Confessions of A NaNoWriMo Failure

By Ronda Simmons Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? It stands for National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write an entire first draft, fifty thousand words, during November. If things go well, you’ll have a manuscript at the end of the thirty days of the eleventh month.

Five Books I’m Glad I Read in School

By Brian Kaufman I asked a writer friend if he’d ever read a particular classic novel. His face puckered up as he admitted, “Yes, I had to read that for school.” There’s not enough time for all the great books. My friend, author Pat Stoltey, recently told me, “My worst moment when I was aContinue reading “Five Books I’m Glad I Read in School”

The Perfect Antidote

By Eleanor Shelton The sun is shining brightly over the mountains, there are hiking trails, time galore to do what you want, wine, good food, naps, reading. It sounds like the perfect vacation, right? Except, it’s a writing retreat. So, where’s the writing? Where’s the inspiration when you have the ideal time for it? WhatContinue reading “The Perfect Antidote”

We Need Dependable, Not Inspirational

By Miranda Birt Who here has heard habit trumps motivation? I’ve mostly heard this phrase at conferences, in interviews, on YouTube, and anywhere else a person can listen to writing advice. They all say the same thing: “if you want to be successful, you need to make writing a habit.” I think it makes totalContinue reading “We Need Dependable, Not Inspirational”

Getting Off of The Struggle Bus

By Ronda Simmons The pandemic has passed the six-month mark, and I’ve been riding the struggle bus. Michael Christensen defines the struggle bus as “an imaginary bus representing a state of perpetual struggles or difficulties. A metaphor that relates physically riding a bus with going through hardships. Used with the same terminology of riding anContinue reading “Getting Off of The Struggle Bus”

Accountability Partners: Man, Beast, or Tech

My Fitbit died last week. It had always been on my wrist (other than showers) for the last year and a half. It held me accountable for moving more, celebrated when I moved a lot more, and actually told me the time. Something is missing that had become part of me.

We Like to Do A Little Digging

By Ronda Simmons So, you’ve written your first draft, and it’s okay. It’s a compelling story, your plot is on point. You’ve paid attention to structure, character development, grammar, and spelling. But when you read it, you know there’s something off. The characters feel flat, the dialog is emotionally dull. Something is missing.

Writers Show Resilience in The Face of The Pandemic

By Eleanor Shelton We already know that writers are a brave lot. We allow complete strangers to read our creations and pass judgment on our suitability to be counted as part of this noble profession. We bare our souls to complete strangers while trying to protect the essence of our beings. Even soldiers wear bulletproofContinue reading “Writers Show Resilience in The Face of The Pandemic”

Stepping Lightly Between The Shoe Drops

By Miranda Birt We’re more than halfway through this year and man, what a ride. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, but let’s be honest—2020 just *bleeping* chucked a Payless off a cliff. While we’ve all been ducking boat shoes and dodging stilettos (some more successfully than others), it’s got me thinking aboutContinue reading “Stepping Lightly Between The Shoe Drops”

Professor Malevolent’s School For Fictional Villainy

By David E. Sharp Every Batman needs his Joker, every Cinderella needs her wicked stepmother, and every tortoise track-and-field athlete needs an obnoxious hare. Your hero is only as good as your villain. But it’s easy to get villains wrong. That’s why I have asked the advice of notable villain and nefarious schemer, Professor Malevolent.Continue reading “Professor Malevolent’s School For Fictional Villainy”