Blog

fiction

5000 Words Fall, 2019 Writing Contest Winners!

It's that time of year again! 5000 Words students participated in a workshop and writing contest, and the winners have been chosen. But not by me—they judge each other. It's the good sort of judging. This session we read Watership Down by Richard Adams, a quest story with leadership and courage themes...and it's entirely about… Continue reading 5000 Words Fall, 2019 Writing Contest Winners!

fiction

Call for Beta Readers

Oh happy day! My novel is "done," which means I'm reaching out for beta readers. Bookworm (73K words) is an adult thriller with horror and romantic elements (because those pair so well!). It leans dark and literary, as so much of my writing does. So 18 and older, please, but other than that, my only… Continue reading Call for Beta Readers

fiction

What Gets Under My Skin: Words

Caged Bird A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wing in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky. *** But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are… Continue reading What Gets Under My Skin: Words

on writing

Spontaneous 7 Oxymoron: Thin-Skinned Writer

  If you're a writer, you may start out thin-skinned, but if you're to survive, you can't possibly stay that way. Most writers fall into the craft because of some strategically-timed compliments, generally given by authority figures and well-meaning English teachers in our formative years. This is usually coupled with an insatiable appetite for reading.… Continue reading Spontaneous 7 Oxymoron: Thin-Skinned Writer

fiction

That’ll Teach You a Lesson: Skits

Hands down, my students' favorite class is when they write and perform skits. We read The King and His Hawk to get a feel for the form. The lesson of this great fable: Don't do anything in anger. The King and His Hawk is especially appropriate for the battle-weary parent, as she has multiple hawks… Continue reading That’ll Teach You a Lesson: Skits

on writing

Spontaneous 6: Tension on Every Page

This may be my favorite exercise ever. Donald Maass calls it tension-on-every-page. You're probably thinking, Thanks for the tip, Captain Obvious. What writer would purpose to write even one boring page? I hear that. But the way we go about adding tension matters. I could just throw my veggies in a pot, dump in some… Continue reading Spontaneous 6: Tension on Every Page

on writing, Personal Journey

An Invitation to FLOG This Writer AND…I Got Shot

In Spontaneous 5 I mentioned spending upwards of seven (it was actually more like ten) hours on my first page. Well, you can see the fruit of that labor and even vote anonymously whether or not you'd keep reading my work HERE. This is me, begging you. I'm not asking for strokes. Vote your conscience.… Continue reading An Invitation to FLOG This Writer AND…I Got Shot