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

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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?

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[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””

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”

The Value of Writing Groups

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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.

Result?

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.

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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!

Life as a Traveling Writer

Travel writers are a dime a dozen. Well, okay, maybe not *that* common. But when someone says they’re a travel writer, they usually don’t have to explain what it means, especially now with so many cable TV channels and hundreds of magazines devoted to travel. Travel writer implies they travel to various locations to write about it for magazines, books, and guidebooks. They get photos, interview interesting people, and make note of important details. The destination is the thing.

I’m not one of those writers. Nope, I’m a traveling writer. It’s a very different thing. Let me explain. Continue reading “Life as a Traveling Writer”