“Social malaise” or “shit happens”? #52essays2017

I used to live in Montreal, so I like to keep tabs on the city's big news. Recently, there was quite a hubbub when 300 cars were stranded overnight on a Quebec highway, due to a snowstorm. People kind of lost their minds over this, and now the inevitable "think piece" from Maclean's has arrived. After reading the article, I can't say I agree with this author's conclusions. Maybe it's because Continue Reading...

2017 A to ZChallenge Theme Reveal #AtoZReveal

Today's the day: It's time for the annual A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal! In the past, I have tackled guidebooks to my various hometowns (Chicago, Montreal, San Diego), using the A to Z style to give some unique perspectives on the whole travel guide concept. But this year, I'm doing something a little bit different. So far I've written two books about finding a career for ReferencePoint Continue Reading...

Top 10 Takeaways: Diane Hinds

Last night I attended the monthly meeting of the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild. The guest speaker was Diane Hinds, a PR expert from the UK. She spoke to the group about how to promote your book as an independent author, and gave us lots of great information – including tips for contacting the media. Here are my Top 10 Takeaways from her speech: 10 – Indie Authors Lack Continue Reading...

Love Letters: Accountability Group check-in, week 6

It's the end of the sixth week of 2017, and it's time for another round of writing accountability. Let's begin! Word Counts for 2/4 - 2/10 February 4: 603 February 5: 1,170 February 6: 760 February 7: 765 February 8: 1,180 February 9: 0 February 10: 830 Weekly Total: 5,308 words Another Thursday zero! This one I'm chalking up to being double-booked at my day job, which Continue Reading...

Writer to Watch: John Van Roekel

Normally, when I see those "Writer to Watch" interviews in glossy magazines, I cynically wonder how much money those authors had to shell out to big-deal publicists to get them featured in said magazine. But recently I was flipping through a local publication and spotted a familiar face. It belonged to John Van Roekel, author of a trio of historical fiction books, and he was being featured as a Continue Reading...

The January Journals: Accountability round-up, week 5

It's the end of the fifth week of 2017, January's in the record books, and it's time for another round of writing accountability. Let's begin! Word Counts for 1/28 - 2/3 January 28: 1,708 January 29: 1,356 January 30: 770 January 31: 1,477 February 1: 1,000 February 2: 651 February 3: 770 Weekly Total: 7,732 words No zeros this week, so I am feeling great about that! Continue Reading...

People are strange: Some thoughts on Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day has to be one of the absolute weirdest annual events that Americans look forward to each year. In case you – like most groundhogs – are not acquainted with the reasoning (such as it is) behind this spectacle, the basic gist is that if the official groundhog sees his shadow, we'll have six more weeks of winter; if not, spring will come early this year. There are, of course, Continue Reading...

First Lines SUNDAY: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Friday (January 27th) was Lewis Carroll's birthday, and given how far we've tumbled down the rabbit hole this week, I thought it might still be fitting to post the "First Lines Friday" piece I had prepared for the occasion. So, without further ado... Today's first lines (and yes, I've got two of them!) come from a pair of books by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as Lewis Continue Reading...

Twitler’s first week (and an Accountability Group check-in)

It's the end of the fourth week of 2017, and it's time for another round of writing accountability. Let's begin! Word Counts for 1/21 - 1/27 January 21: 875 January 22: 0 January 23: 765 January 24: 1,735 January 25: 820 January 26:0 January 27: 360 Weekly Total: 4,555 words I have to be honest here... I have been actively avoiding writing for the past couple of days, Continue Reading...

Top 10 Takeaways: Christina Alexandra

Last night I attended the monthly meeting of the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild. The guest speaker was Christina Alexandra, a romance writer and California Dreamin' writers conference organizer from Orange County. She spoke to the group about writing and publishing romance, and gave us lots of information about the industry and its authors. Here are my Top 10 Takeaways from her Continue Reading...