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Posts by Blake Smith

For Your Entertainment

Life has come at me very fast lately, so I give you this snippet from my short story An American Thanksgiving, which takes place in 1865 and will be available later this week. Thanksgiving seems to be losing some of its importance to American culture in recent years, so I came up with this different take on the holiday stories that are popular at this time of year: Read more

Character Arcs

I’ve mentioned before that I have no formal training in writing, and like most things in life, I’m just winging it. For a kid who had to have everything planned out to the nth degree, and hated any deviation from the usual, I’ve grown to enjoy the process of starting a job and not quite knowing where it’s going. I find that, if I waited until I had everything planned out perfectly, I’d never start the job, and it’s better to begin with a very basic plan, gather some data, and adjust my plans as I go along. It took me nearly thirty years to learn how to do this, and it’s been relatively successful, aside from occasionally driving my DH up the wall. Read more


My Dear Husband gave me some excellent advice yesterday, and I thought I’d share it with you. I was noodling over a book that was in the works, trying to figure out why it was so hard to hard to write, when the prequel was so easy, and he asked, “What’s different about this version of the story? What are you giving the reader that they haven’t seen before?”

Oh. Oops. Read more

Hurry Up and Wait

I’ve said recently, on a few separate occasions, “I feel like my life is in a holding pattern at the moment.” And it’s true; if my life was a book, this would be the part where the author skips over a bunch of stuff so as not to bore the reader to death. Read more


I took my car in for an oil change yesterday, and it took about five times longer than it should have. If I wasn’t trying to cut down on the amount of stuff I own, I would have given it up as a bad job, bought a set of ramps, and changed the oil myself.

Alas, I took another reluctant step toward stereotypical suburban wine-mom-hood (the very idea sends shivers down my spine; I’m fighting it, but that’s a whole ‘nother story), and paid someone to poke under my car while I sat in their office. On the plus side, waiting for almost two hours gave me time to think about maintenance and whether the concept applies to writing. Read more

Back up Your Data!

Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Everybody knows that you hit ‘save’ before you walk away from the computer. Read more


As you may have guessed from the title, I’ve been doing a lot of work in my- unfortunately small- garden over the summer, and I have plants on the brain. Weirdly, I’ve made no progress on the gardening-related regency romance that I started last winter. But that’s not what this post is about. Read more