Gratitude

This is a month of gratitude. Of thankfulness. Some people wait till Thanksgiving while others post a note of thanks every day. The past few days, I’ve been filled with gratitude when contemplating my role as a writer. I’m grateful for my fiction readers. Oh, how I am thankful for you. I knew from the start that this would be …

Writing about Scary Things

This past month, we’ve seen goblins and ghouls line the store aisles. Shrieks and screams are a bit more commonplace as people pay high prices to get spooked. Many Christians wrestle with what to do during a month that celebrates fear. Where do we draw the line between dress up or candy and darkness or evil? As a mom, I’ll …

Guilty Pleasures

We all have “guilty pleasures”—I’m not necessarily talking about straight-up sinful temptations at the moment. I’m talking about those things in life that can be good . . . in moderation. Things that can even be a blessing . . . until they’re not. Take, for example, a few of my food guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter M&Ms Fritos Mild Cheddar …

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Ten Grammar Tips for Any Writer

When I taught high school students, I told them intelligence and good spelling were not directly correlated. You can be a very bright person and a very poor speller. Additionally, semicolons and ampersands are easy for some people while exponents and factorials are easy for others. It was my pet peeve, in fact, when creative people told me that they …

Writing Ideas: Part Three

I love writing, and I love teaching. So I enjoy the blog series “Writing Ideas” on this site. You can find Part One and Part Two here. Whether you are a writer or a teacher of writing (or both), I hope these ideas inspire you to practice the craft of writing. Found Poem I first learned this idea from my incredible …

Writer’s Life: Pressure

I was in seventh grade. In a class with our school counselor, I learned a fascinating truth: Stress can be a good thing. We started talking about the difference between eustress and distress. We took a stress factor inventory. It just so happened that was a more-stressful-than-most year for me, which I took in with a certain sense of pride. …

Writer’s Life: Why Workshop?

At this moment, I am sitting on a university campus, sipping some coffee, and waiting for the first session of the day. I’m at a conference, and loving every minute of it. Yes, I’m one of those people. When given the opportunity, I jump at the chance to meet with others in my fields of interest and fully immerse myself …

Writers on Vacation

I just came back from a wonderful vacation. Things I packed: swimsuit, sunscreen, novel, writing journal. Actually, this list is similar to my vacation suitcase since I was a grade schooler. Even though I didn’t necessarily write all the time as a kid, when vacation rolled around, I would grab a notebook and let my imagination loose on the long …

Writer’s Life: The Voices in My Mind

As a writer, my head is filled with voices. Now, I’ve talked about the voice of my inner critic previously, so we’ll ignore that one today. Instead, I’d like to pay tribute to the many voices that echo within as I write, and explain how they help me along the way. Mentor Voices  “Make sure you don’t let a character …

So, You Want to Write a Hymn?

A little while ago, author Sarah Baughman invited me to guest blog for a series looking at craft as a reminder that our Creator has crafted us and that He has given us creativity to create for His glory. She asked me to talk about the craft of writing a hymn. I loved this! In fact, two of my favorite …