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I am so guilty of this thought process. Please check out San Diego Professional Writer’s Group

San Diego Professional Writer's Group

So many times as I’m writing, I think, “This would be great for the sequel.” Soon, I have all this amazing material—characters, plot events, settings—that will appear. Someday. In a sequel to a book that hasn’t been published.

That’s my mistake. I need to cram all the good writing into this novel. Right here. Right now. Damn the torpedoes, we’re taking this baby down. (Okay, I got a little nautical right there.) Here’s my point: Why save amazing bits for a later book that may never materialize? No publisher or reader will want to start reading on book two. Stuff all the best and most awesome scenes into the manuscript you have now.

Case in point. Star Wars. (The one Lucas started with in the 70s). He had no idea if he’d be able to do the sequels he wanted. Heck, he barely got the financing for that movie. (This…

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Here’s the photo prompt  for #Friday Fictioneers courtesy of Madison Woods. Thanks Madison, for starting and continuing this wonderful writing prompt. Please visit her site and check out all the other #Friday Fictioneers. Here’s my 100 word take on the photo:


“Watcha mean you’s afraid o’ the dark?” Beezel asked.

I glared. After all, what should I say? An imp afraid of the dark? Pretty ridiculous, unless you’d seen what I’d seen. Beezel hadn’t.

“Never mind. Just help me dig.” I threw dirt fast as I could. Deeper, it had to be deeper.

The ground vibrated. The limbs rattled. I whimpered. “Faster Beezel, hurry!”

“Whaat, was that?” Beezel stammered. Suddenly a believer, he jumped in the hole, focused on burrowing.


I tiptoed off, ignoring Beezel’s screams as it ate him.

Full was slow.

Beezel’d just bought me some more time.

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I just have one thing to add—Amen—oh, and please check out Limebird Writers…

Limebird Writers

Sabotage, that familiar word of dubious etymology — ‘some say it derives from the Netherlands in the 15th century when workers would throw their sabots (wooden shoes) into the wooden gears of the textile looms to break the cogs, fearing the automated machines would render the human workers obsolete’ — arrives in many forms. Especially insidious and as familiar to writers as sharpening pencils is the strain of sabotage aimed at oneself.

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Here’s the photo prompt  for #Friday Fictioneers courtesy of Madison Woods. Thanks Madison, for starting and continuing this wonderful writing prompt. Please visit her site and check out all the other #Friday Fictioneers. Here’s my 100 word take on the photo:


The scouts had been correct. The new world was hospitable.

They chopped, clearing a swath of land for the homestead, the tuberous trees falling easily to the warm ground.

In other areas, they cordoned off sites for drilling. The life blood of this new world, waiting to sustain them, within reach just below the surface.

Soon, the colony would be established, procreation initiated, population exploding. Such was the way of their parasitical existence, always moving, searching out strange new worlds to colonize and use.

Canine base Bobby-Sue-One would be up and operational within minutes.

“That’s one small step for a flea, one giant leap for flea-kind.”

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This is wonderful, if challenging, advice. I know I’ve struggled with some (all) of these. apologies to my critique group, the best, most understanding group of writers ever; the Word Herd.  Please check out the original site, they have other great info writers.

San Diego Professional Writer's Group

Often writers don’t know how to be critiqued. I find myself biting my tongue when acrid comments come my way, but I know this is all a process. Here are rules to live by for critiquing.

1. Don’t Argue with the Critic
Whether you agree with what the person says or not, keep quiet. Don’t say anything about the criticism.

2. Don’t Try to Justify Your Plot, Logic, or Style
You can’t speak up when someone plucks your book off a shelf or downloads it. If it doesn’t make sense, live with it. Keep quiet and move on.

3. Don’t Say: “What I meant here was…”
If you didn’t communicate what it was you meant, then folks will call you on it. You need to rewrite.

4. If You Don’t Understand, Ask
If a criticism doesn’t make sense, ask the critic to explain it. You can’t fix the writing if…

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Set goals for 2012

Eschewing the usual New Year’s resolutions, I decided to christen this the year of serious writing. Knowing to aim for the stars while hoping for a moon landing, I set some fairly lofty goals.

1. Write one-thousand words a day (this has morphed into write something every day, while still striving for the thousand)
2. Start a website/blog
3. Finish my novel, at least the rough draft
4. Write a minimum of three short stories for submission-gulp-and actual submit them; somewhere, anywhere.
5. Most importantly, start each day new. Don’t get hung up on the previous day’s successes or failures. Persevere, always moving forward.

What are your goals? Have you made any?

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Sift the ashes

A storm came through last night.

It was an equal opportunity event, beginning with snow, followed by rain, culminating in wind.

The net effect being multiple downed trees across our property; currently for sale. With that in mind, we braved the elements to clean up the mess. It was not a pleasant experience. The wind still blew, the rain fell, so by the time we came back indoors we were drenched, cold and grumpy.

This morning I arose, body aching, to stand before my kitchen window coffee in hand. Do you know what I saw? A completely new view, given to me by the storm.

It immediately struck me how something so violent, painful and destructive, could also create something so incredibly beautiful.

So it is with that thought, I turn to my rewrite. Chopping down the trees to create an infinitely expanding view.

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