90,000 Words Later – What I learned from writing a fantasy novel . . .

Recently, I finished drafting, revising, and editing my manuscript for The Witch's Uprising, a medieval-inspired fantasy for teens, young adults, and adults. It took me more time than I wanted, but it was worth every bit of effort. At 90,000 words, my manuscript is longer than I originally planned. I'm proud to say that I've finished something of this magnitude, and I hope it will be one of many projects in years to come. . .

Are you already prepping for NaNoWriMo? My thoughts – Please share yours!

As I research and study several avenues of self-publication, online publication, and author-related social media, I notice that I often daydream about writing new pieces outside of my mainline series. It would be nice to draft a quick 50,000 word novel, if only to have fun writing with others. I'd like to reconnect with the joy of cooking something from scratch / partially prepped. Here are my questions to you: -Are you thinking of participating in NaNoWriMo? -Are you already prepping for November? -Are you working on something else?   Share your thoughts in any case! I WANT TO KNOW.

“Just writing” – How a summer of writing is teaching me to do life better

This is one of a series of posts for my writing challenge, Minutes to a Better Book. You can read more about the challenge, and see all related posts here.       I Wrote an average of 2.5-3 hours a day, for ten days... I've reached the 30-hour milestone for writing my books. I'm happy with the … Continue reading “Just writing” – How a summer of writing is teaching me to do life better

How would ______ do this? Three more questions to ask yourself when experiencing a creative block. . .

I knew I had an idea . . . I knew it was great, but where did it go? The blank screen had no answer for me, and only the sound of my cat meowing filled the air. What happened to that shiny object I was chasing? Luckily, I had an answer. This is the … Continue reading How would ______ do this? Three more questions to ask yourself when experiencing a creative block. . .

Where is the most dangerous place for your characters to go? – Eight questions for building fictional worlds.

Building Fictional Worlds Part I: Setting and Characterization When building a fictional setting, the connection between your characters and the world they live could make or break the believability of your creations. Deepening the connection between the landscape and your characters is therefore very important.

Are you depleted of ideas, or do you just need to re-energize? Three questions to ask yourself when experiencing a creative block.

It was Saturday morning, and I stared at a half-written scene in the all-to-familiar agony of writer's block. My usual urge to craft a scene had left me, and my cat, Horton, made a bed of my forearms. The time had finally come to do something else.

A Lightning Storm in My Brain – Navy SEALS, Dark Magic, Middle School, and a Secret Worth Sharing

On my way to work, the sun is rising, I look across a snowy field, and a flock of birds scatters into the air like flakes of debris from a campfire.  I hear a navy SEAL sternly recount the horrors of war. He talks about discipline in everyday life, and I absorb his words through my headphones.

How One Children’s Fantasy Book Inspired Me to Rethink My Artistic Process…

Lyra’s Oxford Philip Pullman published his trilogy, His Dark Materials in 1995.  The three main books in the series included: Northern Lights (The Golden Compass in the U.S.) The Amber Spyglass The Subtle Knife Lyra’s Oxford is a companion novel to the set, along with Once Upon a Time in the North. When I was … Continue reading How One Children’s Fantasy Book Inspired Me to Rethink My Artistic Process…

Saturday Writing Session # 2 – Take-aways from five hours of writing

For those of you who don't know, I'm a middle school teacher who is also trying to write a twelve-book fantasy saga in my spare time. It's the most amazing job in the world, as I get to work with children and their writing. To do my job correctly, I need to be efficient and … Continue reading Saturday Writing Session # 2 – Take-aways from five hours of writing