The Radicalism of Our Time

This is the third installment in this “Dear Word Nerd” sequence. You can catch up on the previous posts about writing as service and responsibility via these links. As always, newsletter subscribers get to read these essays before I post them here. Join the community to receive the WRITER FUEL newsletter and be part of our private Facebook group. In a… Read more »

Use Your Words

Today, we depart slightly from our usual #5onFri programming to share a couple more installments of the “Dear Word Nerd” essays. Stay tuned for this afternoon, when I will share the third essay in this series. Newsletter subscribers get a sneak peek at these essays before I post them. They can also help crowdsource this column, by replying to… Read more »

Dream Big, Execute Small

Last week, I started writing letters to my email list in response to the recent political events. I got a landslide of replies, and it seemed fitting to bring back my “Dear Word Nerd” column (even if just for a short while) to share these essays more broadly. “Dear Word Nerd” is a series of posts… Read more »

How to Deepen Your Chapter Book Characters

Chapter books offer wonderful possibilities for creating memorable characters.  Targeted to readers ages 5-10, chapter books  take character development to a deeper, richer place than possible in picture books and easy readers. In this piece, I’ll explore some ways to develop outstanding chapter book characters that will connect with young readers. All characters have sayings,… Read more »

#5OnFri:5 Things I have Learned Being a Writer

When I was asked to write a blog post I immediately started thinking of my topic. What information did I have to share with my fellow writers? Should it be on craft? Maybe about getting published? There are just so many things and I couldn’t decide. So, I started researching. I researched on the internet,… Read more »

A Case Study on Friendship as a Literary Theme

Few people are as special to us as friends. Whether they’re reading pals, travel buddies, or classmates from elementary school, they’re as dear to us as family and treasured for more reasons than good laughs and shared interests. Strong friendships aren’t limited to real life, either. Literature has shown us the ups and downs of… Read more »

#5OnFri: Five of Winter’s Gifts to Every Writer

Sometimes inspiration is hard to come by for us as writers.  Everyday living distracts and tires our imagination and focus. Why do you think there are so many memes and books written about writers getting on with the writing?  We know that getting to the writing is the hardest part of the effort.  (I see… Read more »

Deadlines are not your worst enemy

Deadlines are terrifying. They’re funny little things almost made to be broken, but without them we’d get nothing done. (Even this article, I’m turning in two days late, but if there wasn’t a deadline, would I write it at all? Probably not.) Reaching a book deadline involves a lot of panic. Or at least, it does… Read more »

The Pros and Pros of NaNoWriMo

(Web Editor’s Note: We’re pulling this post–originally published in November 2014–out of the archives for anyone thinking about NaNoWriMo this year!) Are you doing NaNoWriMo? -Huh? -You know, NaNo? -Who? -You’re not a WriMo yet?! -Did you just call me a ‘rhino’? It’s not a secret code or a reference to rhinos or even atomic… Read more »

5OnFri: Five Ways to Turn Around a Bad Writing Week

We all have those weeks. You know the ones. Where you have big plans to get sh*t done and somehow you’re staring down Wednesday, Thursday, or even Friday and you’ve not accomplished half your goals. And the stress of how far you’ve fallen behind is added to the stress of the work you have to… Read more »