A Mother’s Tribute

In the heart of Mother’s Day, I am posting in honor of my kids. Well, you can’t really call them “kids” anymore (one is well passed adult age and the other is cruising upon it), but they will forever be my babies. Motherhood is by far the most wonderful, intense, frustrating, joyous experience of my life, starting for me when … Read More

The Meridian Sun

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants … Read More

Critique Partners, Editors, Beta Readers, oh my…

Just like with any profession, the writing world carries its own labels and lingo. One aspect of this world is a group I call “The Writer’s BFFs”, which are broken down into 3 categories: Critique PartnersEditorsBeta Readers All three provide moooey-important feedback to help a writer get her/his manuscript into the best shape possible. Some of their tasks overlap, but ultimately their main … Read More

SCBWI Spring Spirit Conference

What a great day! I volunteered at the Spring Spirit Conference–a sold out event–and it proved it to be another great success for SCBWI. The keynote speaker was Lin Oliver, co-founder of SCBWI, and a true joy to listen to and talk with. Her animated, light-hearted nature was delightful. Also on board were Andrea Tompa, Editor at Candlewick Press; Kendra Marcus & Minju Chang, Literary Agents at … Read More

Honey-Sweet Relief

From Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree: Winnie the Pooh: Hum dum de dum, hum dum de dum,I am so rumbly in my tumbly. [hits head] Ooh! Time to munch an early luncheon. Hum de dum dum dum,Oh, I wouldn’t climb this tree,If a Pooh flew like a bee,But I wouldn’t be a bear then,So I guess I wouldn’t … Read More

Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

It was my turn to choose for my book club this month, and I picked Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. You can find him over at his fantastic Blog for writers: Storyfix (and also find links there to purchase any of his books). I was a constant fixture on this site during NaNoWriMo month, eating up all of his wonderful writing tips. Many of … Read More

Yeah, let’s go there–Sex in YA Fiction

I’ve given this topic quite a lot of thought lately, mostly because it concerns my current WIP. This past week I realized something that hadn’t occurred me when I was first plotting the story out (I use the word plotting loosely here): that my protagonist absolutely, undeniably HAS to lose her virginity for the mid-point, second plot point/crisis, and climax … Read More


Antagonist=opponent, competitor, enemy, rival AKA The Villain He’s the monster under your bed, or in your closet, or in your head; the ghost of Christmas past, a disloyal friend, or a stepmother’s wrath; the ghoul chasing your soul, the zombie craving your flesh, the flaming eye, the pie in the sky, and the genie who offers you a wish! I … Read More

Zombie Apocalypse–for Honeybees

Some say truth is scarier than fiction. I have to agree. When I read the recent news article about a parasite turning honeybees into “Zombies”, I wondered if there might be something to the zombie apocalypse hype after all. Evidently, a parasitic phorid fly–Apocephalus borealis–hijacks the bees’ bodies, burrows into and nests in their stomachs, causing them to exhibit zombie-like … Read More

Books–A History

Long, long ago, in a world without e-book technology, way before the printing press, the world’s oldest book was made. I’m not talking cave drawings or clay tablets, which depict the first “writings”, but the very first official “book”. In 600 BCE the North Italian Etruscans created a book of 24-karat gold with six illustrated gold pages joined by gold … Read More

A Snow White Kinda Year

So, I’ve recently been watching the new ABC Television series “Once Upon A Time” with Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White (I won’t post the trailor here, since I’m already posting two movie trailers). All things fairy tale appeal to me, so when this show aired I knew it’d be a new favorite. The last episode included Cinderella (my childhood fav) and … Read More

Embrace The Suck

NaNoWriMo days 3, 4, & 5 have been a bit more challenging than the first 2 days, when my word count was right on par. One highlight for these past 3 days was attending my first regional “Write In”. The leader and ten writers showed up a local coffee shop Friday night where we all wrote for a few hours. … Read More

NaNoWriMo–Days 1 & 2

Wow, for a new-bee (pun intended) at NaNoWriMo, I’m feeling pretty jazzed. This “write 1,700 words a day” thing is a whole new experience for me. Never before have I written to the ticking of the clock. But so far, the pressure has done me well. I’ve already achieved my quota for two days with words to spare, Woot-Woot! As … Read More

Preparing for NaNoWriMo

October is the month for gearing up before NaNoWriMo hits like a storm in November. I haven’t participated in this yet (After 6 years of novel writing, I’m really late in the game!) I’ve already planned on setting my alarm extra early in the morning to pull this off while maintaining my “day job” and making sure everyone has food … Read More

The Doctor is in the House

Check out Kristen Lamb’s blog post The Doctor is in the House–Novel Diagnostics for a great article on those ever-important first pages. She is also offering critiques for her winning picks. Her books: We Are Not Alone–The Social Guide to Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me Writer (love the twist on the Judy Blume title!)

Indie & E-Pub Revolution

Publishing has certainly made a great shift. The annual San Francisco Writer’s Conference Contest is proof in the pudding. Changes were made in 2011 and will continue with the 2012 contest. Instead of the traditional format, the winner receives $30,000 in self-publishing and promo services. Let’s read that again, “self-publishing”. What used to be an ugly word in publishing has … Read More

Susan Salluce, debut author of "Out Of Breath"

Interview with debut author (and friend & crit partner) Susan Salluce, whose book Out of Breath is available on all e-book formats: ipad, Nook, Reader, Kindle, iphone, and soon to be available in hard copy. Out of Breath is an exploration of parental grief, addiction, compassion fatigue, and suicide; it’s the prodigal story of grace undeserved. Salluce’s expertise as a psychotherapist and grief … Read More

Swimming the Depths of Research

The past couple of months, I have immersed myself in research for my newest YA novel. I’d like to count time spent doing this as time spent “writing”, but that can be a dangerous conclusion to make. Hours spent researching, however helpful, are hours I’m not putting ink to paper for my book. That said, research is an imperative aspect to the … Read More

Novel Contest Rundown

This post is a preview of what I will be routinely updating on my Events page. All contests are for NOVELS, and listings are geared toward those that accept Young Adult Novels. I can attest to contests providing great feedback, adding to your bio, and giving that ever-appreciated validation we writers seek. Aside from monetary gain, prizes can include critiques from … Read More