The Ultimate #RWA12 Conference Packing List

Stack of old-fashioned suitcases with text: The Ultimate Conference Packing List

I’m leaving in a week to attend the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Annual Conference, which is meeting in Anaheim, California this year. This will be my third conference and my second RWA National. So, why am I nervous? Oh yeah… I’m giving a workshop this time around. By myself. How […]

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July 17, 2012

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3 Reasons to Love the Writing Community

Stones piled in heart shape on a beach

I’ve had a lot to be thankful for lately.  My family and I got away for a fun vacation, my klutziness didn’t result in too many injuries out in the middle of nowhere, and I survived being without internet access for much of the time. *smile* I was also reminded—again—how awesome […]

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June 12, 2012

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Cliffhangers: Not Just for the End of a Book

Necklace of a carving that looks like a fish hook

Pitches, queries, back cover copy, and full-length stories all have writing techniques in common.  For one thing, they all need a strong opening. We talk about that being a “hook,” something that grabs the reader and pulls them forward to the next line, paragraph, and page. A similar approach works within […]

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May 3, 2012

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What Makes You Feel Legitimate?

Sign: Authorized Personnel Only

Last week, we had a great discussion in the comments about whether we call ourselves writers or authors.  In general, we agreed that while we don’t judge others by what they call themselves, we each have our reasons for what we call ourselves.  Many echoed the idea that we want […]

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February 2, 2012

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The Ultimate Gift Guide for Writers

Cartoon snowman holding wrapped gift box

The end of this week marks the unofficial beginning to the holiday shopping season in the United States.  Thursday is our Thanksgiving holiday, and the day after is known as Black Friday, the day retailers finally sell enough to put their accounting books “in the black” for the year. I’m […]

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November 22, 2011

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Are All Distractions Bad?

Most writers have day jobs and families to take care of, so our writing time is precious.  Yet the hour we had set aside for writing instead often goes to…something else. I’m no exception.  I’ve spent too much “writing time” playing on Twitter or reading blog posts, etc. Sometimes I […]

August 30, 2011

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What’s Your Favorite Writing Lesson?


Yesterday, the inimitable Tawna Fenske had a blog post about how reading outside our comfort zone can make us better writers.  Her post got me thinking about a book I recently finished, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Unlike my usual genres of paranormal or historical, Anna and […]

January 13, 2011

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Unlike Life, Stories Aren’t a Journey

Road to Mountains

We’ve all heard the saying: Life is a journey.  Often this thought will be accompanied by—enjoy the ride—or something along those lines.  And that’s great advice for life.  But what about for stories? At the RWA conference, I attended the Inside Scoop workshop with Robin Perini and Claire Cavanaugh.  During […]

August 23, 2010

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What Agents *Really* Want in a Query Letter

Question mark on book

First of all, if you weren’t at the RWA conference, check out my contest for a free book from the RWA registration bags. The deadline to enter is midnight, August 16th. So my new RWA-buddy, Roni Loren, posted a great article on her blog about the QueryFest workshop.  When I […]

August 11, 2010

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