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 …

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 …

The Scary Side of Writing

There is one thing that scares writers out of their skin. It keeps them up at night. It causes them to wring their hands, bite their nails, or exhibit whatever nervous habit they might otherwise hide. Ready for it? Readers. Crazy, right? Most people who write do so for an audience, after all. (If you’re one of those writers who …

Knowing Your Audience

In a previous post, I wrote about knowing your voices. The overall gist is that we all have unique voices, and we all have multiple voices. What factors affect which voice I use when? I contend that one key factor is audience. Who are you speaking to at any given time? In my examples in the previous post, I spoke …

Knowing Your Voices

Anecdote 1: In years past, I’ve had the experience of being mother to a newborn. I spoke to my baby on a regular basis. I spoke to my husband on a regular basis. I did not speak to my child the same way I spoke to my husband. And yet each voice was truly, authentically me. Anecdote 2: In eighth grade, …

Ten Things You Should Know about Poetry

No, it isn’t easy to limit all there is to say about poetry to ten points, but . . . this is a blog post. you’re a busy person. I don’t know all there is to say about poetry. But that won’t stop me from trying to share a little bit about a genre I’ve grown to love over the …

Saying Goodbye to Your Writing

“Did you cry?” An author friend asked me this as I recently sent in my manuscript to the publisher. It was my largest writing project to date; I finished a trilogy of fiction novels. Knowing myself and the way I handle transitions and grieving in general, I had a hunch that any reactions I would have would probably be delayed. …

Reading Like a Writer

“What book are you teaching right now?” Me: “[Enter title here.]” “Do you like it?” Me: “It’s not my favorite, but since I’ve spent so much time teaching it, I can appreciate it.” During my time as a teacher, conversations like the one above occurred fairly often. But I hadn’t given it much thought lately until this week, when the …

Setting Goals

Writing and a new year have at least one thing in common: goals. Sure, some of us choose to make them and others don’t, but goals are often a key aspect to both writing and starting a new calendar year. So, are you making any goals for this year? How about writing goals? When it comes to writing, here are …