Thursday, February 25, 2010


Many times I've heard writers complain about how hard writing is. They don't want to do it, it's agonizing, they hate writing but like having written, they can't edit one more page or they'll stab themselves with a pen, etc. I don't get it.

I love writing. Why else would I do it? Sure, the stuff I write isn't always great, witty, or poetic, but I'm creating. I'm expressing myself. Many times after a short warm-up of writing lame, straight-to-the-trashcan rubbish, I fall into my groove and the good stuff starts to flow. Then that writers high kicks in, and--in my own mind--I'm a story Jedi and completely unstoppable. I love that feeling.

Maybe that's why I love dancing. The warm-up is usually mundane. I might be stiff, cranky, or stressed, but I know that once my body starts moving, the rush of adrenaline and endorphins will release and the music will transport me to a different world. That's pure bliss to me. If you really want to get me pumped, put me on a dance floor, throw on hip-hop or house music, and challenge me to a battle. Watch Miss Ballet/Lyrical/Contemporary Dancer throw rules and structure out the window and "take it to the streets."

Which brings me to my point about kickin' ass.

I know I'm not the next J.K. Rowling. If the literary world was a dance floor and she and I went head-to-head, she would show me up instantly. Does that mean I wouldn't step up and do MY thing? Heck no. I'd jump in there and throw down with my best stuff. BUT, I'd watch J.K., study her moves, shake her hand, bow humbly, and then go home and practice my own variation of her skills in the mirror. That's how we learn. Watch, study, practice, make it our own, and never stop filling our arsenal with knowledge, skill, and experience. It's a huge dance floor (the world of writing) there will always be someone bigger and better out there. It doesn't mean we should stop dancing (writing) or complain about how hard it is.

If you want to learn a lot about writing a strong MC, developing relationships between characters, and making rules of fantasy believable, go read Graceling by Kristin Cashore. (The photo is not the American cover--I think it's the UK--but I adore this version so I'm using it.) Graceling made me want to improve my craft and draw people into my stories the way Kristin did. Not to mention, Katsa (the MC) is the biggest bad ass I've seen in a long time. I'd love to see Katsa and Katniss from Hunger Games battle it out on a dance floor. It would be one heck of a showdown!

I'm not saying that every second of our writing careers will be easy or even fun, but it should be passionate. Even if you're passionately miserable about a character, or your plot, or your word count, that's still passion. Do something to pull yourself out of the funk. Read a great book, study the craft of your favorite author, write something totally different than the story you've been obsessing about for months. Switch it up. Have fun. Go challenge someone to a battle and learn from them. It will only make you better and stronger and you'll probably have a good time while doing it.

I'll close with some advice from Stephen King. If you won't listen to little ol' me I know you'll listen to a superstar like him:
"You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair--the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names...Come to it any way but lightly.
Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.
I'm not asking you to come reverently or unquestioningly; I'm not asking you to be politically correct or cast aside your sense of humor...This isn't a popularity contest, it's not the moral Olympics, and it's not church. But it's writing, damn it...If you can take it seriously we can do business. If you can't or won't, it's time for you to close the book and do something else."
~Stephen King, On Writing
I bet Stevie could throw down some wicked dance moves. ;)

Monday, February 22, 2010


On Saturday I shared ten anecdotes about me or my life. One was a lie. I have to admit I enjoyed reading all the guesses about which one was made up because most of you were WRONG. This means I am a convincing story teller. Now I can proceed with chasing my dream of being a fiction writer with confidence. Thanks folks.

If you didn't read my ramblings you should go check them out BEFORE you read my answers below. Seriously, some of them are pretty craptastic if I do say so myself. And if you read the answers without knowing the stories this post won't be very entertaining (or make much sense.)

Now, onto the not-so-big reveal.

The majority of you guessed #7 was a lie.
Poor Mrs. Smith eating the million dollar M&M.

Sadly, and I can't imagine how often she must think about it; it is TRUE. I can hear all of you gasping and sighing for her. Wherever she is I'm sure she appreciates the sympathy--and is still trying to erase the incident from her mind.

We'll knock out the rest of these bad boys in order:

1.) I write in all capital letters all the time.
TRUE! Crazy, and yes it may sound too time consuming, but it's just the way it is. I do sign my name (in cursive) with lowercase letters when it's absolutely necessary, but that's the only exception. If you receive a card or letter from me you're going to see KAREN printed in all caps with some sort of doodle or fancy line under it.

2.) Aussies and Brits are like coffee and chocolate to me.
TRUE. Duh. I mean how many posts and/or comments have I swooned over someone or something of the British or Australian variety?

3.) I elbowed a famous superstar choreographer.
A few of you were hoping this was true. Not so much the elbow part, but the getting to dance with Sonya Tayeh aspect of it. Sleep easy tonight. It's TRUE. She even agreed to take a photo with me after I accidentally assaulted her. PS: I also danced with Sabra (winner of season 3).
4.) I landed my first solo skydive perfectly with no radio assistance.
I could only find a photo of my tandem jump, but the AFF solo landing is TRUE. I even have my jump log with my instructor's comments to prove it. He wrote, "PERFECT LANDING with NO RADIO." I didn't even ask him to write in all caps.

5.) I blew my chance to possibly be on the first season of The Amazing Race.
*Head to desk* This one really stings because I just watched the newest episode last night. *Deep inwardly sigh*
It's TRUE. *Shakes fist at the sky* We don't need to say anything else about this. It's just too painful.

6.) I had such horrible hives that I looked like an alien.
Dumb. My own idiotic fault for overdosing on Aleve, but TRUE. Come on, they couldn't all be spectacularly shocking. I wish I had a photo though. You would either have nightmares or a great image for your next sci-fi/fantasy character.

7.) No photo, but let's all give one more sympathetic groan and head shake for Mrs. Smith. She wishes someone took a photo of her with that M&M, and a pic of the bag with the serial number. I wonder if she ever ate M&Ms again. I wouldn't. It would be too painful.

8.) I won $720 in one shot of roulette.
TRUE. I couldn't believe it either, but I swear it happened. My two girlfriends can confirm it. They were a tad jealous and in disbelief at first but we love telling the story.

9.) A house I almost bought was leveled by a hurricane months later.
Cleverly Inked was the only one to guess correctly. THIS IS A LIE. I didn't get the house, but that was only 4 years ago and thankfully, no major hurricanes have hit my area of Florida since I moved here (knock on wood). These are the kind of stories I create to make myself feel better when crappy or disappointing things happen to me. Speeding ticket? It happened because if I hadn't got the ticket, I would have caused a 10 car pile up and people would have been hurt and possibly died. Then I'd have to live with that guilt and agony all my life. Extreme? Yes. But it makes me feel better about paying the $200 ticket, not getting the house, etc.

10.) I hit on Elliot Sadler (NASCAR Driver)
TRUE. I think my mom still wonders what might have been if I didn't move away to Colorado and lose touch with him. Okay, maybe it's me that wonders what might have been. Wouldn't we have made beautiful NASCAR racing babies?

So there you have it.

Some of these events would have never happened if I had done one thing differently, or made a different choice, or chose another path, but that's how life is. Cause and effect. Synchrodestiny. Some good, some bad. You roll with the punches, you learn from the supposed mistakes or missed opportunities, and you hope that in the end there might be a happily ever after. Or, at the very least, that you'll be able to tell some damn good stories.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I never realized how craptastically cool my life has been until I started writing this post. A fiction writer with interesting stories to share. Who woulda thunk it?

This all started because Mireyah Wolfe gave me the "Creative Writer" award. Thanks Mireyah! I'm supposed to list 6 lies and 1 truth about myself.
But then, Keri Payton gave me the "Sugar Doll" award. Cheers Mate!
For this one, I'm supposed to share 10 things about myself that you may not know.

Since I'm a rule breaker, I am doing a mash-up of the two. I'm sharing 10 things about myself and only ONE of them is a lie. (Warning: This is long, but very interesting--if I do so say so myself.)

1.) I write in all capital letters all the time. I’ve done it since I was a kid--way before all caps meant screaming over the computer. I’ve done it for so long that if and when I try to write in lowercase, it looks like the handwriting of a five-year-old. Throughout all my years of schooling only one teacher ever said anything to me about it. She asked me to “write properly” but after I handed in two papers of awful childlike penmanship she told me I could go back to all caps.

2) Aussies and Brits are like coffee and chocolate to me. Meaning, I love them and can’t get enough of them. Hence why I follow so many folks from across the pond and down under. Maybe it’s the accent, or the similar yet oh-so-different culture and lifestyle, but I’m convinced that one day I will live in both places for a significant amount of time. Ideally, I’d be the next Bachelorette. ABC could film the beginning half in England, the end half in Australia. All men would be from those two countries--except for Reid Rosenthal. (He was on the last Bachelorette but didn’t “win.” He would be the American exception and receive a VIP invitation from me.)

3.) Two years ago I took a day of workshop dance classes with Sonya Tayeh (choreographer from So You Think You Can Dance) While performing one of Sonya’s awesome contemporary pieces, she walked behind me right as I was swinging my arms and head up—rather powerfully—from a bent over position. I elbowed her. Hard. I elbowed a famous superstar choreographer. Horrified, I stopped dancing and grabbed her, making sure she was okay. She just smiled, clapped her hands with the music and said, “Awesome! More power next time.” Oh how I love that woman.

4.) My first skydive was tandem (attached to an instructor). My second jump was AFF. Meaning instructors jump with you but once you pull your chute you’re on your own. They attach a radio to your chest so they can talk you through the landing. Not one word was uttered over my radio, so I figured I must be doing well. Somehow--probably because the good karma gods felt they owed me one--

I landed perfectly. Dead center of the drop zone. The Aussie owner of the school (another reason I love Aussies) looked impressed when I landed beside her. We both looked stunned when my instructors came running up, ripped my radio from my chest, and found out there were no batteries in it.

5.) Many years ago when I lived in Colorado Springs, I was sitting with a friend in a restaurant. A woman came up to us and asked if we wanted to audition for a new reality TV show where partner teams would race around the world. A huge crew was filming and interviewing people right there in the restaurant. I laughed and said no thank you. I pictured racing 10k marathons against Ironman pros. I can barely run 20 yards. Little did I know I blew my chance to be on the first season of what ended up as one of my favorite shows, The Amazing Race.

6.) Right before I was supposed to take a vacation, I came down with the flu. I didn’t want to cancel my trip but I needed to get on an airplane and survive a day of traveling so I started taking Aleve to help with the body aches, fever, etc. When it didn’t help I took more. And more. I think I took 8 or so in a 24 hour period. (In my defense I thought it was like Tylenol and never read the label. I know—dumbass.) The next morning I woke up COVERED in the most hideous, inflamed, oddly-shaped hives you’ve ever seen on a human. I looked like an alien. I was in tears and thought my skin would never return to normal. Luckily, the hives went away, but I haven’t taken Aleve since.

7.) In high school, my keyboarding (aka typing) teacher was eating a bag of M&Ms and commented on how strange one of them looked. “They forgot to dye it,” she said. It was a gray M&M. I know because I saw it with my own eyes. (My station was two seats away from her desk.) A couple weeks later she found out M&Ms was having a "find the gray M&M and win a million dollars" contest. She had eaten one of the winning M&Ms. She called, she cried, she begged, but no. You had to have proof and the wrapper with the serial # from the winning bag. Poor, Mrs. Smith.

8.) During my bartending days one of my regular customers gave me a $20 bill to gamble with while I was in Vegas. He said I had to bet it all at once and I could only bet on #22 black at the roulette table (Casablanca, baby.) I’d never played roulette and I forgot about my promise during my few days with my girlfriends. Driving back to LA we stopped to eat at a ghetto looking casino miles out of Vegas. After we ate I remembered my promise, walked up to an empty roulette table and put down the $20. I won. $720 in one shot. Just like that. Still, to this day, it’s the only time I’ve played roulette.

9.) The first house I ever made an offer on was adorable. I fell in love the moment I walked through the door and made an offer. The sellers accepted, but due to a series of financing issues and repairs that needed to be done I ended up having to walk away from the deal. Less than 6 months later the house was practically leveled to the ground by a hurricane. The new owners were okay because they evacuated, but a lot of their stuff was lost or destroyed. And people wonder why “everything happens for a reason” is my life motto.

10.) I hit on Elliot Sadler (NASCAR Driver) at a Winston Cup Preview while he was signing autographs. We had taken a photo together months earlier at one of the races. I handed it to him and said, “Don’t we make a cute couple?” He said yes and flirty banter ensued. He took my phone number and called me that same night. (And many times after that). I was eighteen and still living at home back then and I remember my mom freaking out with excitement every time he called the house. Unfortunately, right around that time I moved to Colorado and our communication faded off shortly thereafter. Ah, Elliot, I do miss you.

See, not too shabby huh? And only ONE of those is a lie. Can you guess which one it is?

I'd like to pass along this award to a few people that I think should have more "followers". These people post some great stuff and it saddens me to think many of my blogging friends are missing out because they haven't discovered their blog yet. You all get both awards because I think the 9 facts and 1 lie is a fun version. Participate if you want, but don't feel obligated. I know this blog award stuff can take up a lot of time and we're all crazy busy as it is.) So, go check out the following folks...

Marie Devers
Derek Whisman
Jessie Oliveros
Kelly Lyman
Just Another Sarah
Kasie West

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I was raised on Disney. I love Ariel and Prince Eric. However, my WIP involving merfolk and other various sea creatures requires a disclaimer: THIS AIN’T THE LITTLE MERMAID.

In the words of one of my beloved betas, “This is definitely older YA,” and “Wow, this is pretty dark.”

I nod and agree. If my story ever gets published it is NOT a bedtime tale mothers will read to their children. It’s the kind of book mothers will hide or put on a very high shelf with hopes their children never find it. Then they’ll secretly wish their significant other was a blue-haired merman who…well, never-mind. You’ll have to wait and read the story.

I don’t know how or why my story is turning out so taboo, sultry, and menacing. The singing characters and happy endings of Disney stories are my usual ideal world, but I’m swimming outside of my comfort zone with this one. I’m way out past the breakers. The lifeguards tried blowing their whistles and waving me in but I didn’t listen. Sharks are swarming around me but I just smile—rather seductively—and keep paddling. (I have to use ocean analogies for obvious reasons.)

Many days I read through my pages and wonder, “What will people think? What will MY MOTHER say when she reads this!” Then I remind myself that The Kindrily was my happy, magical, light-filled, feel-good novel. My sea creature story is, well, different. And I’m okay with that.

As I said in my Libba Bray post, I’m breaking a lot of rules with this story. Taking a risk with multiple POVs, straddling the line between YA and adult, and rewriting mythology with new--and sometimes complicated--rules may put the nail in my hope-to-get-published coffin. But in the words of one of my favorite singers, Ani Difranco (with one line altered to fit the writing world—and be less raunchy)

I'm going to do my best swan dive

into shark-infested waters

I'm gonna slice open my writer vein

and just start splashing around.

'Cuz I don't care if they eat me alive

I've got better things to do than survive.

See, kinda dark. I wasn’t kidding about that disclaimer.

So, what do you think? Would you be open to reading a new-twist-on-mermaids story? If you knew there were no talking fish and singing lobsters? If you were forewarned that you might cringe between the smiling and blushing moments, would it still interest you?

More importantly, if this was your story, would you care what others thought, or would you write the story anyway--darkness, craziness, rule-breaking and all?

Monday, February 8, 2010


It's Loveapalooza week on my blog so I thought I'd share some things I'm loving right now...

Who dat! I must say Drew Brees is a stand up guy. Quite literally a saint in more ways than one. As soon as the Ravens were no longer Superbowl contenders, I was on the Saints bandwagon. I teared up at the end of the game. What a great spirit lifter for New Orleans and all of Louisiana.

We all need to feed our dark side every now and then. What better way than Reeses dark chocolate peanut butter cups. I didn't even know they made these until I was running out to get cold medicine Sat night, and my roomie asked if I'd check to see if they had these in stock. They did. So of course I had to try them, and oooohhh yum. They are sinister bites of heaven.

Okay he doesn't really consider his look "Steampunk" persay, in his words it's "more of an abstract 19th century cargo cult." The guy is a genius costume designer (and totally gorgeous I may add.) And I would LOVE to dress up in my best 19th century garb, tighten my bodice, dust off my parasol, and head out for a night in London with him.

I want to give thanks to author, Lisa Mantchev for tweeting his pic yesterday.

I also want to say that I'm loving the quotes, song lyrics, and crushes people have posted over at my LOVEAPALOOZA kick-off post. Click here to check it out and post your own favs, or enter to win lovey-dovey prizes.

So far I have already given a bonus entry to Heather for listing Jim Halpert from THE OFFICE as her crush. I love, love, love him and all the great facial expression he makes.

AND, Kristi Faith got a bonus entry for crushing on Edward Norton. Too many good movies to list, but come on, what a freakin' stud!

What about you? Did anyone fall in love over the weekend or just wanna mention someone or something that's put a bounce in their step or a twinkle in their eye lately?


Friday, February 5, 2010


Love. Ain't it grand?
Since it's almost Valentine's Day I'm holding a LOVEAPALOOZA blog festival, and you're all invited!

I'm giving away some prizes because I reached 200 followers last week, so why not make all the prizes LOVE themed. Because, you know, I have lots of love for my supporters (not followers--supporters.)
Very late at night (EST) on February 14th I will pick 3 random winners to be my blogger valentines. Here are the lovey-dovey giveaways.
1.) Kristin Walker's new YA novel
When a m andatory course forces Fiona to “try the knot” with super-jock Todd Harding, she’s convinced life could not possibly get any worse. Until moments later, when her long-time crush is paired with her arch-enemy (otherwise known as Todd’s obscenely hot, slightly sadistic girlfriend). But that’s nothing compared to her best friend’s fate – a year with the very shy, very goofy, very big Johnny Mercer.

A series of hilarious pranks and misunderstandings leave Fiona wondering: is there something her supposed “best friend” hasn’t told her? Could there be more to Johnny Mercer than a deep voice and an awesome music collection? And perhaps most intriguing of all, is it possible that Todd Harding could actually have a heart – and a brain – beneath his pretty-boy exterior?

2.) IF...(Questions for the Game of Love)
If you could have anyone in the world say one romantic thing to you, what would it be, and who would utter it? If you had to select the sexiest word in the English language, what would you pick? If you could make love only one day of the year, which day would you choose? If you had to name the most humiliating moment you have had involving a lover, what would you say? If you had to define love in a few simple words - o r actions - how would you do it? These questions and many more are asked in this fun Love edition of the famous thought-provoking IF series.

3.) Titania's Spell Cards for LOVE & SUCCESS
These spell cards are designed to bring a little magic into the user's life. Each box contains 64 cards, each with a magic Wishing Spell to help enhance the user's life. The spells ensure charms and ceremonies that help to find and keep love, success, wealth and happiness.

S...because the winners will be my VIP valentines, a heart shaped box of yummy chocolates will be included with each prize.

Here's how you can enter to win.

~ Sign up in the Mister Linky box below to show you're rockin' the love during Loveapalooza. (+1 entry)
~ Post a favorite love quote, song lyric, or pick up line in the comments section (cheesy pick up lines DO count. (+2 entries)
~ Share the name of your swoon-worthy crush. Imaginary, celebrity or real life. (+2 entries)
~ If your crush is Reid Rosenthal, Michael Buble', Jason Statham, Channing Tatum, Gale, or Peeta, you get chances taken away because I don't like competition. (-2 entries)
~ Mention Loveapalooza with a link on your blog or website. Be sure to tell me with a comment.(+3 entries)
~ Tweet about Loveapalooza and include this link...
Be sure to put @KindrilyKaren in your tweet so I can see you spreading the love through the Twitterverse. (+3 entries)
PS...I love you, (great movie) BUT you have to be a "supporter" to get entries.

because I have so much love for my Australian, British, Canadian, and other non-American friends, I am happy to send the prizes anywhere in the world. Or if you're an international winner you can opt to receive an Amazon gift certificate emailed to you. Your choice.

So, to properly kick off Loveapalooza here is one of my all time favorite love quotes...
"Love is passion, obsession, someone you can't live without. If you don't start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say find someone you can love like crazy and who'll love you the same way back. And how do you find him? Forget your head and listen to your heart. I'm not hearing any heart. Run the risk, if you get hurt, you'll come back. Because, the truth is there is no sense living your life without this. To make the journe y and not fall deeply in love - well, you haven't lived a life at all. You have to try. Because if you haven't tried, you haven't lived." ~William Parrish, Meet Joe Black

SHOT DOWN! I originally planned to have everyone post favorite love scenes on 2/14, but then I found out there's a Love at First Sight blogfest going on that day.
Cupid says no blogfest battles allowed, so I'll limit mine to comments and giveaways.

Add your name to the list to be entered for prizes. Happy Loveapalooza!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Libba Bray was the opening speaker at SCBWI in NYC last weekend. She discussed writing as an extreme sport, which was right up my alley since I love skydiving. I even love turbulence during airplane rides (just ask Megan Rebekah about our rough flight into La Guardia airport.) I love adrenaline rushes. And I loved Libba's speech because she challenged all of us to join her in the year of writing dangerously.

I accepted her challenge because I've already started writing dangerously with my current WIP. I thought I was breaking rules in a bad way, but Libba made me feel better about my rebelliousness. Here's why:

1.) I have multiple POVs in first person.
This should be a huge no-no, but my writing group says it's working.
Plus, Libba said, know your characters from every angle.
So why shouldn't the reader know them that way too?

2.) I'm writing Fantasy YA (the most over-saturated of the genres right now).
But Libba said, write YOUR story and ignore the trends.
MY story is a fantasy. I have to be true to that. No matter how many other writers I'll be up against in the query wars.

3.) I'm creating some characters and scenarios that don't feel safe.
Libba said, go places other than your first instinct.
Just because I believe in the golden rule and doing the right thing, doesn't mean my characters have to. Their world of scandals and taboo isn't a reflection on me as a person.

4.) I'm pushing myself to the limits this month (the shortest month of the year) by making it my goal to finish my first draft.
Libba said, don't blink.
Between creating new scenes, editing old ones, and trying to find the right balance of dialogue, descriptions, action, etc, I feel like I don't have time to blink. The herbal teas and flavored coffee are helping, but there aren't enough hours in the day. Still, I'm going to give it all I got.

5.) I'm becoming way too emotionally invested in my story.
But Libba said, Write with your heart and soul.

I never thought I could love any characters as much as I love my crew from The Kindrily, but I cried yesterday (twice) while editing some of my sea creature scenes. I think that's proof that I left my heart and soul in those pages.

The thing about writing is there are no guarantees. We spend hours days, months, even years creating our stories with hopes that some day, other people in the world will read them and love them as much as we do. Those of us that are educated about the world of writing know the odds of getting published--especially in this economy--are slim to none.

But we take the risk anyway.

If I had known how hard it was to get a book published, I may have never written my first novel. If I had known about writing dreaded queries, how much rejection I'd have to endure, how much learning I'd have to do, how hard I'd have to work to improve my craft, I may have never took that first leap. But, as with many things in my life, I jumped into writing a novel blindly. And once I felt that rush, the joy, the exhilaration, of creating and telling a story, I was addicted.

Libba quoted Ray Bradbury during her speech and I have to quote him too because I couldn't agree more.
"First you jump off the cliff, then you build the wings."
I'm still building my wings, but I couldn't imagine never having jumped.

So, my fellow risk-takers (aka writers), are you up for the challenge of participating in the year of writing dangerously? Are you breaking rules or playing it safe?

Monday, February 1, 2010

SCBWI NY Conference Recap

I am back from a weekend in NYC at the SCBWI conference. It still seems like we were ARRIVING yesterday. Now it's already over and I'm back home.

As you all know I attended with my fabulous writing group, (Left to right: Me, Natalie Bahm, Megan Rebekah, and Marie Devers.) Megan and I had met once before (since we're both from FL) but this was the first time the rest of us had met in person. We all shared a hotel room and made a girls weekend of it. We had a blast. Ever since I attended the Pikes Peak Writers conference last April, I have been a firm believer in conferences. I am also a firm believer in finding a really GREAT and supportive writing group. I had the best of both worlds over the weekend.

I'm not going to post about what the keynote speakers or workshop leaders discussed because SCBWI has a whole blog dedicated to the conference and you can easily go there to find MANY informative posts about anything and everything that went on during the conference. Click here to go to their blog.

I only had a cell phone camera so my photos are blurry but Natalie took some great ones, so once she sends them over I will be sure to post one or two. (We all will.) In the meantime, here are a few poor quality ones...Agent panel. (George Nicholson- Sterling and Lord Literistic, Rosemary Stimola- Stimola Literary Studio, and Tina Wexler- ICM)

Jim Benton (creator of MANY amazing animated characters including Happy Bunny)

Libba Bray (author) on Writing as an Extreme Sport.

Jane Yolen (author) discussing 20 great rules of writing.

I learned a lot over the two lightning-fast days of speakers and workshops, but here's what I think it all boils down to:

1.) WRITE. -That's the big secret. Write a damn good story. Start with that or there's no point in learning the rest of it. Write because you love it. (If you hate it, stop doing it.) Write so that your craft improves. Write to expand your imagination. Write. Period.

2.) A GREAT WRITING GROUP. -I don't know what the secret is to finding a great one. Maybe I just got really lucky. But finding/having a group of people you connect with, trust, share with, and learn from, is VITAL. (Becoming great friends is an added bonus.)

That's it.
I think those are the two most important factors in this crazy, wonderful, seemingly impossible, lovely, frustrating, heart-wrenching, roller coast ride, of a writer's life. Just make sure to do #1 and have #2, and I'm pretty sure the rest will follow.

Popular Posts


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Blog Archive

Write. Read. Imagine. Create. Learn. Love. Live. Repeat.