The Way to Make a Snowman
We had a snowstorm last weekend. Not a blizzard, but more of an inch-thin layer. When my five-year-old woke up and saw the snow, she was delighted. “I can make a snowman today!” I didn’t want to see her disappointed, so I explained to her that it wasn’t very cold and that we had things […]
I Wrote a Book…Now What?
For every step on a publication journey, there are new questions and challenges. For this post, I wanted to answer a question that’s been asked of me more than once, and one I asked myself a few years ago after finishing my first manuscript. As hard as it is to complete a manuscript, it’s sometimes […]
Take Care of Yourself!
Last Saturday, I ran a 50-mile relay with two of my siblings and two close friends. This does NOT mean that I ran 50 miles; I ran two five-mile legs of the relay with a couple of hours to relax in between. As I was reflecting on possible blog post topics for this week, I […]
The Song Every Writer Needs to Hear
I’m lucky enough to be in an amazing in-person critique group that meets every other week. After our last meeting, I had a new story idea marinating and was feeling especially contemplative. Then my #1 writing inspiration song came on the radio, and I sang along and maybe cried a little. And then I thought […]
Writers Are Readers: Best Lessons from Middle Grade Books
(Originally published September 9, 2015) I strongly believe that writers must be voracious readers. Read widely, read critically, read for fun, and definitely read as many books as possible in the genre you’re writing. It’s definitely helpful to read new releases to get a sense of what’s selling (or what was selling a year or […]
Untangled: 7 Revision Tips
(Originally published November 11, 2015) Happy National Novel Writing Month! Me, I finished my first draft on November 2. (I started it about six months before that. 🙂 This first draft of mine is, of course, messy. And when I think of messy, I think of my daughter’s room. And specifically, her Rapunzel doll’s hair. Yikes. […]
Writers are Readers: Best Books on Craft
(Originally published March 9, 2016) As we all know, writers must be readers. We’ve covered this territory on the blog before–the importance of reading deeply within your genre, the importance of reading widely, the best lessons we’ve learned simply by reading. But reading books specifically on craft and creativity can be one of the very best […]
Who’s Your Hero?
(Originally published May 11, 2016) It’s finally feeling like spring in my hometown, and that means all kinds of new life. Right now, that even extends to my writing life, where I’m starting to cultivate new story ideas and figure out what to write next. An exciting stage, yes, but also kind of a perilous […]
An Author’s Christmas Eve
(Originally published October 4, 2016) Writing and publishing are often compared to a roller coaster, because hey, we’re writers, and sometimes we want to save the really creative metaphors for our work. But writing and publishing could also be compared to a calendar year—some beautiful days, some rotten ones, seasons of bleak gray, seasons of […]
Drawing from the Masters
(Originally published July 28, 2016) Last month, we took our kids on our biannual extended-family vacation to California. We opted to skip the Disney experience this time and try out some new stuff, including the Getty. Yes, we gave our kids a world-class art museum as an alternative to churros and thrill rides. They loved […]