What’s the Big Deal about Crit Partners?

What’s the Big Deal about Crit Partners?

For the first twenty or so years, I wrote in solitude. I read, proofed, edited, and rewrote in solitude.  My youngest sister and best bud read my stories, listened to my wandering ideas and, upon occasion, my whining about difficult plots and recalcitrant characters. But beyond that, I was on my own. By choice. After all, isn’t that the way it’s done? Though I had dreams of publication, I didn’t realize there were other people like me writing for the…

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The Benefits of Writing Every Day (And How to Develop the Habit)

The Benefits of Writing Every Day (And How to Develop the Habit)

I process life and make decisions through writing. It’s a habit that began many, many years ago. I’ve been keeping a catch all writing journal since December 1, 1989. Some entries go back to my teen years—suffice it to say a long time ago. These personal journals were something of a cross between a diary and a prayer journal. I now keep both a personal journal and a prayer journal. In 2008, I created and began keeping a scene journal,…

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A Little Girl and a Talking Horse

A Little Girl and a Talking Horse

An idea has been lurking in the back of my mind since a bright, Sunday afternoon in May 2011. I don’t know where it came from, but when it came, it came so clearly that I sat down and began writing. It began with a scene that unfolded so quickly that I seemed to be little more than a raft on white water. By the time I reached the end of the rapids, I had written just over 2,000 words….

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How I Discovered Take Away Value

How I Discovered Take Away Value

Also known as The Big Picture or message, take away value is the overarching theme of your novel. All novels have it, whether intended or not. But how do you uncover the take away value for your novel? Sometimes, it’s not as easy as it seems like it should be. I admit it. I’m not always the sharpest knife in the drawer. What’s worse, it often takes repeated trips to the whet stone to sharpen me up. I have never…

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How Smart Are Cats?

How Smart Are Cats?

My husband and I are “parents” to a family of semi-feral cats. Their mother abandoned them last summer when they were only two weeks old. They’d already been through the hardship of a heavy Kansas thunderstorm and mini-flood, so their little lives had not been easy. Being left behind by their mother—who simply vanished one afternoon—seemed like insult and injury. I took over their care, bottle feeding and doing other “maternal feline care” for the next couple of weeks, until…

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Lost in Cyber Space – Reconstructing Perfect Opportunities

Lost in Cyber Space – Reconstructing Perfect Opportunities

If you’ve been following this blog this week,  you already know that I’m in the processing of reconstructing the last several chapters of Perfect Opportunities. You also know I’ve made good progress so far. I promised on Monday to explain why reconstruction is necessary. Especially since the next thing on the road to publication was professional editing. Lost in Cyber Space I officially finished Perfect Opportunities December 31, 2015. Since then, I’ve been waiting. Trying to decide on the best…

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Perfect Opportunities Progress Continues

Perfect Opportunities Progress Continues

Subscribe now and don’t miss another book update. Progress continues. Four more chapters completed today. I also worked on the most difficult chapter. It’s not yet complete, but only one problem remains. After that, it’s almost clear sailing. 10 Days remain until the due date. Can I finish a week ahead of schedule? That’s what I’m shooting for now.

Perfect Opportunities Reconstruction Progress Update

Perfect Opportunities Reconstruction Progress Update

Setback! I’m having to reconstruct the last seventeen chapters of Perfect Opportunities (more about that on Wednesday). Today begins that process, which I hope to conclude by June 18. Reconstruction began with reassembling all the chapters returned by my crit partner last November and December. Praise God she had them available, since I’d also lost the emails to which they’d been attached. After the chapters were restored, I went through them once and made all the easy changes. Mostly adding…

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Inspiration or Perspiration?

Inspiration or Perspiration?

Is creativity more dependent on inspiration or perspiration? I’ve been a professional artist a lot longer than I’ve been a professional writer. I’ve been painting for profit for over 35 years. I’ve been a disciplined writer since June 2008 and I’ve been getting paid for writing since early 2012. During that time, I’ve talked with dozens of artists and writers and one of the most common things I hear from both crowds is something like this: I only paint/write when…

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Remembering Memorial Day

Remembering Memorial Day

Coming up with each week’s new post can be a piece of cake or a tough row to hoe. Usually, I begin thinking about topics on Monday and gradually narrow the choices and develop ideas throughout the week. On a good week, I draft a decent post on Monday, then read and revise it each day until it’s ready to publish. Sometimes that takes just a few days. Sometimes it takes all week. Last week, I came down with a…

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