Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Showering: A Gift That Gives and Gives

By Jason Meadors

I met with my writers' group recently. Not MY writers' group, but they've accepted me so I can claim membership. It's a cool group. I was in a group in the '90s, but it was a group that sucked your creative soul until complete desiccation of imagination was achieved. My will to live was nearly drained.

This group is not THAT group. The writers are supportive and encouraging. They are engaging minus the saccharine Pollyanna glaze. Interesting outlooks, quality perspectives, and solid advice leave me energized and inspired.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Writing Hygge

By Ronda Simmons

Have you got the winter blues? Are you struggling with productivity? Maybe it's time to introduce a little hygge to your life.

Hygge is one of those foreign words that just doesn't translate into English. Pronounced “hue-ga,” it's a Scandinavian concept that refers to a feeling of coziness and comfort. 

Denmark is the happiest country on earth for good reason, the Danes embrace all things hygge. Hygge can be associated with candles, warm knitted socks, fireplaces, and good friends, but it is so much more than that. 

It incorporates the concepts of wholeness, awareness, and gratitude. To be hygge means to have a conscious appreciation for and enjoyment of the present moment.

Turns out, it can also help our writing practices, here's how:

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Five Reasons to Write Short Stories

By David E. Sharp

When I survey the contents of bookstores and libraries (I do that a lot), I find the ratio of story compilations to full-length novels is one for every fifty billion. I've never counted, but I'm sure it's in the ballpark.

We writer-folk tend to picture our names on the spine of a single work rather than wedged into the table of contents in a collection. Why should you spend time writing short stories when you could be making headway on your magnum opus? 

Tired of being ignored in favor of novels and epics,
disenfranchised bands of short stories began roaming the stacks,
preying on unsuspecting readers and inflicting them with papercuts.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Books for Babies

By JC Lynne

The Beard and I are a strange lot. Many of our friends are either a generation older than we are or a generation or two younger. We fall into limbo often because we don't have school aged kids or grandchildren. Thank goodness on both counts.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Feng Shui and the Writing Life

By Ronda Simmons

If you find your writing habits have grown stagnant, try feng shui-ing it up. The literal translation of Feng Shui is wind water. It symbolizes the Chinese concept of good fortune. 

It's often associated with the placement of objects in the home, but it's much more than that.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Spectacular World(s) of Speculative Fiction

by Laura Mahal

Speculative fiction, or Spec Fic, is a broad field, consisting of a mind-boggling number of subgenres, generally split into three or four primary categories: 

Science Fiction, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, and Horror. 

Subset genres include epic and urban fantasies, paranormal romance and post-apocalyptic stories, space operas, science fantasy, science fiction romance, cyberpunk, steampunk, time travel, alternative histories, dystopian, and Cli-Fi. Not to mention superhero stories and fairy tales, magical realism, space westerns, and more. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

In Search of Voice

By David E. Sharp

Do you find it difficult to answer the question, "What do you write?" Oh, sure. You've got words to fill the blank, but saying Biography or Police Procedural or Horror doesn't do justice to the manuscript you've obsessed over into the obscene hours of the night for the past several months. Something is missing. And that something is voice. Specifically, your voice. It's what makes your story what it is.

Nobody wants to read a book with no personality. Give your story a voice!

Creepy staring faces on the cover is optional, though.

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