• Author Insider,  Introspection,  Writing

    The Mental Game of Writing: Power Questions, part 1

    “Writers who know the craft – and keep growing in it – and who spend the most time on high priority tasks, these are the writers who experience a power vibe. That, in turn, inspires momentum and action.” – James Scott Bell I’ve just read through Bell’s book, The Mental Game of Writing: How to Overcome Obstacles, Stay Creative and Productive, and Free Your Mind for Success. It’s a great, short little book, and easy to read, that offers a lot of valuable advice and insight into staying in the writing game for the long haul. In the chapter entitled “Power”, he provides a list of questions to go through…

  • Author Insider,  Making Of

    Why Must I Write THIS Book?

    Ready to see a novel come together in real time? All of the sweat and tears and roadblocks and victories, the inspiration and worldbuilding, and all the notes and maps and changes and lessons learned? Then take your seat, grab some popcorn, and welcome aboard. It’s sure to be a crazy ride! What follows are excerpts from my writer’s journal after working through step 1 in Jennie Nash’s Blueprint for a Book. So, what is this novel I’m writing, and why exactly must I write it? A Bit of Backstory and Inspiration For starters, the working title is Serpent of Thebares (pronounced Te-bar-es). This story takes place in a world…

  • Author Insider,  Making Of,  Revision,  Writing,  Writing Craft

    First Novel Journey – First Chapter Down!

    I’m stoked! Stoked I tell you! This week I finished the first draft of the first chapter of my first novel! I pushed past my inner critic and got it done. I’d been in a bit of a writing funk late summer to early fall when I got a tweet from a reader who had read my story, “The Road to Fjallmark” in Wyngraf Magazine. It was so positive and encouraging and it lit such a fire within me to keep writing. So readers, if you found an author’s work enjoyable, let them know! That positive tweet or message might be just the thing needed to keep them going on…

  • Education,  Memoir,  Memoir

    A Failed Teacher’s Journey Back to the Classroom

    I should begin with a confession: I am a failed teacher. I was nearly 21, on the tail end of wrapping up an English degree, and hadn’t the faintest idea of what I’d do once I crossed the graduation stage with my diploma in hand. And then it occurred to me, as I’m sure it had to the thousands of directionless humanities students before my time: I would become a teacher! How hard could it be? After all, I liked kids, loved learning, and had always enjoyed my years at school. So I signed up for a couple of education classes my last semester, took the qualifier test, and moved…