Why I Prefer Spontaneity

First off, people think you're SO fun. You’re free-spirited, casual, instinctive, impetuous, unconstrained, uncontrived, uncontrolled. (And able to use the thesaurus.) You've got them fooled. Being spontaneous is a strategic decision. Deliberate. Planned. Premeditated. Intentional. To use a recent favorite word (I use it to describe my husband's approach to learning to line dance, and… Continue reading Why I Prefer Spontaneity


Turning Friends Into Villains: a Writer’s Right

My short story "Turn a Blind Eye" will be published by AM Ink Publishing in their upcoming horror collection The Half That You See. The book takes its name from a quote attributed to Edgar Allen Poe: Believe nothing you hear and only one half that you see. Have you ever been misquoted? So was… Continue reading Turning Friends Into Villains: a Writer’s Right


Rejection is Protection – Jasper Black

I came across REJECTION IS PROTECTION as a part of the encouragement offered in #1000wordsofsummer, which is what it sounds like: a thousand words a day. Do you agree? Is rejection protection? I never thought of it that way, but as painful as rejection is, it might be the only medicine for my unready writing.… Continue reading Rejection is Protection – Jasper Black


The Truth Will Set You Free. Or Will it?

Two streets south of mine is a little subdivision humbly named Castlewood. It's one street, really. And while the homes are relatively new, castle is a stretch. The street dead-ends at a retention pond where a sign warns of deep water, and a dingy orange life vest hangs on the far side corroborating just how… Continue reading The Truth Will Set You Free. Or Will it?


Judge me by my Books

In my first novel (I just began #3), I have a character say something like, you can know a lot about a person by the books he reads. My character said this because I believe this. Not that everything my characters say are sentiments with which I agree. Except the villains. I agree with everything… Continue reading Judge me by my Books


Language is Not the Star

A tide of writerly emails swamps my inbox each day. Everyone has advice on how to write and how to write better and how not-to-give-up-when-everyone-hates-your-work and here's some literary flash fiction. Here's some atrocious flash fiction from somebody you accidentally followed. Here's a Ted Talk. Here's some poetry. Here's this new author, that new agent.… Continue reading Language is Not the Star


My Procrastination Protocol

Recently, I read an article that revealed a particular form of procrastination that mimics responsibility. And guess what? I do it. Maybe you do, too. Here's the thing. I am NOT guilty of cyberloafing, and I recently became that person who divorced Facebook and am now living under a rock, socially speaking. I write and… Continue reading My Procrastination Protocol


5000 Words Winter 2020 Contest Winners!

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ― Sylvia Plath Shelter at home...and write a story. That's what the 5000 Words students did, and the results are in. Click the titles… Continue reading 5000 Words Winter 2020 Contest Winners!



Like church, the art museum offers free admission. Priceless art, for free. But no. I remind myself: nothing is free because everything has been paid for by someone. I imagine sitting before Picasso's Guernica. The Guernica is silent. It hangs there, unobtrusive. Patient. I can decide whether to sit and let it in or walk… Continue reading Art

fiction, on writing

Fear Gets it Done

This act of turning formless fear into places and characters [is] what a good writer does. - Rebecca Moon Ruark When I have written, and my task is to revise, revise, revise—that's my sweet spot. This can only happen after I've actually done the grunt work of pulling a story from who-knows-where, that mystical place… Continue reading Fear Gets it Done