This week’s “watch this” is part one in an engaging five-part series on story structure by horror novelist Dan Wells. Dan is one of the talented quartet behind the brilliant podcast Writing Excuses, which also features Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal and Howard Tayler. Bonus:  Brandon Sanderson has posted the complete video footage of his 2012 creative writing class at Brigham Young University online. Check it out.           Bonus:  Brandon Sanderson has posted the complete video footage of his 2012 creative writing class at Brigham Young University online. Check it out.Read More →

I curl up every night with picture books and early reader tales, thanks to the offspring. But I’m one of the seemingly tiny minority of people on the planet who hasn’t been swept up in the YA fiction craze. Never read the Twilight saga or Hunger Games or . . . even (gasp) past the first 50 pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. A few YA titles have made it to my TBR pile, mostly after being recommended by other writers I admire, but until today I confess I’d never heard of A.S. King. You must go and read her guest post at Writer Unboxed. It’ll only take a fewRead More →

Okay, so I know it’s really lame to ignore the blog for a month and then come back with a post that has nothing to do with writing. But you won’t be able to stay mad at me if you watch this video all the way to the end. Watch Idol-winner Kelly Clarkson totally slay No Doubt’s classic breakup anthem “Don’t Speak”. She starts off kind of slow and, amazing as she is, I wasn’t sure she could outdo Gwen on this one, but holy cow she nails it in the last minute. Girl can sing her ass off! Kelly is doing fan requests sentRead More →

Today’s post is via the amazing Daphne Gray-Grant (aka The Publication Coach). Sorry to mention this to my readers who don’t have iPads, but here’s a fabulous free app if you do. It’s called Unstuck and can help you recover your data when the iPad freezes. It’s easy to use if you have a problem (a “stuck moment”) and it gives you a positive way of reframing the trouble. Once you’ve registered (at no charge) here’s how it works . . . Read the rest of this post on Daphne’s blog. Linger awhile–you’ll find lots of other terrific tips there.Read More →

Five random things that helped make this a good week . . . Author Jordan Dane posted yesterday at The Kill Zone authors blog on five key ways to make your  characters memorable. It came at the perfect time for me (or the girls in the basement, at least) as I struggle with a flat opening to my latest WIP (a revision of last year’s Nanowrimo novel). The comments are just as valuable as her post, and she was kind enough to follow-up with more advice on Twitter. That’s some good author karma there, and you know she just made my TBR pile. I watched this and laughed my ass off: IRead More →

I’m thrilled to be able to say I read a great book today: Three River Ranch by Roxanne Snopek. I’m thrilled to say this on a couple levels. Reading a great book is always a thrill, but Roxanne is also a friend of mine. We “met” via an online voice  course taught by the amazing Barbara Samuel and then hooked up in person at the Surrey International Writers Conference a couple years running. Roxanne even did some (excellent) work for my copywriting business. Naturally, I was happy and excited for her when I heard she’d signed a two-book deal with Entangled Publishing. I promised to read and review her bookRead More →