New Year’s Resolution


 January 2020  

New Year’s Resolution

The coming year of 2020 is being hailed by many as a year to “Catch the Vision” As writers, the coming year can be one of clarity and direction when it comes to writing goals—where you want to be as a writer a year from now Over the past five years, my goal has been to publish something each year—be it a poem, a short story, a blog, or an article I’ve worked hard to meet that goal, with the exception of 2018 when my toilet exploded (that’s another blog!) Still, 2020 could prove to be the most challenging year yet—I plan to launch my debut historical romantic suspense novel, Ellington Hall!

In the decades leading up to 2020, did I make any huge mistakes? Did I try to publish something that wasn’t ready? Did I get rejections from magazines and literary agents? Did I have to swallow my pride and start all over again? Did I learn anything from the experience?

Definitely to all of the above! Whether you’re a beginner, an oldie, a plotter or pantser, how do you plan to grow yourself as a legitimate author unless you put yourself out there And what can you do to accomplish that goal?

Read, Listen, and Learn (from podcasts, online blogs, youtube posts, and books on plot structure, conflict and suspense, plot and structure, characterization and dialogue — and at least five novels or short stories in your genre)

Write (put a character in a threatening situation and see how he/she reacts, put a person in a village square defending something you’re passionate about and have another character try to shout him/her down by arguing the opposite viewpoint and/or threatening bodily harm, get inside a character’s mind with internal dialogue contemplating murder or a spouse, parent, sibling, or take something from your past and put it down in black and white, in true colors with honest emotion) Don’t be shy! Believe me, most of my first drafts were nothing to brag about!

Edit, Revise, and Polish (find a critique group you’re comfortable with and learn to edit your own work and others correctly, honestly, objectively—I can’t stress this enough! In a group, you learn to take criticism and to accept others’ suggestions to make your writing the best it can be, you exchange ideas with fellow writers who’ve gone through writer’s block, six drafts, query letters, pitches, rejections, and/or publication and are willing to share their secrets, you are line-edited for grammar and other issues that may have slipped past you!)

So pick a goal Say, one short story, from beginning to end Written, revised, and polished to perfection  Visualize it in your mind, and make it happen! Pick a person and select a situation

Let 2020 by the year your goals are in sight!

Thanks for walking through the corridor with me.






December 2019  


In this season of gift-giving, you should remember how God has gifted you with the ability to take words and fashion them into stories. Think about how excited you get when you find a book you can really get lost in for hours and go far, far away. Remember how you gave a happy, little sigh when it was done, already wishing you had another to sink your mind into? All of us are gifted in one way or another. I truly believe that. I’m in awe of good cooks and public speakers, but I always encourage others to try their hand at writing. It can be journaling, keeping a diary, or (yet another cause of envy), crafting hand-decorated notes to friends or clever mantras posted on the fridge to bring a smile to someone’s day. Maybe your own?

I believe everyone has at least one good story in them, a story that needs telling. A seed that requires watering in order to break the surface and see the sun. Sometimes, a story needs telling in order to bring pain to the surface so it can finally been seen and dealt with. It’s one way to deal with anger—by writing it down. Usually, whatever you’re angry about isn’t worth dying over. Let it go by writing it down.

There are a hundred reasons to write. If you don’t believe me, check out the National Writing Project’s “One Hundred Reasons Why I Write” and pick one that suits the circumstance. My two favorites are writing to find myself and writing to lose myself. To me, that says it all. You might write something down for clarity, or to finally get it right. To get it perfect before you say it aloud. I thought writing “to know what makes bad people good and good people bad” covers a lot of reasons why born writers delve into what makes people tick. Ever hear the saying about fools rushing in where angels fear to tread?

Consider writing a Christmas story this season and giving it as a gift to those you hold close in your heart. It can be a warm memory of growing up together, or a tale of the holidays that’s born in your imagination. It doesn’t have to be long—they’ll know it came from the heart.

Thanks for walking through the corridor with me, and have a Blessed New Year!