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Why You Need a Writing Mentor

breakthrough

When You Have a Writing Community You Never Go It Alone

I’ll never forget receiving my first rejection letter. I knew how slim the changes of being published were, but I thought I’d be different. I went to the mailbox with expectancy and optimism every day and was elated when I saw that first envelope bearing a literary agent’s return address (yes, it was that long ago that I started writing). My heart sank when I tore it open and found a standard form letter – thanks, but no thanks. I picked my heart off the floor, took a deep breath, and told myself the rejection was a fluke. I was … Read More

The Changing Face of Morality

Morality is a loaded term these days. It used to be a measure of right and wrong, good versus bad behavior and was clearly defined by our society. In recent years, it’s been used a weapon of hate against targeted populations, or to attempt to elevate one group above another, often evoking images of judgment and condemnation. We live in a time of moral ambiguity where there is a tendency to shy away from declarations of moral absolutes. One can argue a justification for pretty much anything—from jaywalking to murder. The “Twinkie defense” (famously used back in 1979 during the … Read More

The Birth of a Book

Books, like children, begin with an idea, a spark, a desire to create something out of ourselves. The idea for The Veritas Deception came to me over twenty years ago when I was working full-time in corporate America. At the time, my writing consisted of persuasive marketing pieces aimed at changing consumer behavior. I began to think about the extent to which we are influenced by media and advertising and from these musings my book began to take shape. Over the next twenty years, in between changing jobs, having children, homeschooling children, moving, and other life events, I picked it … Read More

Do you Need a Professional Editor before you Publish?

When I finished THE VERITAS DECEPTION last summer, I felt pretty good about it: I had edited it at least five times over the preceding year, gotten input from beta readers and my writing teacher and thought it was ready to go. Then I received a call from a trusted author friend who had just finished reading the manuscript. He had read hundreds of thrillers as the editor of a monthly magazine and he told me that mine was as good if not better than many of them. He did think, however, that it would benefit from developmental editing. He … Read More

Playing with Point of View

When I wrote my first book many years ago, it didn’t occur to me to write it in anything other than the third person point of view. In fact, I never really gave point of view much thought at all, and by default, my book ended up being an omniscient third person narrative. Years later, after attending many writing classes and workshops, I realized I’d committed what many consider to be a rookie mistake—head hopping. I began to pay attention to what other contemporary authors were doing. Some wrote in the first person, others in the third, but most chose … Read More

What The Walking Dead Can Teach us About Relationships in Troubled Times

  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the current obsession with survivor shows like The Walking Dead and Jericho. We find comfort in the camaraderie and banding together of disparate strangers in a world gone mad. We sit, safely in our family rooms, and journey with the characters as they fight against unbeatable forces in a world clearly doomed. They persevere and battle with all they have, while we observe; hoping that despite overwhelming odds, they will somehow prevail. At the end of every episode, we breathe a sigh of relief that what we’re watching is fiction and … Read More

Capturing the Muse

When I sat down to co-write my first novel, Circle Dance, I had no idea that it would take ten years and reams of rejection letters before I saw it in print. I am thankful for the naiveté that allowed hope and optimism to be my companions over the years it took to complete it. My partnership with my co-author, my sister, made each rejection easier to bear. By the time I realized how slim the odds of getting published were, it was too late, I was hooked. Passion drove me to persevere and ultimately achieve my dream of becoming … Read More

5 Ways to Unblock Your Writer’s Block

We all have days when we sit down to write and the words flow fast and furious while our fingers race to keep up. But what about the days we approach our writing time with eager anticipation only to find that we have nothing to write? Our story is stuck. Our prose is flat. Our imaginations dry. It does little good to sit and stare at a blank screen, hoping the muse will show up and get our fingers dancing again. At times like these, a shift in process helps me. Here are my favorite five methods to get me … Read More

I’ll Keep You in My Prayers

  How many times have these words rolled off my tongue in an effort to comfort someone?  And how often have I made the same request of others – “keep me in your prayers”? These words, like “God bless you” following a sneeze, have become an automatic response to those with troubles.  But they have the power to be so much more. How, I’ve been thinking, have I so easily forgotten the true power and impact sincere prayer can have? I have experienced first-hand the miraculous power of prayer. I’ve taught my children through example, that the first and best … Read More

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