The Importance of Setting in a Novel

UPDATE: This blog post won an award for “media post” at the 2015 LUW writers conference. ***** Write what you know. How many times have I heard that? Oh man, probably at every conference I have ever gone to, multiple times. I know setting. Long before I was ever an author, I would surround myself…

Wonder Woman beat sheet!

I loved the movie Wonder Woman. I’ve been waiting for it my entire life. See. (Mash up of Wonder Woman and Spider Girl, with facial hair of course. 🙂 ) With all of this hype about the release of the DVD, I’m reminded of when I dissected the storyline. The very first time I saw…

My tumultuous relationship with a manuscript:

My tumultuous relationship with a manuscript: Upon first meeting, nearly seven years ago, it was love at first sight. I was overcome. Passionate words were brought to life in the quiet hours of night. I pined over my new manuscript when we were not together during the days. The characters, the setting, the story, consumed…

Author Life Month

I participated in the #authorlifemonth hashtag again over on Instagram. Here is my month in review. Here is a link to my last year’s author life month. I’ll be doing #authorlifemonth again. It’s so much fun to connect with other authors and see behind the scenes. Last year I kept apologizing and wondered if I…

Fairy Gardens & Writing: how they relate

Planting fairy gardens is one of my favorite things to do every spring. I do this for one of my jobs and on occasion, I teach how-to’s. I’ve planted countless container pots over the seventeen years I’ve been doing this, but planting fairy gardens feels completely different and is always exciting to me. Here’s why:…

Influential author

http://www.julietmarillier.com Juliet Marillier is one of my favorite authors. I stared reading her novels a dozen years ago, starting with her first novel Daughter of the Forest. Now she has over twenty novels in print. Here is a part of her bio from her shiny new web-site that launched today. (Every few years, as she…

Longsheng, China

I am feeling a sense of nostalgia and wanderlust. My thoughts often drift to this magnificent place and so I wanted to share with you photos of the setting for my novel Broken Smiles. This is how I picture my village. I’ve backpacked all through China when I lived there. Longsheng was by far my…

Pale Ghosts – The Evolution of Ideas

Every night, a pale owl perches, standing guard outside my window. It is magnificent and white. I took a walk with my sons, counting long poop stains on my neighbors roofs (great quest for young boys!) We counted 11 homes. So, if you are my close neighbor, chances are you are being watched over while…

To Prologue or not to Prologue

Whether or not you should write a prologue into your novel, has been a debate that I have seen over the years. The topic has come up many times in writing conferences and during writing competitions. I have written prologues for every one of my stories… and then omitted them. Here’s why… * Most of…

Crawl out of the hole when writing a memoir.

Sitting alone in a crowded hole Demons possess my inner soul Caught in a place I can’t escape The only way is to sit and wait Fight the thoughts that encompass my mind. Hurry up, I’ll soon go blind! Blind to the consciousness of right and wrong To lose that feeling, everything’s gone Be strong…