Outlines, Plug-Ins, and Beta Readers — Oh My!

Hi everyone! There’s a lot going on in my writing world, starting with yesterday’s exciting accomplishment: I downloaded the Kindle plug-in for Adobe InDesign that allows you to format an ebook from the page layout program. This may not seem exciting to you, but as a designer I pride myself on figuring out how to do things on my own (well, I pride myself on that in all walks of life. My dad used to fret that he raised me to be “too independent”, but that’s another story for another time) so formatting my own ebook is important to me.

When Inspiration Strikes

Ideas are a very important part of a creative person’s life, be they a writer, designer, or someone just looking to redecorate their office. All three of those labels apply to me, but I only have trouble generating ideas for the first one.

People often ask “where do you get your ideas?” A common writerly response is something snarky, along the lines of “from the idea book” or “I have a monthly subscription to Ideas-R-Us”, when actually writers get idea from everyone and everything. The entire world is fair game.

The Importance of Beta Readers

For those of you who are NOT writers, a beta reader is someone who reads a draft of your manuscript to tell you where you’ve screwed up and how to make it better. Some even tell you where they laughed out loud, gasped, or wanted to punch a character (thanks Nadine!).

Dictionary.com defines the slang version of beta as:

Help Me Name Book 3

Happy almost new year! I hope everyone had a nice holiday and is ready to close out 2013 with a bang. The first draft of Fracture is currently with a couple beta readers and while I wait to hear back from them, I’m brainstorming the yet-to-be-titled Book 3 in the series. I know the overall …

Every New Beginning is Some Other Beginning’s End

I finished the first draft of Fracture! I missed my self-imposed deadline by a week, but considering how long it took me to get back in my writing groove, I’m okay with that. The first draft ended up being 8000 words longer than I expected, so there’s the extra week! In all I’m happy with …

In the Home Stretch!

As most of you know, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and while I’m not competing officially, I’ve quietly sucked the enthusiasm and ambition from my fellow writers to push through to the end of my wip, Fracture. That’s right — I’m THIS CLOSE to finishing the sequel to Flicker! NaNo competitors are supposed …

The Great Pumpkin Analogy

This post originally aired in October 2011. I thought it was worth resharing. While perusing the pumpkin “patch” (shelves) at my grocery store last weekend, this one struck me as the roundest, cleanest, most pumpkiny pumpkin of the bunch. In fact, I was so pleased with nature’s work that I considered leaving it alone and …

Getting Over the Wall

Getting started is the easy part. You have an idea, you jump in with both feet, and then…. and then… you hit a wall. This is me at our local mud run last weekend. My husband and I ran it last year and I immediately wanted to build an obstacle course in the backyard. We …

Children’s, YA, & MG Blog Hop!

It’s blog hop time! For the uninitiated, a blog hop is when a group of writers (or otherwise connected bloggers) answer the same series of questions then tag both the people who tagged them as well additional people. You know, to keep you hopping from blog to blog. My good friend June “Bug” Kramin asked …

I Am Not Bryan Adams…

…and yet I almost wrote his lyrics in a conversation between my MC and her father. OOPS. I bust my butt to avoid cliches, doing my best to think outside the box and write realistic dialogue, but every now and then a commonly-used phrase slips past my defenses and finds its way into my manuscript. …