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Category Archive for: ‘Writing Tips’

Once More with Gusto—Organizing the Writer

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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

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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—

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  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

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            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

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“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

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 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

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            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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Smut?

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    A new friend told me she had read one of my books.  Her compliment?  “You write good smut, woman.” I smiled.  I’ve heard this before from people who believe they are being clever or just have no idea what they are saying about themselves.  They think they are talking about me. “We call it sex, not smut,” I replied …

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Living With Intention

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I need more time, but I find that my life doesn’t work so well when I farm stuff out—and that is true whether it is house cleaning or writing. I seem to need “hands on” time.  When I turn tasks, from the meaningful to mundane, over to other people, I lose touch with what I value. Sounds strange, doesn’t it?  …

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