Habits, For Better or Worse

Some days, I don’t feel like doing anything. This time of year, those days are more frequent than not. So I fall back on habits and routines, and the ever-present and never-shortening To-Do List to keep me on track. Certain tasks can be done on autopilot, and then I don’t have to chase myself with... Continue Reading →

What is a Geek?

Geek, not Greek. When I’m not paying attention, those words look remarkably similar. It gets especially interesting when reading regencies, where ‘greeking’ was a term associated with cheating at cards. Merriam-Webster is not overly positive on the subject of geeks, defining it as 1) a person often of an intellectual bent who is disliked, or,... Continue Reading →

Tangible Results

I could have sworn I had a post on this subject, all ready for a blast from the past, but maybe not. Or maybe it’s under a different title and I’ll find it at random sometime in the future. In any case, time for a periodic reminder that results matter. There’s something satisfying about finishing... Continue Reading →

Deer in the Headlights

Or, the look on my face as I try to remember how to publish paperback books. It’s been a while. Four years, if I remember right. And it’s been almost three years since I published a new story in any form. So if you’re ever mad at yourself for not writing or publishing fast enough,... Continue Reading →

Setup and Payoff

AKA, the new buzzwords in entertainment criticism, mostly directed toward writers and screenwriters who don’t show setup and payoff. But there’s some sense behind the buzzwords, and since I’ve hit a spot where I’m unsuccessfully trying to make setup and payoff workable and natural, I’m going to ramble about it, and you can’t stop me.... Continue Reading →

Story Structure: A Lament

We’ve all seen diagrams of the usual progression of a story. There’s an inciting incident, rising action, usually in the form of a few try-fail cycles, that leads to a climax, then a denouement or conclusion to tie everything together. Of course there are various permutations depending on the plot, length, and genre. But the... Continue Reading →

A Brief State of the Writer

I’m fighting the urge to hibernate today. Not because of yesterday’s election-that-was-more-of-a-selection in many places. Mostly because of the weather; it’s very gray and windy outside. So of course, today’s the day for all the errands that have been piling up, right? Better to do it before winter shows up on Friday; the temperature is... Continue Reading →


This post is coming to you from the Great Frozen North. No, I’m not on vacation. The furnace is dead. Again. It was seven degrees colder than usual in the house this morning, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re struggling to leave the warm cocoon of blankets, it feels like a seventy... Continue Reading →

The Perils of Adaptations

This was originally about the perils of prequels, then I thought about it- surprise!- and realized that many of the struggles writers face in creating prequels also apply to adapting a known work into a different media. So this is going to bounce around between books, movies, and TV a bit, and I might even... Continue Reading →

Trauma as Backstory

Or, how do you put a character through the wringer without forcing them to wallow in tragedy for an entire novel? Turn it into a short story. No, don’t laugh at that; it was really terrible. There’s a reason my husband is responsible for all the humor in this relationship. But it’s a legitimate question,... Continue Reading →

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