A Blast from the Past: D.L. Finn Reviews Mystery Heir #bookreview #cozymystery

Ciao, amici! This has been a time of surprises for me. I woke up today and saw that my very first novel was found, read, and given a glowing assessment by prolific reviewer D.L. Finn. I admit, I’m behind in everything. (I’ll explain why in a couple of weeks.) But even if I wasn’t, IContinue reading “A Blast from the Past: D.L. Finn Reviews Mystery Heir #bookreview #cozymystery”

When I Knew I Was a Writer

I am participating in the ‘Writing Contest: You Are A Writer’ held by Positive Writer. Here is my entry: When I Knew I Was a Writer I used to distinguish between the words “writer” and “author.” You see, I’ve been a professional writer since before I graduated college, and a writer since I knew how to write. AuthorsContinue reading “When I Knew I Was a Writer”

How to Best Spend your Summer Vacation

Hi everyone! For those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook (links can be found by clicking the words or in the side panel), you’ll have noticed that I was silent this past week. Sorry for the disappearance, but I was on vacation. Usually we go to the beach. We’ve been to plentyContinue reading “How to Best Spend your Summer Vacation”

This Italian’s Guide to St. Nicholas Day

Yesterday was the first day of the Advent Season. We lit the first purple candle on our advent wreath, sang verses one and two of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel at Mass, and have already finished decorating our home for Christmas. That is, after all, what the Advent Season, is all about. It’s the preparationContinue reading “This Italian’s Guide to St. Nicholas Day”

How Dr. Seuss Can Improve Your Writing

When I was a kid, I loved Dr. Seuss. I liked everything he wrote, but my favorite was Fox in Socks. I’ve always been a sucker for tongue twisters, and that fox really had a few zingers. There are still a couple I stumble over. When I became a parent, I read his collection toContinue reading “How Dr. Seuss Can Improve Your Writing”

Five Ways to Avoid Ruining Your Scene Descriptions

When you write, you’ve got main characters, secondary characters, minor characters and villains. Many people contend that the setting can become a character in its own right, and in certain situations, a well-written setting can take on a life of its own. But there are mistakes to avoid with settings so they aren’t handled poorly.Continue reading “Five Ways to Avoid Ruining Your Scene Descriptions”

Five Ways to Write a Successful Villain

So we’ve been covering how to write successful characters, and we’ve talked about heroes and heroines. Those protagonists can be tricky, but I think we have a handle on it. Now we press forward to those pesky villains. Sure, everyone is picturing twirling mustaches and swirling capes, or creepy smiles and smeared make-ups, but itContinue reading “Five Ways to Write a Successful Villain”

45th Annual Ozark Creative Writers Conference

I spent the weekend in Eureka Springs, Arkansas learning about writing, publishing, and platforming at a fabulous writers conference put on by Ozark Creative Writers. This was their forty-fifth annual conference, and while it was my first time in attendance, I can’t imagine they’d ever put on a better one. Thursday evening began with PresidentContinue reading “45th Annual Ozark Creative Writers Conference”

Five Ways to Write a Successful Hero

My in-laws are here this week. In fact, they came a day early. I was woefully unprepared. There was no food in the house. I was in the middle of cleaning. Their bed sheets weren’t even on the bed yet. I was wearing my housecleaning clothes: sweat shorts and a ripped and stained oversized T-shirtContinue reading “Five Ways to Write a Successful Hero”

How to Build a Better Story

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Shakespeare wrote that in As You like It. If that’s truly the case, then stories themselves are houses. Let me explain. Consider the framework for a simple A-frame house. It’s got four walls and a pitched roof. The structure of the story,Continue reading “How to Build a Better Story”