Writer Fuel: Journaling – My New Writing Habit

Writer Fuel: Journaling – My New Writing Habit

At the end of January, I pulled out an old notebook and started journaling. Eleven months and nine notebooks later, I have written something just about every day since then. (Okay, I’m not counting the week I was on vacation at the end of June. I gave myself a free pass on that. After all,… Read more »

Hook Middle-Grade Readers From Your First Page

Hook Middle-Grade Readers From Your First Page

Hey there, anglers. Imagine luring in your middle-grade readers from the get-go. I’m serious. You can do this.  Today, we will dive into techniques that will captivate your young readers right from your first page. We all know too well that the opening page of your book is super important, and it’s especially crucial when… Read more »

How to Write an Essay: Tea with VODKA

How to Write an Essay: Tea with VODKA

I read essays with a cup of tea in one hand and a cream scone in the other. Ask me to write an essay, however, and my inner perfectionist (aka Ms. Prickleberry) balks, crosses her arms, and refuses to move words from my head to the page. I coax, plead, beg. She won’t budge until… Read more »

Times When Commas Have Been Critical

Times When Commas Have Been Critical

It may appear to be a tiny little mark, barely bigger than a period. YET, the usage or omission of a comma can make a huge difference in your meaning and maybe even your wallet. Let’s take a look at three times when a comma could have or did change the course of history. Tariff… Read more »

Permission for the Dismissed Creative

Permission for the Dismissed Creative

Yes. The answer is yes. I give you permission to be creative. If you’re looking for a sign, this is it.  I grew up a few hours’ drive from cozy PEI, the crags and cliffs of Newfoundland, and the bustle and hustle of Halifax, Nova Scotia. People from this part of the world pride themselves… Read more »

Episode 474: Craft Jam: Nail Your Narration

Episode 474: Craft Jam: Nail Your Narration

Welcome, today is DIY MFA’s monthly Craft Jam. Once a month, Christa and I will be jamming about the craft. In these episodes, we’ll be doing a deep dive into various craft topics like character development, story structure, world building and more.  This month’s episode is a deep dive into how to Nail Your Narration…. Read more »

History at Bouchercon 2023

History at Bouchercon 2023

Bouchercon is the annual world mystery convention, this year held in San Diego, California. Every conceivable form of mystery, suspense, and thriller novel, from teddy bear cozies to hard-boiled, and noir can be found here. This year’s convention brought together approximately seventeen hundred people for four and a half days of fun and crime at… Read more »

From Songs, A World Was Born

From Songs, A World Was Born

In Professor Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, The “Ainulindalë” or “Music of the Ainur” tells of the creation of the Universe. telling how the Ainur or “holy ones”, a class of angelic beings, perform songs and great music of Middle-earth prefiguring the creation of the material universe, Eä, including Middle-Earth. I don’t know if this ever crossed… Read more »

What the Cauldron Cooked Up

What the Cauldron Cooked Up

Over the course of 2023 our critique group wrote this series of articles together as a Google docs adventure. We necessarily reminisced a lot, and we’ve grown closer in the process – even as we surprised ourselves with some uncomfortable realizations about what hasn’t worked in the “cauldron.”  In our last article, we explored the… Read more »