Another Round

Getting Frozen Fire ready for another round of submissions. Reprinted it to read aloud to the cats. In fact, Jake is sitting on top of it now, waiting for me to begin. Elwood will come once I begin…as long as it’s outside.

I always read my manuscripts aloud after every draft. If I’ve sent it out a few times and it comes back without a home, I again read it aloud and often end up reworking it. My writers’ group will see the problem pages again. And if I can’t figure out why it’s not being accepted, I bring my submission package to the group too.

I’d love to be the kind of writer who writes the story…once. Then it’s done. Publishers fight over it and my readers beg for more.

I’m not there yet, so until then, I’ll just keep reprinting and rereading. My cats never get tired of hearing the same stories over and over.

Posted in Fiction Writing Tips, Frozen Fire, Publication Tips, Submission Tips


Whew! I just finished the rough draft for “Birthright”, another of the Griffin Wars series (The Last Griffin). This story, more than any other, has felt like I’ve been pulling it through my fingernails with my teeth. I’m so thrilled to be done with it.

And yet, I know that this will be a good story. Often the most difficult ones to write are, because the writer has to work on it, where as an easier forming story often gets a lighter touch in the editing department because the story already “feels good”.

I feel a strange sense of melancholy. I’m saying goodbye to characters I’ve lived with for several months now. When I edit it, my focus will be on the words, the flow, and the emotion, not on my little pencil-written friends. And they have become friends. They’ve made me laugh, cry, and curse. Especially that last.

I also feel another spark starting to burn hot within me. A few weeks ago, I came up with a new YA story idea that I think will kick butt. It’s already written itself out inside me, I just need to move it to paper. So, I’ll be embarking on that journey soon.

For now, though, I just want to dwell in this moment, this goodbye to Fiera, Efar, Marie, Gwen, Captain, and the rest.


Posted in Birthright., The Last Griffin

Turning Real Life into Fiction

I get it all the time: “Where did you get that idea?”

I usually tell the person that I keep a journal and got it out of there. That’s the simple version. But, the truth is a bit more complicated. I usually combine a ton of things together for a story.


I’ve been thinking a lot about the fires in Fort McMurray. Specifically those videos where people are driving with the fire right beside them and sparks are raining down on their vehicles. So many writing possibilities here, both fictional and not.

I also know that sometimes frogs and fish fall from the sky with the rain.

I read an article about flying spiders.


There was a discussion a few years back about ousting Smokey the Bear as the official ‘Prevent Forest Fires’ icon.

These are ideas that could all join together very easily into a children’s story.

Or a few scenes from a thriller.

Or a poem. In which, I’ve already used the spiders.

THIS is why we writers keep journals. To keep little tidbits like the discussion about Smokey or the articles about flying spiders and about fish and frogs falling from the sky. I see so many possibilities here.


Posted in Fiction Writing Tips

Seven and a Half Chapters Out

I’m nearly done with the first draft of Birthright. There will be a celebration when I get these last chapters done. There always is. I think it’s important to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small or uneventful it seems. It’s just a rough draft; there’s lots of work still to do, right? Right.

But, the story will basically be done. This thing has lived in my head for six months, and now it’s finally out. It may change, even drastically, but the bones are there. And believe me, that’s something!

The first thing I’ll do after the celebration? Read it. Then I’ll rewrite it, adding in the things I’ve kept on scattered notes taped all over my desk. When I think I have that right, I’ll rewrite it again, adding in more details and fleshing it out. I’ll go back to key chapters one more time after that and give them a good work over one last time. Then, a final read.

That editing is a lot of hard work.  Things that seemed so charming when first written may seem trite and contrived. They’ll have to be cut. It can be brutal to a writer’s ego. Time to celebrate again.

So you see, the celebrations are really rewards for sticking with it. Even when real life interferes. Even when you’re sure you’re the worst writer on the face of the Earth and you don’t deserve to even look at a book again.

I celebrate when the manuscript is accepted.

I celebrate if it’s not accepted, has to be rewritten again and again and again, and then is accepted.

I celebrate when the publisher’s edits are finished.

And then I really, really, really celebrate on launch day. We’re talking a party.

Why? Because it’s hard work. Because I made it that far. Because I deserve it. So does the book.


Posted in Tips