On Writing Crap (aka the First Draft)

I want to open a dialogue about an idea that is both taboo and yet, spoken about over and over again in the writing community. It’s something every writer deals with. It’s something every writer fears and every reader loathes. 

Writing crap.

Everyone does it. The most prolific of writers write crap. The most famous writers write crap. Continue reading “On Writing Crap (aka the First Draft)”

Happy Birthday Flannery O’Connor!

Southern writer and essayist, Flannery O’Connor was born March 25, 1925. She’s considered one of the best short story writers of the 20th century, and she’s known for her unapologetic opinions. Her short stories have been studied in college classrooms for years. A southern writer, O’Connor’s settings are often in the rural south of which she is most familiar since she grew up in Georgia. Continue reading “Happy Birthday Flannery O’Connor!”

Why I Read One Short Story, One Poem, and One News Article or Essay Everyday

Okay, okay I might not actually read  all of these things everyday, but I do listen to some and read the others. Usually, my poem is listened to as part of my morning ritual. While putting on my makeup to get ready for work, I put on the Writer’s Almanac podcast. I mean really, what’s better than Garrison Keillor’s soothing voice giving you the important historical/literary happenings of the day? At the end of each podcast, he closes by reading a poem. So, this is how I get my poetry in everyday.  Continue reading “Why I Read One Short Story, One Poem, and One News Article or Essay Everyday”

TLC Book Tour Review: Where Have I Been All My Life?

Blog-Where have I been all my life

Author: Cheryl Rice

I was thrilled the day TLC Book Tours contacted me to be a book tour host. The first book they offered me was Cheryl Rice’s Where Have I Been All My Life? and being quite intrigued by the synopsis of Rice’s memoir, I quickly agreed to review it. Continue reading “TLC Book Tour Review: Where Have I Been All My Life?”

Why (and how) You Should “Show” Instead of “Tell” in Your Writing

Here’s the deal: readers do not want writers to tell us how they feel or what a scene looks like. Readers want writers to show us how they feel and what the scene looks like. Lately, I’ve received many review requests from writers that tell more than they show, so I’d like to take this time to explain the difference. Continue reading “Why (and how) You Should “Show” Instead of “Tell” in Your Writing”

Editing- The Soul-Sucking-Liberating-Horrible-Amazing Process

I’m convinced that anyone can write. Anyone can sit down and scribble their thoughts across a sheet of paper. That’s the easy part. Maybe calling ourselves writers isn’t exactly accurate. A writer ought to be defined as anyone, anywhere with the ability to write words on paper (or a tablet or laptop or what have you). Maybe we should just call ourselves— the writers and authors of the world— masters of manipulation. Continue reading “Editing- The Soul-Sucking-Liberating-Horrible-Amazing Process”

The Power of Word Choice: Make Your Writing Grab Someone’s Attention

Words hold  much power, and when a writer writes, they often agonize about making the right word choice. A very sad girl doesn’t hit the stomach like a devastated girl would. Her green bedroom doesn’t evoke a picture in your mind like her sea foam, window-lined oasis does.

Word choice is much more than just choosing which word fits best in context. Word choice encompasses style, flow, and of course, creating the scene. Word choice can either contribute to passive voice, or make the writing explode with movement and color.
Continue reading “The Power of Word Choice: Make Your Writing Grab Someone’s Attention”

Press On, No Matter What

Recently, a family member sent me a text that stated she had come across a book I was published in back in 2002.  I haven’t seen or thought about that book in quite some time, but her text prompted me to go dig it out. I found my publication and reread it for the first time in at least 10 years. At the time of publication, I was just 16 years old. I had written this insightful poem threaded with fancy words and laced with extended metaphor. I found myself in a slight state of shock. How did I come up with this? How in the world did I have so much insight about this subject at 16 years old? 
Continue reading “Press On, No Matter What”

Consider Writing Your Story

I had always fancied myself a creator of characters so naturally, I chose fiction as my genre for my thesis in college. I had a story idea in my head. I had a fully fleshed out main character and a believable setting- or so I thought. I sat down to write a story about a character I’d created, and I lamented over every move. My pen got stuck when it should have been effortlessly (ha!) floating across the page, articulating scenes of great triumph and emotional connection and maybe even great pain. Instead, I stumbled over the smallest of details. My scenes were missing vital elements. My characters were flat. I couldn’t understand why. I felt defeated and started questioning my decision on being a writer.
Continue reading “Consider Writing Your Story”

Quit Writing Crap: A Few Tips to Help You Hone Your Craft

Writing–like riding a bike or drawing– requires constant practice. The only way a writer gets better at his or her craft is through dedication. Here are 5 tips to help you hone your craft:
Continue reading “Quit Writing Crap: A Few Tips to Help You Hone Your Craft”