Looking Forward to Spring Cleaning…seriously.

Though February is speeding its way toward March, we just had our first significant snowfall this weekend in Southwest Virginia. And even though we’re currently living in a winter wonderland, I can’t help but have my sights set on one of the more interesting spring traditions in which so many of us participate: spring cleaning. […]

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Sunday ROW80 and This Week in Review

Friday, I blogged about how nebulous Pierce My Heart, my latest WIP, has been feeling. I can see the potential in this story. I know what it can be, and I know it will get there. So the reason I was stuck felt beyond elusive. And I received some good advice about getting my creativity […]

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Wednesday ROW80 Update and Some Blog Fun

Last week I was very honored when  Alicia Street gave me the “Versatile Blogger Award.” Thanks, Alicia! The award has several stipulations. One: I have to tell you seven random facts about myself (see below). Two: I have to post the lovely logo on my site, which isn’t a problem because I love pretty, shiny […]

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Unwritten Bios: How the Places We Live Shape Us

“These fields stretch out like patchwork on my granny’s quilt. She used to tell me, ‘Life is a series of strange and mysterious things.’” –Jewel, “1,000 Miles Away” I’m from western Pennsylvania, a distant and strange land also known as Steelers Country. Two college degrees, countless travels, and a few moves later, those mountains still […]

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Singing to the Muses: Pearl and the Beard

I recently saw a band that inspired me as a writer, not just because their songs roused my inner storyteller, but because they take risks as artists: Pearl and the Beard. What they’re doing is so unique, and I’ve always admired artists who follow their medium, dedicate themselves to their craft, and make it shine. […]

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Creative Blocks and Feelin’ Rebellious

For a rebellious person, I am remarkably straight-laced. I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I don’t need drugs or alcohol to have a good time, and, as I already can’t run a mile without my lungs burning like Hades, I can’t figure out why anyone would want to make it worse by smoking […]

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Big Decisions: Sitting out a dance

When I was twenty, a journalism professor gave me some of the best career advice I’ve ever received: “You’re the belle of the ball. Dance with everyone.” He meant, “If an opportunity comes up, you take it.” When it comes to your job, take every opportunity you’re given. And I have. And you know what? […]

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On failure, discipline, and other life lessons from writing

A lot of what I’ve learned as a writer has helped me in my life outside of writing. It’s not just that writing and effective communication skills are valuable assets (which they are!), but that the trials and tribulations of building a writing career make us stronger, if only we’re willing to learn from them. […]

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Working with characters during revision

An alternate title for this post was: Dealing with Zoe. See, I love Zoe, the female lead in Made of Shadows. She’s intense, passionate, fiery, compassionate, and maybe a little nuts. Okay, a little might be understating. Zoe is a woman on the edge. The martial arts skills and motorcycle don’t help. So when editing […]

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