My Book Review on the SCBWI-MI Blog

Greetings all,

Hope you’re enjoying the lovely spring weather!

I’m pleased to announce that a book review I wrote has been posted on the SCBWI-MI blog, The Mitten.  I was asked to submit a review of the book Wired for Story by Lisa Cron after giving it 5 stars on Goodreads.  This book explores the craft of writing novels and screenplays–an excellent read.  If you want to hear more about it, check out the review here.

Happy writing!

The Glass Is Half

Be Happy

This advice either sounds really easy or really hard, depending on your perspective.

But here’s an affirmation that might help you out either way.

“I am confident, and it’s a wonderful day.  I am the architect of my life, and I have talents I will use today.”

I found this quote in the April 2015 issue of Redbook magazine.

According to Aunna Pourang, M.D., a holistic family physician in Los Angeles and author of Meditate, Don’t Medicate, affirmations can help reduce stress and create change.

Whatever affirmation you use, say it every day.  Better yet, say it with a smile while looking at yourself in the mirror 🙂



Like a Lumberjack

It’s a rainy, cold, blustery spring evening–perfect for curling up with a mug of tea and reading a good book, watching a movie…or writing!

I read a great article earlier this year in the January/February issue of the SCBWI Bulletin.  Author Miranda Paul talks about the West African concept “Ndanka, Ndanka,” which means “slowly, slowly.”  It’s a common response from someone in the Gambia when asked about how a certain project is going.

I think it applies to most projects we undertake.  Anything worth doing always ends up being more than we bargained for.  But it has to be, doesn’t it?  Otherwise, we would probably never get started.

But I think the best advice is to surrender to the task.  Enjoy the deliciousness of working slowly.  Savor it.  Surrender into it.  Swim with it.  Even if it means some days you feel like a lumberjack–slowly, slowly chipping away at your work.

Eventually you’ll finish–never doubt that.  But it’s the murky middle, as we say in writing and perhaps in life, where all the magic happens.  You don’t want to miss that!  But you will…if you don’t get started–or worse–if you finish too soon.

Stick to the Mission

I recently talked about the importance of giving your story structure.  See my post here.  Today I’m going to share part 2 of that concept.

To maintain the structure you worked so hard to create, you must continue to keep the tension going and build suspense.  But how do you do that?

Remind your readers of what’s at stake.  What is the mission?  This should always be present in some way or another.

The easiest way to do this is through action.  

Ex: The hunter clung to the rock ledge, reaching for the rare flower that would heal her brother’s fatal wound.

But you can also do this while building your character.

Ex: Rubbing her face clean of dirt, she tried to remember what it was like to be a woman in love.  Then she carefully  added the war paint.  A smile played upon her face.  She had a new role now.

Or through setting.

Ex: The rolling hills reflected the setting sun like a shiny new penny.  The road looked rough, but she didn’t mind.  These hills would save her, if they didn’t kill her first.

No matter what you’re trying to do with character or plot, don’t ever let your readers forget what they came for.  THE MISSION.  That’s what drives the story.

Just remember.  As the writer, you’re at the wheel.  So take your readers where you want them to go.

Spring Sumi-e Sketches