Humbling the Born Writer

The truly great stuff comes to life in those agonizing yet exhilarating moments when the artist is acutely aware of the limitations of his skills. For it is then that he strains the hardest to make the most he can from the imperfect materials and tools with which he must work… ~Dean Koontz About ten years ago, just after having my fifth baby, I decided it was time to start

Read More

Finding the Story by Finding the Reason

How my analysis of daily life helps me to discover plot and character traits. Lately, my own personality quirks have afflicted me. How can I be the practical, rational, and organized working woman/mother/friend/wife while also being the creative, expressive, unique writer? I have stewed for weeks about how I will ever find a rhythm between my daily life and my writing journey. How and when can I express myself accordingly. Who cares?

Read More

A Blend of History: A Walk Down Memory Lane in the Middle of Historical Research

I side-stepped my plans to write this weekend in order to complete a bit more historical research at The Foley and Searls historical libraries in Nevada City, California. I’m inserting 3 to 4 chapters in advance of my original start to Part 2 (I’m no “pantster” so I will be completing a detailed outline prior to a writing session). I’m overwhelmed at the many facets of daily living back in 1904.

Read More

March Madness Minus Basketball {flashback}

This post has nothing to do with basketball. I don’t even know enough about the game to draw any parallels. Yet, madness describes my month so far. At least I would be going mad if I didn’t believe there was a purpose beyond myself in it all. As much as I find solace in the ability to plan, write lists, attempt goals, and cross each item off as I go;

Read More

Failed Speedbo and if I Could Just Bottle 18 Hours Per Week and Only Write!

I really thought posting my intentions to write like crazy in the month of March would have motivated me to make some progress on Part 2 of No Eye Has Seen. But our family got hit with some major emotional tolls and I found the need to reflect and not pressure myself. I also have a huge project at work–an undertaking that equals a month of full-time hours I somehow need

Read More

Writing with a Day Job, Five Kids, and Life at the Door

If you are looking for advice about writing with a day job, you may be disappointed. I haven’t got it figured out yet. I keep telling myself if I am going to call myself a writer, I better be writing! But life isn’t that simple. Writing books and magazines sit stacked on my nightstand, my every intention to spend just twenty minutes reading something to keep my mind on the

Read More

Time to Dust off the Gift Shelf

Have you ever anticipated a gift, yet once you held it in your hands you weren’t quite sure what to do with it? Have you ever felt like someone went to so much trouble to buy you exactly what you needed and wanted, yet you let it sit on a shelf collecting dust because life made it seem impossible to enjoy the gift as it was intended? To be truthful,

Read More

Knowing When to Put the Pen Down

Last weekend I had the house to myself. My husband took all five of our kids on a road trip, dropped our oldest off back at college and visited old friends from the town in Idaho we had lived for 12 years prior to moving to California in 2011. My plan? Clean the rooms of our apartment where I would be spending my time (ie. closing the doors to hide

Read More

Jury Summons and Character Details

Two weeks ago the letter came. “Official Jury Summons Enclosed.” I didn’t think I had lived in California long enough to make it on the list, but I guess it’s one of the rewards I get for being a registered voter. Actually, I don’t mind fulfilling my civic duty. Fulfilling it while my kids are on Spring Break makes it a little inconvenient, but I would have been working anyway,

Read More

Working on Three Books at Once

I feel crazy even saying this, but I really think I need to be working on three books at once. My current work in progress is in revision stages and after reading Rachel Gardner’s Make a Living as a Writer-Part 1, my hunch is confirmed. I do not see myself as a “one hit wonder,” but as an author with several works in progress, and one with a modest, yet

Read More

Writer’s Critique Group, Week 3

I held my breath and bit my lip as their comments came at me unexpectedly. My face warmed at their words. Were they serious? I did my best to smile humbly. This was almost worse than criticism. They not only liked my story, they loved it. And they loved my “poetic descriptions.” Each time they began to read a quote from my work, I felt ready for their comments on how

Read More