Cozy Mysteries and the Holidays

The holiday season always reminds me of my mother’s sugar cookies, warm sweaters, and cozy mysteries—novels, short stories, Hallmark Movie Mysteries—any variety will do. I love sipping an Eggnog Latte curled under a warm blanket reading (or watching) a good cozy mystery while the rest of the world rages outside. There’s something about the familiar… Read more »

Say Yes To Your Writing AND To Your Relationships

Over the years, I’ve read a lot of books about the craft and process of writing. Almost invariably, when discussing the all-consuming writing routine, the author will say something like this: “You must keep your writing time sacred. That means you’ll have to say no to things to which you might otherwise say yes. If… Read more »

Defining Kidlit

What’s the difference between writing for kids and writing for adults? You may assume it’s something like using simpler words for kids, or ‘dumbing down’ the story, but that’s not the case. Kids can handle challenging words and concepts. Kids do have different needs and expectations, though. There’s a great DIY MFA post here with… Read more »

Letting Go of Perfectionism the DIY MFA Way

I’ve been a perfectionist almost as long as I’ve been a writer. I strove for good grades in school, agonized over homework for hours, and practiced the heck out of dance routines. The work ethic I developed as a result was driven by my determination to do well, a desire to please my family, and… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Benefits of Tough Feedback

The first time I heard, “there’s nothing about the main character that makes me care about her,” it felt like someone punched me in the throat. Yes, a bit of a dramatic response, but right then and there that’s how I felt. I sat for days afterward wondering what was wrong with me. Had four… Read more »

Six Key Elements of Historical Narrative

Some may argue that fantasy offers the most wide-open landscape for storytelling. But with 5,000 years of recorded human history spanning many civilizations both extant and extinct, empires that have come and gone, innumerable people both famous and infamous, and seven continents (well, maybe Antarctica isn’t quite so rich a source), the worlds and characters… Read more »

Five Biographies & Memoirs for your Fall Reading List

In his Pulitzer-Prize winning biography of American aviator Charles Lindbergh, author A. Scott Berg begins page one not with Lindbergh’s birth but with a buzzing crowd in Paris. Lindbergh, hoping to be the first pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic nonstop, has not been seen since he left New York twenty-four hours earlier. Was… Read more »