Category Archive for: ‘Writing Tips’



    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

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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A Few Thoughts on Writing from Tucson

Sitting in Tucson, waiting to return to wintry Virginia. Got lots going through my mind. . . . the festival was packed with readers and the most incredible authors in the business. I was able to cement old friendships and develop new.  Here is what I gleaned from the event:   –  Social media is becoming more defined.  It is …

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Best Of Intentions


I just purchased new pans. Tuesday Morning was having a sale. I did some research, picked them up for a good price, and—hoo boy. Now that I have pans, I MUST cook, right? Or am I once more being caught up in my best intentions? This is a dangerous question for me. I have more visions of what I want …

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The Three Most Important Elements to a Successful Story

  And, no, I am not going to say “character, character, character,” although character is one of them.  Compelling characters—people we feel we must understand—can send a mediocre plot into the stratosphere.  A fascinating character, one with depth and true complexities, can drive me into a story and I’ll never let go until the last word. The second element?  A …

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Taking Action to Your Dreams

 “Faith without action is only hope.” There is a quote to hit you right between the eyes.  A friend said it to me the other night and since then I’ve been turning the implications of his words around in my mind. Almost every day someone will tell me he or she wants to write.  They hope to publish a book. …

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A Writer’s Imagination


What is it?  Something few people have.  You think everyone has it because you do—but they don’t.  Millions of people love stories.  Thousands long to write them.  But they won’t, because they lack that one quality that separates the writer from everyone else, that pesky imagination. Writers don’t think of stories like everyone else.  We instantly see the ropes and …

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In January, I pick a word for the year. This is a practice of my friend Felicia Mason, one of the most dynamic women, and writers, I know.  She says focusing on one powerful word can lead to unexpected results.  She’s right. Last year, my word was Passion.  I strove to put passion into every facet of my life.  No, …

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Clawing Out Time to Write


I am one of the most disorganized people in the world.  I get alot done, but often with the smoothness of Taz, the Tasmanian Devil. My largest challenge is guarding my “writing” time.  This isn’t just time I spend in my office, but time I use to put words on paper. Years ago, I started writing from four a.m. until …

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The REAL Cathy Maxwell


My friend Tim Jungr always introduces the last speaker at WRW’s Writer’s Retreat.  It’s a tradition that has become one of my favorite parts of the conference.  He’s witty and wise, a fabulous writer (three Golden Heart nominations).  This year I was the speaker he introduced and he made me laugh so hard tears came to my eyes.  I asked …

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