Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Writer's Digest is having a contest!

Check it out:

New FREE contest for writers of middle grade fiction http://tinyurl.com/pwbds3q Judged by agent @petejknapp - via @chucksambuchino


Two encouraging quotes came my way today at just the right time:

Have a great week, guys!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Right Mood

My writing regimen usually goes something like this:

*doesn't feel like writing*
*surfs internet*
*writes a bit anyway*

There are some things that help me get into the right mood for writing, the main one being music. Music with lyrics can be distracting for some, and for me that's true sometimes, especially if the words really strike a chord with me. (Playlists could be a post of their own!) That's why John Williams gave us soundtracks!

Another thing that can influence my mood is my work space. While mine's always cluttered, I've taken to putting up photo copies of different works of art around my "office." When I take a break from staring at a glowing computer screen, it's nice glancing at something pretty and inspiring.

Scent is a tool I haven't utilized to its fullest potential. That sense is said to be the stronger memory trigger, and could thus set some pretty strong moods.

Taste is another sense I'm trying to use when I'm writing. If a character is eating or drinking something, it's always fun to have that on hand.

So, for my current work-in-progress, Scotch, a story with a heavy drinker (yes, I write regular fiction as well as YA/MG--under a pen name, though: S.M. Tinker) who I wanted to be French chic, here's how I set the mood:

Music: French Cafe music. It's a nice background sound, which isn't too distracting (since the words are all in French, of course), and it has a foreign flare to it, which puts me in a different state of mind. This enables me to better get into the head of my main character, the woman with a French-inspired flare.

Beverage: Butterscotch iced tea. I am no Hemingway, so I am dryer than toast (in the alcohol sense only, I hope!) But the amber liquid in a fun cup helps put me in touch with the side of me that relates to this alcoholic character. Plus, it's just plain fun!

Picture: Van Gogh's Starry Night. Again, French influence.

So, with those three things within reach, I am raring and ready to work on my novel.

How do YOU get in the mood to do YOUR work?


#AmListening: David Bowie "Heroes"
#AmReading: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
#AmWatching: Julia Child's The Way to Cook

Currently, I have put my middle grade and young adult books on hold. This is just for a month or so, or until my beta reader is able to get back to me. So, what have I been spending my time? Writing fiction for an older crowd, but of course.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Attention Teen Writing Workshop Attendees:

If by some miracle you're reading this...

Remember that your short story must be no longer than 1,000 words (roughly four to five pages, double-spaced. It can be shorter!) It has to be something written at the workshop (you can totally rewrite) or inspired by one of the creative writing exercises we did.

Entries must be received (via email) no later than July 10, 2014.