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


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


Smart, Honest, Critical

What every writer needs: a smart, honest, critical reader. Or in a perfect world, a posse of smart-honest-criticals. Let's face it. If you have an Einsteinian friend, but he only heaps praise upon your work and doesn't share what could be better, how does that help? If you have an Eeyore-type who honestly sees prickles… Continue reading Smart, Honest, Critical


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

fiction, on writing

Spontaneous 2: Scene in Writing

The gorgeous Cleveland weather got me thinking scene. I've recently learned a couple of scene don'ts. Don'ts are easy. You can take them out if you happen to have them in your manuscript.  (Says the queen of strikeouts. I never met a phrase I couldn't pare.) Do's are harder, as is creating new scenes for… Continue reading Spontaneous 2: Scene in Writing

fiction, on writing

Spontaneous 1: Uncomfortaville

I am a writer. I have grand thoughts while grinding away on my upright bike. Admittedly, that's because I'm listening to Les Brown, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Sylvester Stallone yelling locker room halftime speeches on volume nine, accompanied by epic soundtracks. I close my eyes, peddle faster at the crescendos. I apply football to writing, weightlifting… Continue reading Spontaneous 1: Uncomfortaville

fiction, on writing, Personal Journey

Weekend Coffee Share: Things to Say Yay! About

If we were having coffee I'd be smiling enormously. Two weeks ago today an agent requested my full manuscript. My reaction: eeeeeeeeck! Then another agent requested my manuscript. And...holy-too-good-to-be-true Batman! A THIRD AGENT REQUESTED MY FULL MANUSCRIPT. For my non-writer friends, this is like winning the lottery three times in a row. I've spilled my… Continue reading Weekend Coffee Share: Things to Say Yay! About