation turned to blogs.

We’ve decided to both revisit our blogs with a concentrated focus. She’s studying craft books and enjoys the exercises these books provide. She’s decided to focus her blog on those exercises, or insights she’s gained from the process.  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

I Write Like Who?

It all began with a question. Or, a request. During my latest round of submissions, I ran across this:

Include a short bio and describe your style. 

My style? I don’t know my style. Themes, no problem. Genres, easy. But style?

So I did what any respectable writer does when met with a question like ‘What is my style?’ I asked my friends. Who all came back with different answers.

Then I went to my friend Google–the overly-popular, overly-opinionated friend who always gives me way too much information, but occasionally comes through with a gem. After typing in ‘How to describe my style’ a few academic websites popped up, mostly dealing with college essays, along with a handful of websites offering vague advice like ‘write consistently’, and the website I Write Like . . . which doesn’t define a style, but does claim to analyze your writing and compare it to the list of authors in its database. I’m not sure how the algorithm works, but I was willing to give a try. Read more

Thursday Thoughts – Mud and Fingerprint Mazes

On Thursdays I normally share random thoughts, objects or ideas I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts.

Last week Stockholm was a winter wonderland. This week? Well, let’s just say I ran across Frosty the Snowman earlier. He’s nothing but a puddle now. In fact, most of the fields around our home are giant lakes. The kids are in love with it. But you’d think one puddle is good enough, right? Nope. They must brave Every. Single. Puddle. to see how high the water reaches. Thankfully, the deepest puddle they could find, the one on the soccer field, only comes to their knees.

Which brings me to this week’s Thursday Thoughts. What am I thinking about today? Read more

Thursday Thoughts – Seaweed Parties and Giants

On Thursdays I normally share random thoughts I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts. It’s been a cold week here in Stockholm and part of me wants to do nothing but curl up in bed with a good book while the cat sits on my head. Tomorrow night it’s supposed to go down to -19. Trust me, I’ve asked myself all week why I willingly gave up California and Georgia sunshine for this. But as much as I want to burrow under the covers, I can’t until I’ve posted my Thursday Thoughts post =).

So, besides the cold, what am I thinking about? Read more

Catching up on Fall Reading

20151026_070920The kids are home this week for fall break and rather than set myself up for massive frustration, I’ve decided not to work on the novel while they are home. Instead, I’m going to relax and catch up on my reading! What better way to enjoy the new darker hours (Sweden switched to Daylight Savings Time yesterday and now it’s dark before five)? And imagine, a whole week dedicated to reading! Minus a few interruptions, of course. Dog. Food. Refereeing. General-all-purpose helper. (See how I had to strike through that word relax earlier?) But I know I can knock off a few books.

So what’s on the agenda?  Read more

Thoughts on Terry Pratchett

I can honestly say we have never said we don't have a book to read. Pratchett is one of the few authors we read over and over and over again.
I can honestly say we never complain about not having anything to read. Pratchett is one of the few authors we read over and over and over again.

I don’t normally do this, sit down and write without a purpose in mind. But today, I felt like I needed to. Last week, the world lost a funny, witty, talented, courageous, and all-around amazing author, and though I never met Terry Pratchett personally, I’m going to go ahead and assume, based on what I’ve read about him, he was that kind of person outside the pages as well.

Since the first headline announcing his death, fans across the world have reacted in different ways, including:

Read more