Let’s Resolve to Be Resolute.

By Shelley Widhalm

I’ve fallen off the writing bandwagon and am accomplishing everything else on my to-do list.

Luckily, I’m good about making New Year’s resolutions (see New Year’s Resolutions | Psychology Today) and sticking with them. Though January is my least favorite month, short days and too much snow. I love goal setting because of the whole self-improvement thing and the easy excuse for self-reward.

Lists are a great way to get motivated for New Year’s writing and editing resolutions. Also, new notebooks don’t hurt.

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Not Your Average Daydreaming

By Brian Kaufman

In elementary school, each dreaded report card had a segment called “citizenship.” The section was designed to tell the parent how well the student behaved in class. One category was my nemesis—Uses Time Wisely. Back then, an S (Satisfactory) was hard to come by. I was an N kid (Needs Improvement).

My ongoing sin was daydreaming.
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Dream Big And Little And Everything in Between

By Melanie Peffer

Since my first book for the trade audience (the general book-reading audience available through regular book dealers), Biology Everywhere, many people have asked me questions about writing a book. They wanted to know about everything from my writing process to navigating self-publishing to my motivations to write in the first place. 

Stupid sh*t we tell ourselves.

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Bah, Humbug!

By Katie Lewis

Whether you personally celebrate it or not, Christmas is undeniably ubiquitous. The Halloween decorations come down, and the Christmas lights go up. Store speakers across the land pump out carols, new and old, and the sight of Santa Clause himself crops up everywhere. Though I know this post will go up after the holiday in question, I still find myself fascinated by the foothold the Holiday Season has on our culture.

A Major Award.
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Emerging into The Light

By David E. Sharp

I recently completed a heavy-duty writing project with many rewrites, deep edits, and firm deadlines. Months of work spanning most of the past year were finally complete with the click of a send button. Shooting the last line edits to some server to a router that may bounce them to a satellite and then return them from orbit to another server. It arrived at my publisher after a right turn through the virus check and a quick left at Albuquerque.

Maybe not THIS disoriented.
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Believable Character Development

By Shelley Widhalm

Writers typically start with a theme, plot, or character to get into their novel. Still, major and minor characters need some scaffolding, whatever the launching point.

An agriworld in the Mirgoshir system in the Star Wars universe, for those of you with less time than others.
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Believable Characters: The Commandments of Dramatis Personae

By Brian Kaufman

You might already be scanning ahead to read my Ten Commandments. Don’t. This isn’t about what I think. It’s about prodding you to define how you think about your characters (and, by extension, your understanding of human nature).

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Sticky Words, Slow Reading

By David E. Sharp

Singing the national anthem before a big event is an honor. And vocalists take it seriously. But do you ever feel they take it too seriously? You’ve heard it. Talented singers want to make their mark. They imbue so much flourish into the Star-Spangled Banner the melody gets lost. Too much embellishment ruins the song.

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Poetry Primer: Crafting And Editing

By Shelley Widhalm

When I told one of my writer friends I was editing a poetry collection I assembled, he said, “I didn’t know you could edit poetry.”

You sure can, but first, to get something to edit, let’s think of poem creation, capturing an experience, thought, or moment in tempo, color, sound, and movement.

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The Paradox of Fiction

By Brian Kaufman

Years ago, I came home from work to find my wife fussing in front of the refrigerator. I asked what was wrong, and she told me that the quart of milk she’d just purchased was missing. In cases like this, I’d learned to speak to my five-year-old daughter first.

Tiger was often behind such misadventures. My wife and I went to Tiger’s room and asked her if she might know where the missing milk was. The flushed, not-so-innocent face gave us our answer. She knelt down beside her bed, pulled back the covers, and there was the milk.

She’d filled her Barbie swimming pool with it.

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