Santa’s Got a Brand New App

Santa finally joins the tech era and updates his Naughty List processing to an app on his phone instead of the overlarge tome. But what happens when a mischievous boy gets his hands on Santa’s phone? A short-short story of hockey, mischief, and redemption. Just in time for the holidays! This short story is available from […]


I just checked the date stamp on my WIP and I haven’t touched the file since 26 October! I’ve gotten caught up in querying both News from Ludicrous and Charley Finds Her Family, and obsessively checking Query Tracker and my email. Bad author! I just don’t seem to have the motivation to get back into The […]

Trouble writing complex, flawed characters?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a good resource to study if you want to write witty, snappy dialogue with really good pacing. Today I want to talk about a resource to study when you want to create complex, very human characters: Garden State, written and directed by Zach Braff (more widely known […]

Crossing Genres

Have you ever been wandering happily along, writing your stuff, thinking you’ll be an [insert genre] writer forever and then BAM! you get inspiration in some radically different direction? Well I have. I’m still querying my women’s fiction manuscript, and trying to prod myself back into the paranormal manuscript. And now, suddenly, I have a […]


I was never very good at keeping up with this blog, as you can see if you go through the archives. I started it for my copyediting, but I’ve now decided it’s better to redesign it and repurpose it for my own writing. I have one completed novel manuscript (finally!) for which I am currently […]

Writing Workshop Lesson 10: Polishing Your Work

Workshop Introduction Polishing Your Work When you’ve finished your first draft, you should put it away in a drawer for some length of time—a day, a week, a month—how long is up to you, but the longer you can go without looking at it, the fresher your perspective will be when it’s time to revise. […]

Writing Workshop Lesson 9: Tension and Climax

Workshop Introduction Tension and Climax Your story must build tension all the way through, up to the climax. Each scene should add a little bit more. If not, it will feel flat and boring to the reader. But you don’t want to start off too strong, too soon, or you’ll wear the reader out. Tension […]

Writing Workshop Lesson 8: What is a hook?

Workshop Introduction What is a hook? Editors and agents make a decision about your story based on the first few pages—sometimes the first paragraph. They don’t have the time or patience to read the whole thing if the opening doesn’t grab them. You need a good “hook” to get the reader’s attention and keep him […]

Writing Workshop Lesson 7: Plot

Workshop Introduction Plot “Plot grows out of character. If you focus on who the people in your story are…something is bound to happen. …Any plot you impose on your characters will be onomatopoetic: PLOT. …Let what they say or do reveal who they are.” (Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, 1994) All stories, no matter their […]

Writing Workshop Lesson 6: Setting

Workshop Introduction Setting In Lesson 1, we learned some of the factors that can make up the setting of the story. In this lesson we’ll go into each in more detail. Please note that you should avoid dropping large chunks of setting description (or character background) into your story. This is known as “info dumping” […]