Archive for the 'Inspirations' Category

What’s Your Purpose?

(GIVEAWAY – GIVEAWAY- GIVEAWAY! In honor of the release of POOLE’S PARADISE, my generous benefactors at Bafflegab Books are awarding free e-copies of the novel (specify .pdf or .prc) to the first five people who correctly answer the following question: What do the words FACETIOUSLY and ABSTEMIOUSLY have in common? (Hint: the word MYUOPILEA has exactly the opposite quality.) Email your answer to john.vorhaus – at – HURRY! I mean HURRAH!)

So, yeah, my new novel comes out this week, […]

Becoming a Better Writer in 2015

My friend and I always spend a weekend in December creating vision boards for the new year. This is not like making New Year’s Resolutions. It’s a

Written Words by Sophia Louise

process that requires a lot of time and thought. We ask ourselves what this year has brought and how that feels, and what we’d like to see the new year hold. Then we make boards that hold our intentions, with photos and words (she uses more words, I use […]

High School: The Tattoos Your Characters Can’t Conceal

This guy was in the Hillbilly group in my high school

Kurt Vonnegut once said, “True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.” Alas, in looking at the short-sighted, petty gyrations of our politicians, “terror” doesn’t quite capture the dystopian menace. But I want to use Mr. Vonnegut’s subtext here to illustrate some thoughts about characters in your stories.

High school was a yeasty time: a time of turbulent […]

The Point of Writing

Flickr Creative Commons: Jason Eppink

There’s a lot of talk these days about getting yourself a presence on social media, upping your profile, selling yourself, marketing your work, using every angle and every connection in order to “get out there,” hustle your product, hit the bestseller lists, make a splash.

This post is just to remind you that none of this is what writing is about.

Writing is about finding out who you are, what you have to say that is not […]

Lessons from the UnCon: I Surrender. I’m Finally Ready to Be Naked

Method Writing (and Eating) with Brunonia Barry at the Witch’s Brew Cafe–photography credit Mike Swift

If you attended the inaugural UnCon in Salem, this post is an attempt to recreate a bit of its inherent magic. If you couldn’t attend, this is one explanation of why you’ll read reviews like this paraphrased quote: “What have you people done to me? I’m forever changed and so is my writing.” 

Several decades ago, an excessively young, naïve, and nervous version of myself began […]

Your NaNoWriMo Road Map

Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody.

Happy National Novel Writing Month! At this stage of the process, you may feel like you’re sinking in a morass of flat characters and plot holes. This is completely natural. Lucky for you, I’m here to guide you the rest of the way with a daily regimen that will keep you on […]

Pantaphobia: THAT’S IT!

Robin LaFevers writes: One of the hardest things about being a writer can be the sense of isolation we experience–the sense that we are the only ones to feel a certain way. Especially when those feelings are not happy or joyful ones. That’s why fellow writers’ honesty is such a gift. Today I am honored to share with you such a gift–a guest post by YA author Myra McEntire. It is a raw, honest look at some of the hardships […]

On Not Giving Up

This week, my new adult novel, first in a big new series called Trinity, is coming out.

I’m going to be celebrating even more than usual, because this one’s had a long hard road to publication, with nearly four years and several rejections before it was accepted. Even though I’m a well-established author with many books to my name, it looked like this one was fated to remain homeless. ‘Too different’ seemed to be the verdict. A mix of urban fantasy, […]

Keep the Faucet on: Slow and Steady Fills the Ocean

By Steve Johnson (Flickr CC)

Louis L’Amour has a quote I love: “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” I use this quote often in my classes. I even have this quote posted on the bulletin board in my office.

Why, then, why why why do I need to re-learn this at least once a year?

This fall has been an overwhelming, but exciting time for me. I combined households with the love […]

On Reviews and How (Not) to Take Them

I got the call from my husband two weeks ago, the one you never want to get. While at the park, our oldest daughter (age 7) had fallen and broken her arm. (My girl is something of a tree-climbing-roller-skating-bike-riding daredevil. Yet she managed to get a fairly spectacular compound fracture–her first–falling less than 4 feet off the toddler section of the playground. Really? Yup).

She was absolutely incredibly brave about the whole experience, from the ambulance ride to the hospital to […]

The Un-Con Begins Tomorrow! (Plus, How to Un-Con on Your Own, Even If You Can’t Make It to Salem)

The first Writer Unboxed Un-Conference begins tomorrow! (Applause, shouts of joy, cheers, hugs, panicked rummaging through clothing when you realize you have nothing to wear.)

The Un-Con promises to be unlike other writing conferences. It focuses on the writing part of being writer—developing our craft, building our inner strength, and actually writing and telling stories. There will be networking, yes, but no pitching, no marketing lessons, no sliding copies of your manuscripts to agents under bathroom stall dividers. (Please, please, don’t […]

Writing the Story of Your Heart: Even When the Odds Aren’t in Your Favor

By Flickr’s Sergiu Bacioiu

Today’s guest is Aisha Saeed—an author, mama, lawyer, teacher, and maker and drinker of chai. She is also the Vice President of Strategy for We Need Diverse Books™. While Aisha loves writing about a variety of topics, her main passion lies in channeling her inner teen. Her debut YA novel Written in the Stars will be released in 2015 by Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books. When Aisha isn’t writing or chasing her two little boys, you can find […]