Writer Friends–the Greatest Gift Ever!!

I love my writer friends.

I have several now. Some are just twitter acquaintances who tweet little gems of wisdom. Some are well-recognized, writing world powerhouses, whose capacity to blog profoundly helpful and hilariously funny gold mines is beyond impressive. But this morning I am specifically thinking of three amazing ladies who saw me hiding in the corner at DFWCon two years ago. Call it kismet, karma, or providence, these lovelies scooped me up and said, “You’re a part of our pack.” They’ve included me in their writing pursuits ever since, and I will be forever grateful.

When I entered the labyrinth that is writing, I discovered you need people around you who will tell you the truth. Your mama is probably going to tell you your MS is genius, and she always knew, ever since your first ‘How I Spent My Summer’ essay in third grade, that you would become a world-famous author. As much as we need a mama’s love and encouragement, that’s just not going to help. It makes me think of all the people who have tried out for American Idol and made fools of themselves because their mamas said they sing like Whitney Houston, when they really sound like a dying cat (not that I have any personal interaction with a dying cat–but I can imagine).

Cue writer friends. They know what you are pursuing. They read books on improving the writing craft. They stay abreast of writing competitions to enter to help build writing experience and add legitimacy to a query letter. They tell you the truth and make you a better writer.

If you haven’t surrounded yourself with writing friends yet, you need to. They will make the difference between an interesting exercise in putting words on paper and a story that isn’t cliche, overdone, or a plot-less, hot mess. Yes, they will tell you the truth. But you CAN handle the truth, and you need it.

If you’re just starting, may I suggest a few big names to follow (not even close to a complete list but some of my faves):

The Indefatigable: Kristen LambThe Champion of Hook: Les Edgerton, The Not Safe, But Good: Query Shark

I am super grateful for Diana Beebe, Nicole Grabner, and Liza Caruthers for taking me in that day. You guys are awesome!

Categories: new author, Writing, writing support | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Quiet Thoughts

No noise in the house this morning. Hubby to work. Children asleep. This means I am on my sofa enjoying coffee and silence. I’ve always loved poems, so it is only natural I wound up writing one. Hope you enjoy it.



I love the quiet stillness of morning.

Fetal-curled, hinting at my natal beginning,

I am a child held in my Father’s arms.

No words necessary.

His powerfully tender embrace is sufficient.

I lay back my head, catch the cadence of His breath, and fall into its time —

Rhythm found only in silence.


Categories: God, morning, poetry, silence, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

My First Fan Art

I let a student of mine read the first chapter of my book a few weeks ago.  She was very sweet and supportive.  You can imagine my surprise when she came in several days after reading, a piece of paper in hand.  “Would you tell me if this looks like Bree?” she asked.  She proceeded to hand me a sketch of my main character.  I was humbled and honored.  I love that she was taken into my world enough to “see” Bree in her mind.  Thanks, Meg.

"Brigid Albina" by Meg B.

Categories: heroine, main character, platform, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment


Can you believe it? I won something! I never win anything — like ever (sorry for the Taylor Swiftism).

But, seriously, I won a random drawing on The Firebirds website. The Firebirds (Cecily White and LorendaC) had interviewed their agent Pam van Hylckama Vlieg, and if blog readers commented on the interview, they were entered to win a critique (by Pam) of the first chapter of their MS!  Well, I’ll be darned if I didn’t win!  I danced around the house like an eleven-year-old girl who’d just been given One Direction tickets!

I’ve followed Pam for a good while on Twitter, and I’m so excited to have her read my story.  I’m also inexpressibly nervous.

May my luck continue!

Categories: new author, novel, Writing, young adult fiction | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Awesome Support

The other day, I wrote out of desperation and fear.  No one likes to be rejected (just experienced #6), but I have to remember it is part of the process.  Hubby likened it to The Voice and the coaches informing a contestant that he/she isn’t what they are looking for in their team.  It doesn’t mean you stink; it means you’re not what they are looking for.  I need to find the person who is looking for my material.  So, thanks, Hubby.  I needed that.

But, I also have a LONG overdue shout out to a fantastic friend — Rosie.  Of all the friends to whom I sent my manuscript, I feared her feedback the most.  That’s not a shot at her.  It’s the complete opposite.  She, I knew, would look at it with a critic’s eye and tell me the absolute truth.  And she did.  She took my manuscript, read it, and sent me back gobs of edits in the form of a PDF file.  But she also sent some great encouragement.  When Rosie said I have a manuscript that deserves to be published, I almost turned back flips!! So I have been using my extra time (which is nearly nonexistent) to make the corrections she’s suggested.  I believe my writing will be stronger for her investment into me.

I cannot begin to express my gratitude.  Love you, friend!

Categories: Perspective, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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