General writing

The Best Critique Comments I’ve Gotten This Month

I’m so lucky I have amazing critique partners. They are generous with their time and expertise and so honest about what parts of the story need work. They are also really, really interested in helping me make my work better. And they never forget to leave a kind comment! I participate in webinars and group… Read more »

My Life as a Writer, or a Writer’s World of Work

  This little sketch of the Earth with tiny satellites orbiting it is a model of my life as a writer. Well, it’s the model my husband suggested to me. We were at breakfast and I was telling him about the projects I had sent to my agent, the one I was working on now,… Read more »

Is Canva Pro worth it for writers?

There are so many things to think about when writing books. Character, plot, setting, voice, POV, tense, adverbs, cliffhangers, villains, heroes, and more!!! But once you get the story written, the manuscript sold, and the book published (easy peasy) then comes the hard work of getting the word out about your book and connecting with… Read more »

Tech Tricks for Writers: Autocorrect

Here’s a fun tech trick for writers. Have you ever gotten really frustrated with autocorrect? Of course you have. But sometimes it offers genius moments. Unexpected combinations of words. Creative interpretations our logical brains would never produce. Hilariously inappropriate statements. Just recently I suggested that my husband get a cough drop but autocorrect suggested a… Read more »

Do You Use a Standing Desk?

Do you use a standing desk? I’m trying out a new standing desk in my office. I used to have a very tall craft desk. I thought I might stand to write, but I couldn’t stand for eight hours. I ended up buying a tall drafting chair so I could sit sometimes. Then I ended… Read more »

Pittsburgh Writing Events

Where do you find out about Pittsburgh writing events? Of course, my favorite is the¬†Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators¬† But there are many more writing groups active in our region. There is so much going on. There are so many opportunities even though we can’t gather in groups. Sometimes I can feel overwhelmed… Read more »

Writing with Your Senses

“The eye and the ear are different listeners.” – Jane Yolen When we read sensory details in a book, parts of our brain are activated. The parts that are activated are the same parts that would be active if we were experiencing the sense in real life. So if you write about the spicy sweet… Read more »

Being a Citizen Scientist – Firefly Count

I love being a citizen scientist. I participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. I submit eBird checklists! I signed up to learn how to count pollinators for Project BeeWatch, but my schedule didn’t work for the training. Last week I started a new citizen science project: Firefly Count. It’s so simple. On lovely summer… Read more »

Researching for a Story

I’m doing some research for a story. My story involves baking. I’ve had some delicious success with pizzelles. I’ve had some terrible failure with bagels.   It’s ok. I’m not that upset about the bagels. Because sometimes things in our stories work, and sometimes they don’t. But we learn every time!