10 Great Reasons to Read

  Last Sunday I was chatting with one of my readers about The Slow Trail Home. She pulled out this bookmark that listed ten reasons to read. She wanted me to have it, she said, because, for her, reading my stories fulfilled a good portion of the reasons listed. She specifically mentioned #1, #2, #4, […]

Fresh Input for More Output

By the time I finally get a book published, I’m tired of writing. All writing (which unfortunately includes blog posts, hence my irregular updates here). No, after dumping 150,000+ words out of my head, what I want and need is input. So about a month ago I started devouring fresh books. At first it was […]

Improving Your Story’s Setting with Maps

When it comes to bringing a sense of authenticity to your writing, it’s the little things that matter. Most writers keep meticulous notes on their characters. However, we’re not always so good about noting those little things that make for an interesting setting description. Keeping track of where your characters are physically through the use […]

Slogging Through the Slough of Editing

The Slow Trail Home is nearly at the end of its editing journey. My editor returned the final manuscript to me last Sunday and I’ve spent the past week drowning in (virtual) red ink as I work my way slowly through her edits. What exactly is copy editing? Copy editing is the final step of […]

4 Good Reasons for Writing Fanfic

Many people look down on fan fiction (or fanfic) as the scribblings of wanna-be writers, of those who don’t have the creativity to come up with their own ideas. Here are four reasons why writing fanfic is actually a good thing. 1. Writing Fanfic is Less Overwhelming. It’s a bit like having training wheels when […]

Music for writing: My top ten playlists

For me, silence isn’t golden. I need music for writing. I need music to distract that part of my brain that wants to ping everywhere but on my writing. But I’ve found over the years that only some types are music for writing. No words allowed A song’s lyrics usually distract me from the words […]

Research Rant

I pride myself on making my novels as factually accurate as possible (though sometimes I know the facts but end up switching them around a bit to better suit the story). Towards that end, I recently read Empire of Shadows, which covers the early exploration of Yellowstone (before it became a National Park). Not because […]


Funny how things come together from vastly different sources when God is trying to get a point across to you. This morning, in response to a friend’s post on Facebook, I went looking for the “Make Good Art” comic I’d seen a while back. Which of course led me to Neil Gaiman’s amazing 2012 keynote […]

An Author Needs Thick Skin.

I just got home from an ultra-long drive (12+ hours from Vermont this morning) and am physically and emotionally exhausted. I really needed a pick-me-up. But the first thing I was greeted by on Amazon was not 1 but 3 awful book reviews. They were all from the same person, who admitted she hadn’t even […]