The Secret To Happiness

a glass of scotch and journalSaturday evening, late summer. The sun is just beginning to set behind the oaks and pines at the edge of our property. I’m sitting on our back patio enjoying the sunset. The birds are twittering all around – mockingbirds, bluebirds, doves, cardinals, painfully bright yellow finches, hummingbirds zooming and chattering between us. Unlike all the other cookie-cutter houses in the neighborhood, we’ve tried to fit flowering trees into every empty square foot we can so that a little paradise appears once you cross the property line. Bumblebees are busy buzzing about the jasmine vines that climb the pergola I built many years ago to dress our patio and break up the hot afternoon sun.

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The Steno Chair

The pronunciation was always a point of contention among my roommates, but it really only mattered in terms of how we were going to tell the story later.

In Dave’s room was a chair, rolled and tucked away in the nook of his desk. The box it came in said “Steno Chair.” An honest to goodness office chair in a college apartment. There was no way this chair would see graduation. We weren’t sure any of us would either, but as my favorite Subaru commercial says with wondered amazement, “They lived.”

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5 Mistakes Writers Make With Dialogue

You’ve worked for months and months on your manuscript, edit after edit, until you think you’ve finally boiled your passion down into three hundred pages of gold. Then your readers finally get a chance to lose themselves in this new world you’ve created. They are experiencing everything as you’ve imagined…until the first character speaks. Suddenly, the illusion disappears in a vapor of smoke, and your readers are left with a ringing in their ears.

What went wrong?

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The End of The Path, Part One

On a quiet mountain trail is a little path that steals off down a slope and into the brush. It’s less of a path than it is a rabbit trail, but that’s almost the same thing in this context. Perhaps it is just an idea of a path that catches my attention when I pass by on my infrequent treks into this particular forest. When one happens upon it, they don’t stop. Most never even see it; those that do give a curious glance and continue on to their destination. But for me, it is the destination, or rather the beginning of a new journey.

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How to make Sci-Fi and Fantasy realistic

Making science fiction and fantasy novels believable can be a real challenge. Sci-Fi generally involves technologies and concepts that are non-existent or even far-fetched. Fantasy is all about building an imaginative world that could never exist in real life. With these complexities, making these topics believable can be tough. Fortunately, there are a few simple rules you can follow to create beautiful worlds and insane technology that completely absorb your readers. Read more

Weekly #1 – Descriptive Narrative

This week is all about descriptive narrative. One of the very first things to learn about writing is “show, don’t tell.” Unfortunately, it’s easy to take shortcuts in description because sometimes it seems there are only so many ways to say how dark the woman’s eyes were. It’s definitely an area in my writing that I’d like to be able to do better, so what better way than to focus my weekly exercise on description. Enjoy!

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