Dear Guy At The Next Table: I Am SO Using You


I was out to dinner on Saturday night, and the man at the table next to us has no idea he’ll be starring in one of my future novels.

I’m certainly not creepy enough to tell him that, of course. Hot damn, there was just something about him. He was there with a buddy, and the way he laughed…the way his eyes crinkled. And he had this way of moving his hands that made me want to put them on my body (which was really kind of disconcerting as I was sitting there with my kid).

And then at the end of the meal, he leaned back in his chair and stretched his arms behind his head. Aaauughh. Continue reading

Writing Tip: Use What You’re Living

Furious mother arguing with her ​​teenage daughter

I had an enormous fight with my daughter at 1:30 a.m. this morning.

I’d been badgering her to get to bed since 10:30, when she informed me she had just a little bit more of her break-assigned homework to finish. Then she started lollygagging, I sent her to her room and she stalled some more, and finally the last straw came when she insisted on putting on a face mask as I was finally coming up to bed – only to wipe it off and try another type of mask. I yelled the house down (in all fairness, she yelled first. I’m not normally a “yeller”) and doors slammed and that was that.

Except it wasn’t.

I was so freaking pissed off, I couldn’t sleep. So I figured I might as well get up and write. I missed my word count for the day (well, the previous day) so what the hell.

Continue reading

Writing Rituals And Why We Need Them

When I first started trying to write seriously, I’d sit down on my couch with my laptop, switch on the TV and carelessly peck at the keys for an hour or so. Sometimes I’d get into a groove and hammer out 2,000 words at a pop, and sometimes I was lucky if I clocked 200 in a night.

Then I realized this was not a stellar plan for actually finishing a book, and I started looking for ways to get in that groove and stay there. Or close to there.

And now I have rituals. I don’t do this every time I write, but I do most of this stuff regularly and I do it religiously when I’ve got a deadline coming up.

Here’s what works for me: Continue reading

What To Do When You Get A Bad Review

It’s going to happen.

You don’t hunt your critic down and bash them over the head with a wine bottle, no matter how badly you’d like to do just that. You don’t have to like it. In fact, you can really, really be upset about it.

But then you need to back off, and look at it for what it is.

Was any of the criticism constructive? Can you learn anything from it? If they found a certain part of the book dull or a certain character unbelievable or a certain plot twist too predictable or outlandish – was there some merit in that? Be honest. Take notes. Look at whatever you’re working on now with fresh eyes. It’s all a learning process. Continue reading