Cast and Character

I'd asked in the spiky book club server what topics they'd like to see me touch on in posts, and the first response was to ask about fleshing out supporting characters. Which is a good point. No one wants to wander into a book and see a bunch of cardboard cutouts propping up the joint.... Continue Reading →

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

There's the brilliant scene in Alice in Wonderland where she is falling, ever so gently, into Wonderland via a rabbit's hole. The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling... Continue Reading →

Grabbing Attention

A while back (checks date... a decade?! Yikes!) Sarah did a Hooking the Reader series. The information in that workshop is still great stuff. And to show that the Internet is forever, the Iowa Park Library Writing Group picked that article up, and I was asked if the email address in the post is still... Continue Reading →

Picture Postcards

It's easier, I think, to write a novel than it is to write a short story. It's easier to write a short than it is to write flash fiction. The hardest, possibly, is to write a fully-formed tale, evocative, in a mere fifty words. Want to take us up on that challenge? Kortnee Bryant, who... Continue Reading →

Story Progression

My day started at three in the morning with a dog barking, a moment of unreasonable panic, and then snuggles that led to sleeping in. So this is a late post. I could talk about the human psychology of my own reactions - because they bear on writing fully developed characters - but instead I'm... Continue Reading →


Out of the dumpster fire of the last couple of years, the phoenix rises. This may not be the firebird we want, but it is the firebird we deserve. On the shimmering heat of the burning trash, it rises, and with it, we have hope for a bright new future in 2023. No matter what... Continue Reading →

Making Traditions

Tradition is an interesting way to give a reader grounding into a world that doesn't exist outside the author's head. Well, didn't until the author chose to share it with the reader. You don't even have to fully explain traditions, most of the time. For one thing, certain traditions will resonate with your reader. Others?... Continue Reading →

Everyone Eats

There's a trick to grinding spices in the mortar with a pestle. You don't actually want to use much pressure, at least not with marble, which is what I am using. Just let the weight of the pestle do the work, and rub downward into the bowl. Every so often I tip the mortar a... Continue Reading →

Up Tempo

As I'm probably the least musical person you can think of - despite numerous attempts to learn to play different instruments, the most fun of which was ukulele and weirdest was balalaika - I'm obviously not talking about accelerating a piece of music here. No, it's the publishing I'm talking about. I'm attempting to see... Continue Reading →


I'd intended to have a quiet time this morning to write. I get up early on Saturdays, with Sundays the only day of the week I can sleep in. Ordinarily, I'm alone for the first few hours of the day on Saturday... but not this morning. No, this morning I was waking up in the... Continue Reading →

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