The Writer’s Life – in GIF form

According to people smarter than me, there are five stages of writing. Actually, I think there are eight, but that’s just me.

1. Prewriting

The muse whispers in your ear… “I have an idea!”

2. Drafting

And the muse is suddenly on vacation…

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The Editing Process (Animated)

Some days are not for editing

How Writers Can Help Nonprofits

donate buttonHow can I help?

I get asked this quest a lot. At least two to three times per week day. What can I do? How can I help?  Unfortunately, impulse usually stops at asking instead of acting. I’m not quite sure why that is, from my perspective it seems to be fear.

Most people don’t ask the question when the need is immediate, they just jump right in without worries about religious bent, political affiliation, sexuality, or any of the other ‘norms’ we discard people for. In an emergency we are all just human.

So, since other authors tend to ask me this question most, I have taken all my accumulated ‘wisdom’ and blogged about it over at Suzanne van Rooyen’s Off the Page.

Getting involved is actually quite simple.

Making a Difference is even easier.


Music in the Writing Process

music, fiction, writing tips, writing processIt’s always been my practice to have music playing while I write, but then again, there is always music playing in my home so that shouldn’t seem odd. For me, the written word, like a musical score, has a certain syncopation to it, a vibratory tone that underscores what you read as you read it.

Often my writing is described as lyrical, and this is something I (unknowingly) have striven for over the years as I put words down. The writing always had to not only sound right, but feel right too, and that feeling wasn’t just from word choice but from sentence & paragraph structure which lent itself to a vibratory undertone. [Read more…]

The Psychopath Test – Do Writers Fail?

writingI’m pretty sure most of you are familiar with the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). I actually have a copy on my shelf as a reference book.

The DSM comes in quite handy for writing (as well as for figuring out WTF is really wrong with your relatives.) As a writer, you already know that all your family members characters are listed in there somewhere. It is simply one of those must-have reference books you can’t be without.

But as a writer, the DSM is also a bit of a Pandora’s box. Really, I kid you not. Who else but a writer can get away with telling everyone they hear voices, and then spend months cooped up in a small room piled high with crumpled papers, cigarette smoke curling around your head?

Neatness hinders creativity you tell yourself, and this is a writer’s cave. Anything goes here. There are no rules except the sanctity of solitude, the smell of hot ink, and that goddamned two-foot high DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door, which must be obeyed. [Read more…]

On Writing: Beginning with the End

writing, fiction, the hookThe hook in music is the riff that captures the listener and pulls them into the song, the beat and the experience of the music. It’s what gets you humming the tune days later and what brings listeners back to the artist and the memories they experienced when that particular song was playing. It’s one of the things I love about music.

In writing it’s a little different, but no less important. Creating a hook is built on sentences, one leads to another, and another, and another. From my perspective, it’s more like a maze, the further a writer can get you into the maze, the harder it is for you to get out until you reach the end. [Read more…]