How Non-Euclidean Geometry Turned Me Into a Rebel

In this installment of “Dear Word Nerd,” I show my true colors in all their geeky glory. Warning: things are going to get a bit nerdy up in here. Just saying. As with previous installments, this topic first came up in the DIY MFA newsletter. If you’re already an email subscriber, you can help me choose letters that get featured here… Read more »


Publishing My First Book – Part 2

  I talked before about the first stages of editing, from pre-round edits, to cover copy, to round one content edits. We attacked details with gusto, but moving into copy edits and final line edits, the details went microscopic. Clarity of  prose, sensitivity of subject matter, echo words, punctuation—we looked at every sentence as through… Read more »


#5onFri: Five Reasons To Do Market Research for Your WIP

Most writers do some kind of research while working on a story. However, have you considered doing a “market research” project? By market research, I mean reading published books in your genre that cover the same or similar topic. I’ve been working on one for my WIP, and doing so has helped me get a… Read more »

5 Easy Steps to Overnight Success

This is the first installment in a new post series I’m trying out. Every-other Thursday I’ll be sharing a “Dear Word Nerd” letter that first appeared in the DIY MFA newsletter. If you’re already an email subscriber, you can help me select the letters that get featured here by replying to the emails you loved most. If you’re not on… Read more »


#5OnFri: 5 Tips for Writing Book Two

Congratulations!  You made it! Your first book is published!  And now…you get to write another one!  But you’re also marketing Book One and possibly even doing school or book club visits, even if you’re an introvert!  (Watch for the marketing-for-introverts post coming May 27!) So how do you manage to juggle it all?  Here are… Read more »


Game-Changer: A Daily Writing Habit

I used to talk about writing a lot. I’d get all dreamy and imagine my future career as a world-famous novelist. But it was always a hazy dream, filmed through Vaseline so you couldn’t see the harder realities of it: the actual work. It was “someday.” But I wasn’t doing anything to make it happen…. Read more »


Three Worldbuilding Lessons From Bestsellers

There’s nothing better than getting lost in the world of a book, swept up not just in the story but the rich setting, a place so real you could imagine yourself there. Whether it’s an actual time and place in history, the far distant future, a modern city or a completely imagined fantasy world, a setting… Read more »


How To Keep Writing When Times Are Tough

Life has ups and downs, and often our writing path follows them. When I was pregnant with my son, I had a horrible first trimester. I was sick, tired, and depressed for what felt like every minute of the day. My writing suffered. I stopped working on my novel; I didn’t blog for two months…. Read more »


Developing Themes In Your Stories: Part 5 – Symbolism

Symbolism is a tricky element for writers to master. Its ability to represent ideas and qualities requires deeper thought than other literary elements do. But when symbolism is used effectively, it can make a story even more powerful and unforgettable. Plus, its purpose can serve as another way of nurturing literary themes. Today, we’ll look… Read more »