Posts about writing


The Gates by John Connolly

Frightened by My Own Imagination

Writing a novel is a lot more personal than writing non-fiction. Non-fiction is external – I find and repackage information. Fiction, in contrast, comes from the inside, and sometimes what’s inside is a bit… surprising. When I first started ... Read More  

bookstore shelves

Brick and Mortar Magic: Choosing a Pseudonym

There are a number of reasons authors choose to publish under a name besides their own.  Perhaps a children's writer has the same name as a queen of erotic romances.  Perhaps a business writer wishes to publish literary fiction, ... Read More  

bookstore shelves

Brick and Mortar Magic: Five MORE Ways a Book Becomes a Bestseller

In Part 1, I talked about factors influencing book sales that the author has little or no control over.  Today, as promised, the Ways In Which You, As The Author, Can Help Rock Your Own Sales Read More  

Information Ninja water bottle

The Top Ten Things Grad School Taught Me About Writing

  When I gave up a career in science to be a starving artist, I knew, without doubt or reservation, that I was doing the right thing.  I also knew it was a thing that would be difficult, if ... Read More  

Wildebeest Migration by L.E. Carmichael

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Does Not Apply to Research

I’ve blogged before about the importance of fact checking sources when researching nonfiction for kids. This post is about a slightly different research challenge that, in the age of the internet, is becoming a huge problem. I sometimes teach ... Read More  

Sasquatch plays with catnip

The Monomyth: A Cat’s Journey

  Calling all writer friends! Have you read Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces and Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey yet? If not, you should get on that. Mythic structure is a good starting point for novels, especially fantasies, but both authors ... Read More  

work in progress

You Gotta Have A Hook

Is this nerdy? Yes. Do I love it from the depths of my nerdy soul? Heck yes! To all my friends attending the SCBWI Summer Conference this week – have an educational, inspiring time! I’ll be over here, trying not ... Read More  

plotting a novel

First Novel Makes Its First Public Appearance

Short post today, because I’m preparing for this afternoon’s Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Reading. I haven’t talked about it on the blog much, but I’m writing my very first novel – a fantasy adventure for ages 10-14. And I was incredibly fortunate ... Read More  

feeling sick

I Have No Idea What Happened to the Last Two Weeks

Actually, that’s totally untrue. I know exactly what happened. 1) I had company 2) I finished the first draft of my novel 3) I spent a full day talking about forensics at a local junior/senior high 4) I researched ... Read More  

Egon Spengler

Top Ten Ways A Fantasy Writer Knows She’s Still a Science Geek

Never fear, science fans, I have several children’s nonfiction projects in the works. But I’ve also been working on my first high fantasy novel, for ages 10-14, and the process has got me thinking a lot about the intersection ... Read More  

cat on papers

Cats, Again, But Mine This Time

I think there is some kind of unspoken rule about writers and their cats, because an unusually high proportion of us seem to have them. Which means, at least in my case, sharing our workspaces with furry little dictators. ... Read More  

microwave popcorn banned

It’s Unclear Which of Us is Having More Fun

Tech Support is on the road this week (he fixes other people’s tech, too), and last night he sent me this picture from his hotel room: I’m still trying to suss out the reason for this policy. Is popcorn ... Read More  

research material for Gene Therapy

Tag, You’re It! My Writing Process Blog Tour

Yolanda Ridge, the lovely and talented author of Trouble in the Trees and Road Block, has tagged me in the My Writing Process Blog Tour. It’s only natural she picked on me, as I’m pretty sure we are twins ... Read More  

Inigo Montoya

Spelling Matters – Even in Science

When I was in grad school, I worked part time as a teaching assistant.  One semester, I gave my lab students a vocabulary quiz in the form of a crossword puzzle; they responded with unanimous outrage.  As one put ... Read More  

pile of papers on the floor

What I Wish I Was Doing Right Now

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k1aoLAMRMc   Instead, I’m up to my neck in revisions and photo research for my next project, I signed up for a web conference that I don’t have time to actually take, and my filing cabinet has exploded all ... Read More  

Jagular taking a nap

Please Send Naps

I have just submitted my second manuscript of the week and I’m completely knackered. Proper posting will resume on Saturday! Hope you’re all hanging in there. 🙂 Read More  

fuzzy dice

Frisky Foxes and Fuzzy Dice

My dad worked for the same company most of his adult life. He was good at his job, and enjoyed it until the last few years, when the priorities of said company began to change. By this time a ... Read More  


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