Are You In Control?

I wouldn’t call myself a control freak, but I like to know what’s going to happen next: I plan ahead. keep lists, write appointments and events on a calendar that I check often, and I would rather “do it myself” than delegate jobs. Whenever I hear or read advice on … Continue reading

A Lost Voice

Last week a unique voice died. Actually, each of us has a unique voice, but writers often hear that agents and editors are looking for a “new” voice, or that it’s “voice” they’re interested. I’m never quite sure what that means, and I’m not sure they know, either. What I … Continue reading

Be Happy!

Last year at this time I wrote a blog about not putting off what you really want to do.  My 2015 blog: Just Do It That advice is as good this year as it was December 30, 2015. Lately all I’ve been hearing is news about another actor/singer/writer/sports person/politician/friend who has … Continue reading

Disappointment

I’ve seen several discussions regarding writers losing the initial excitement they had when they started writing. Some of that loss, I believe, is due to reality replacing the anticipated results of being published; i.e., our book hitting best seller charts, awards, TV and radio interviews, instant recognition. On December 8, 2016,I … Continue reading

Editing: Are you Right Brain or Left Brain?

Recently I attended a Mid-Michigan RWA Chapter meeting where the program was on editing. The speaker, Dr. Diana Stout, MFA PhD, is one of MMRWA’s members and besides being a writer has taught college English for several years. During the meeting, she covered punctuation from comma rules to words to … Continue reading

Publishing Then and Now

A few weeks ago Barbara Vortman posted a comment on my blog. She said, “I remember when your first book was published. Can you tell us how marketing has changed since then and how you adapted? I have never been a self-promoter and I detest the job. My novel will … Continue reading

5 Decision Points

It would be so nice if all a writer needed to do was write. But, of course, life isn’t that easy. On September 20th I had surgery on the middle finger of my right hand (and yes, I’m right handed), which resulted in a week of one-finger typing and some … Continue reading

The Agony of Defeat

I want to continue my comparison of athletes to writers. Both athletes and writers enter competitions (the Olympics or other athletic contests for the athlete and writing contests or efforts to have a book published for the writer). Both enter with their best (best conditioning, best routine, or best manuscript). … Continue reading

Practice, Practice, Practice

I’ve been watching the Olympics, and I realized there are a lot of similarities between a successful athlete and a successful writer. Athletes who want to compete at the highest level practice. Most do this daily or almost daily. They don’t let illness stop them or family events. Because they … Continue reading

A Cure for the Dumps

Friday I’m heading for the Bay Pointe Inn on the banks of Michigan’s beautiful Gun Lake. My husband grew up in this area, so over the years we’ve often visited Gun Lake. We used to drive up for Sunday brunch at the original Bay Pointe Inn, before they tore it … Continue reading

Keeping Track of Writing Time

I’m sorry I missed last week’s blog, but a call from my brother-in-law had us hurrying to close up the place in Florida and head north. We didn’t make it in time to see my mother-in-law before she passed, but we did make the visitation and funeral. Now that the … Continue reading

Just Do It!

Do you have something you’d really like to accomplish? Some place to visit? A certain book to write? A painting to paint? Person to see again? Skill to learn? This past year has really pointed out to me how important it is for a person to—as the Nike slogan says—Just … Continue reading

The Holidays and Writing

I don’t know about others, but I’ve always found December to be a difficult time to be a writer. Holiday parties, luncheons, dinners, and family gatherings can mess up a writing schedule. There’s gift buying, cards to be written, mailed, received, and read. When my children were young, my writing … Continue reading

Social Media Burnout

On one of the on-line groups I belong to the discussion has been about blogs (Are they worth the time and effort? Do they help sales?), and commenting on blogs. (Are you being rude if you don’t comment or does it matter?) The topic has also included other social media … Continue reading

What is Good?

“Good writing is like a windowpane.”                               George Orwell I have reached a point where I hate to give reviews or critiques. I read a book or a manuscript, and I love it. Someone else comes … Continue reading

Z is for Zenith

Zenith is the made up name for the town in my P.J. Benson mysteries. Why Zenith? The answer to that is easy. When I started the first book in that series, I was living just outside of Climax, Michigan. In The Crows I wrote about what I knew. But I … Continue reading

Y is for Youth

Okay, I’m getting old. That or they’re starting to hire news reporters, financial advisors, and doctors straight out of grammar school. I don’t think of myself as old, but whenever I look in the mirror, there’s this old lady who reminds me of my mother who keeps looking back at … Continue reading

X is for …?

What can I come up with for X? X-ray, Xanadu, X chromosome, xebec (that’s a 3-masted sailing ship), xylem, Xena… My dictionary devotes barely a page and a third to X words. I have some Xanax in my medicine closet. I use it occasionally to help me sleep when ideas start bouncing … Continue reading