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Category: The Writer’s Life

Field Guide to the North American Beta Reader

beta reader

We’re all hunters here, searching for the elusive, nearly mythical creature known only as the Good Beta Reader. The feeling of finding a good beta reader is a lot like what Japanese marine researchers felt when they caught the first image of the giant squid in 2013. Read about it here because it’s just so …

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Death Becomes Them: How Characters Come Alive in Death

Death characters

I think there’s one thing we can all agree about: it’s pretty awful that life doesn’t have a pause button when it comes to things like death and grief. One of the things that Kristen always says (I call them Lamb’s Laws) is that real writers don’t wait for all the stars to align, perfect …

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Lost, Hurting, Used Up? Be Nice…Until It’s Time to NOT Be Nice

Our culture trains us to be ‘nice.’ No is a two-letter ‘four-letter word.’ Boundaries are ‘being mean.’ We should all strive to ‘understand, be flexible, and all get along.’  It’s as if there’s no middle ground between jerk and b$#@ versus someone with a healthy sense of boundaries. Besides *chirpy voice* good deeds add up. …

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Busy: A Small Word Sending a HUGE Distress Signal

Busy, busy, busy. Aside from ‘parsnip‘ I’m beginning to think my new trigger word is ‘busy.’ A couple posts ago, I took on the insidious lie about us being able to ‘find time’. There’s this generally accepted delusion that time is something we can find. No, time isn’t lost. We are. We can’t find time, …

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Self-Sabotage: How & Why We Writers Are Our Own Worst Enemies

There are SO many reasons why being a professional author is TOUGH. Much of what authors do is counter to human nature. It is NOT natural to sit still and write a 100,000 words. It’s human nature to avoid stress, pain, and trauma, while an author’s job is to inflict as much suffering as possible. Good …

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