rou·tine  /ro͞oˈtēn/ performed as part of a regular procedure rather than for a special reason. Note, I didn’t use the term, ‘habit’.  A habit is an impulse to do a behavior with little or no conscious thought. Not doing a habit feels uncomfortable, like not washing your hands after using the toilet or not flossing…

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  I’m currently teaching my First Five Pages class at Lawson Writer’s Academy (psst – you can still sign up!) I love helping writers strengthen their all-important openings. Joe Zarek is one of my past students, and has agreed to allow me to share his ‘before and after’ first page. Kudos to him for working so…

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Okay, this is a weird post for me. Anyone who knows me will tell you – I am an organized person. I plan. I schedule. I get more out of a day than anyone. That used to be true. But then the pandemic hit. Our lives slowed. Shrunk. Plans went in the crapper. And now…

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I collect wisdom quotes. One subsection of that is writing wisdom. And some of the best comes from the best. Here’s a sampling for your edification & inspiration: Neil Gaiman: ‘Remember: When people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think…

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You may have heard conventional writer wisdom dissing action beginnings:  car crashes, police chases – everything bad happening at the opening, right up to and including Armageddon. I’m not here to do that. I mean, think about it. Thousands of movies start that way, right? Remember though, movies are visual storytelling. They are usually faster-paced…

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You know when you tell your friends about the latest life hack you discovered? This is the writer equivalent. The coolest, bestest stuff I can’t live without. And no, no one paid me for an endorsement – these are things I believe in. Blogs & Info: The Passive Voice – ‘a lawyer’s thoughts on authors,…

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I was alerted to the following video, and if you have the time, watch it. Totally agree with Alexa Donne: The good, the bad, the ugly. I’m going to address them backwards (because, as with my books, I’ll never leave you in a bad place). Oh, and by the way, this will be mostly slanted…

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I’m teaching my Submissions That Sell! class at Lawson Writers Academy the whole month of March (click the link to check it out). When you think of queries and submissions, you think agent, right? But nowadays a query is good for a lot more than that. You can use it to submit to small presses…

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I am a naturally organized person. Before I married the Chaos of the Universe, I used to be able to find anything I owned in the dark! My bookshelves are by author, then title order, and my counters are clutter-free. I don’t get credit for the skill – I came in with it. But I…

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I watched The Dig on Netflix last night, after several writer friends told me it was good. It was, and it got me thinking about stories that you think are about one thing, but are really about something else. Spoiler alert – I will tell the ending! If you haven’t seen it, here’s the trailer:…

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