Posted in behind the scenes, writing life

Write Where? Right There!


Being a full-time RVer and traveling the country means I’ve been able to experience some amazing places, meet fascinating people, and store up enough ideas for my writing for a few lifetimes.

When these sorts of places are right outside the door — it’s hard to sit down to write.


Every town we pass through conjures at least one story idea. Every RV park delivers at least a half-dozen more. Continue reading “Write Where? Right There!”

Posted in writing life

Where in the World…

…has this blog gone? Why such a long silence? What have we been up to?

As my southern dad used to say, “A little of this, a little of that.” We’ve been here and we’ve been there. Most people don’t move from home to home very often. As full-time RVers, we’re moving all the time. Just this spring we drove through five states in one day to move our “house” from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.*

RV1 Continue reading “Where in the World…”

Posted in behind the scenes, Pea Body

What’s Real? What’s Imagined? Behind the Scenes of “Pea Body”


It’s an odd experience to read a novel — a work of fiction, something imagined — by someone you know. As a reader and writer, I’ve been on both sides of this. When I’m reading a novel or short story by someone I know, I can’t help but compare what I know about the author to what I’m reading.

And readers of my books who know me wonder the same thing. They see a lot of Walt and Betty in my husband and I — but they are two fictional characters, with plenty made up about them.

So what’s real? What’s imagined?


[Nope — no need for a spoiler alert; I promise I’m not giving anything away here!] Continue reading “What’s Real? What’s Imagined? Behind the Scenes of “Pea Body””

Posted in writing life

Unexpected Twists

Have you heard this one?

How many mystery writers does it take to change a light bulb?

Two. One to screw it in, the other to give it a surprising twist at the end.

Life is like that, too. We think we’re headed down the right road when we realize we’ve made a wrong turn. And because my husband and I live and travel in our RV, we’ve made many wrong turns. The best wrong turns (oh, yeah — there are good ones and bad ones and downright awful ones) deliver up the kinds of unexpected experiences that usually become the best memories.

Sometimes it’s something small. Like a day this past spring, on our way from Boise to Nampa on the back roads, when we made a wrong turn. We found ourselves driving alongside a river, always nice.

And then: Continue reading “Unexpected Twists”

Posted in writing life

Reading the Road

Avid readers talk about how many books they read in a year. But there’s another type of avid reader: someone who reads EVERYTHING. Sitting in a restaurant, they read the entire menu, every poster on the wall, each placard tucked between the salt and pepper shakers.

I’m one of those avid readers. Which means I also read every single sign along the highway as we travel.


This past June we drove across a portion of central Nevada and up into Idaho, from Great Basin National Park to Boise. Despite spectacular scenery around us, few other vehicles crossed our path.

But there was found plenty to read. Continue reading “Reading the Road”

Posted in writing advice

Being a Bag Lady

Tony Hillerman once said, “A writer is like a bag lady going through life with a sack and a pointed stick, collecting stuff.” Sitting next to me is a pile of papers, clamped with one of those binder clips — my version of the pointed stick. I confess: it’s not so bad being a bag lady.

Often I’ll come across just the right tidbit that frees me from some tight spot I’ve wedged myself into. And the rest of those bits of flotsam and jetsam?

Well, I save those for you, of course! Continue reading “Being a Bag Lady”

Posted in publishing, writing advice, writing motivation, writing prompts, writing resources

The Value of Writing Groups


Last December I posted about two different types of writing groups. That brief overview was related to a couple of columns I wrote for a private writing group’s newsletter. Even then, I didn’t feel as though I’d said all I wanted to on the subject.


An expanded how-to guide, with suggestions for getting a group started, identifying your group, and setting some rules, for starters. I included some prompts and other tips, all based on years of experience as a member of both creative groups and critique groups.

Now you can get that 8-page guide FREE. Just click here.


Oh… and in the critique group section I include an idea for making those groups even better — something I’ve never seen in practice before.

What do you think makes a great writing group? What have your experience been? Do you agree with the ideas in the guide? Let us know what you think!