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Category Archive for: ‘Writing Tips’

Grief and the Writer

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We grieve over many things in our lives:  Loss of loved ones through death or divorce, loss of opportunities, loss of health, of youth, of hope . . .   Greif is dangerous ground for a writer.  We spend too much time in our heads thinking “what if?” All our emotions gather there as well. In fact, as storytellers, emotions …

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Three Things I Learned from Kathryn Falk, Lady Barrow and Founder of RT Magazine

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May 18, 2018   What a great date, especially for big changes!   The rumors are true.  This will be the last RT Booklovers’ Convention. Kathryn Falk will go on to many other things. The woman  has a range of interests and big ideas are always percolating away inside her. Tonight, I’ve been asked to speak on what Kathryn has …

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Once More with Gusto—Organizing the Writer

I’m desperate to get myself organized. Yes, this stuff is usually reserved for January and a new year but I’m preparing to move from my wonderful Richmond to Austin. Big changes are coming. (I’ll share more info as I go along) and I know if I don’t reset my goals and focus, I will get nothing done over these next …

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Lessons I’ve Learned Along the Way

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I started seriously writing in 1991. This coming May 2016, I will have been at this profession for twenty-five years. That’s a good milestone. So, here are a few things I’ve learned over the years. I’ll add more as I consider them:   No one will believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. Few of us are asked …

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Alan Alda, Dead Cats, and Making Story Matter

I heard Alan Alda speak last Saturday night. He was charming and fun.  He grew up in Vaudeville and knows how to tell a story.  What I wasn’t expecting was a bit of plot development insight. Referring to Aristotle’s observation that a story has “a beginning, a middle, and an end,” he observed that so does a dead cat.   …

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Maxwell’s Thoughts About Endings—

  I received a request for  general rules on how to end a good, loving story. Or any story for that matter. Although I HATE writing rules, here are my thoughts.   Good endings wrap up loose ends. All questions should be answered.  When I start your book, you and I have a pact: I’ll read to the end; you’ll tie …

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Book Report: CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT? “A Memoir “ by Roz Chast

            I have an aged parent.  I’ve also been losing aged parents that I love very much for the past several years.             Worse:  I’m turning into an aged parent, and I don’t know how I feel about that. My goal is to live my life fully—but, you know, I’m slowing down.  Fortunately my sense of …

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The Men on Romance Covers . . . Yes, They are Real

“That is Paul Marron in your cover art,” she said holding up the inside cover illustration from IN THE HIGHLANDER’S BED—and that is how I was introduced to Sheree or, as she is better known on FB, S G-s Tieh. I love meeting people when I travel for events.  I adore my fellow romance readers.  We come from all walks …

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Being Grateful for My Dreams

 I’m reading a lyrical, insightful book right now by the educator and poet Parker J. Palmer titled LET YOUR LIFE SPEAK: Listening to the Voice of Vocation.             Yeah, I know, that sounds heavy but it is actually a wonderful read during this Season of Gratitude when we take stock of the year we’ve lived.  What did we do right?  …

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Writing Talk–Yes, There is a Way to Make This Easier

            I am a fan of Angela Hunt’s books on writing.  They are practical, clever ways of understanding how fiction works and how to speed up writing. Angela and I met once through our mutual friend Robin Lee Hatcher.  It was one of those chance meetings in the hotel hallways at a writers’ convention.  After …

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"The Books You Love To Read. Three time winner of the Historical Love and Laughter award" - Cathy Maxwell