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Writing Process

A picture of a window seat beneath a circular window.

I Took A Year Off Writing Novels.

(Here’s what I did instead.) Last November I decided to take a year off from writing novels. A Real Somebody was ready for querying, and I thought the manuscript was in great shape, but I’d thought that about my last two manuscripts, and they did not find homes.  Was this life’s way of telling me I should just move on? If so, I was willing. But I’d been writing novels every weekday morning since 2006! What was I supposed to… Read More »I Took A Year Off Writing Novels.

A Thing For Washi Tape

Washi tape is pretty, am I right? And colourful. But in the quest to believe in your own ideas — those ideas that want to come into the world through you – washi tape is SO MUCH MORE! It’s THE tool in your tool kit. The ammunition in your arsenal. It is the cookie in your lunchbox. With washi tape, you can delineate a space for your idea. Just a wee bit of space. Maybe a square on a blank… Read More »A Thing For Washi Tape

A message from the other side of mother guilt

In the Acknowledgments section of my first novel I thank a woman named Lois who, more than any agent or editor or publisher, made that book possible. You see, when my eldest started kindergarten, she offered to have my youngest at her house one morning each week so that I could write. Gramma Lois did this for years. “Just thank me in the acknowledgments when your book comes out,” she’d say. And then, at the launch, she was right there… Read More »A message from the other side of mother guilt

Notebook with pens

6 Reasons To Keep Your Day Job

Once I was on a panel with four other writers in front of a large audience. The event moved the the Q&A segment, and, as writers do, we all held our breath. This next part could go in any direction at all. The first question was this: Do you write full time, or do you still do other work? It’s an uncomfortable experience to pass the mic down the line, writer to writer, and answer for your success based on… Read More »6 Reasons To Keep Your Day Job

Notebook and writing materials

Fictional Empty Nest

I recently completed a round of novel edits so substantial that I practically rewrote the manuscript from scratch. It took way longer and was way harder than I expected. Those last few weeks, as each day blended into the next, I couldn’t wait to be done. I imagined the relief, the satisfaction, the freedom that would come once I sent this round off to my editor. Anything that comes next with this book will be easier than this round of… Read More »Fictional Empty Nest

Kidney beans lined up on a tiles counter

Math For Authors

[When I first started this blog, I promised to reprise some posts from my earlier blog, just for fun. There’s not much that has changed from when this post was originally written, except that the seven-year-old in question is now seventeen. (And he’s really good at math.) It’s fun to look back at writing from the front lines of parenting. Those of you with younger children might appreciate this excerpt from the trenches. It comes with the promise that it… Read More »Math For Authors

Sticky notes and notebooks spread across a table

Do Your Own Work

Most of the time I’m all encouragement and you-go-get-‘em on here. My purpose with this blog is to light a fire under writers and get them working. If you are someone that has a strong desire to tell a story, and if the idea that you might die before you write it keeps you up at night, I hope you’ll dive into these posts and find all the tips, tricks, courage and positivity you need to get started. I will… Read More »Do Your Own Work