Skip to Content

Writing

I Accidentally Lived In A Haunted House

*Trigger Warning. This post is going to talk about murder, ghosts, and straight-up creepy things.* “It happened in there.” One of the neighborhood kids is pointing straight at the window to my brother’s room, which happens to be kitty-corner to my room. “You’re lying,” I say as I try to blow-off the fact that he …

Read More about I Accidentally Lived In A Haunted House

Even After 50 Years, ‘The Monster At The End Of This Book’ Is Still Selling and I Can See Why

When I was a teeny tot, there was one book that I LOVED more than any other. It sat on my shelf, bright and new, and I still own it today, tattered and a bit worse for the wear. I am, of course, talking about the “The Monster at the End of This Book.” My …

Read More about Even After 50 Years, ‘The Monster At The End Of This Book’ Is Still Selling and I Can See Why

Here’s How To Properly Punctuate Those Christmas Cards This Year

Here is your yearly PSA and friendly reminder: Please use proper punctuation when filling out your Christmas cards this Holiday season. It’s that time of year. You put out the word, maybe on social media, that you need everyone’s addresses, so you can send them Christmas Cards. You go to the store, or maybe shop …

Read More about Here’s How To Properly Punctuate Those Christmas Cards This Year

People Say This Comic Sans Hack Cures Writer’s Block And Allows You To Write More

People are saying that if you use the font Comic Sans, you can cure writer’s block, writing more and writing faster. So, so many people just cringed and turned red from disdain over, perhaps, the most hated font in existence. Especially those in the literary world. They just raged a little bit. Ha! There are …

Read More about People Say This Comic Sans Hack Cures Writer’s Block And Allows You To Write More

Meet Bailey Sarian, The Woman Who Does Her Makeup While She Discusses Murder Mystery Stories

Have y’all heard of Bailey Sarian? She is an awesome makeup artist who also has a talent for telling true crime stories. She combines the two into one spectacular YouTube show, and I just simply can’t stop watching. I know — it sounds bizarre. But, trust me. It. Is. So. Good!!! You HAVE to give …

Read More about Meet Bailey Sarian, The Woman Who Does Her Makeup While She Discusses Murder Mystery Stories

You Can Listen To The Actor That Plays Gollum Read ‘The Hobbit’

Those silly little Hobbitses. They have a story like no other. My FAVORITE character from the Lord of the Rings saga is Sméagol, or Gollum, if you prefer. I mean, if you don’t like the little holder of the ring, you are dead inside. The actor that portrayed Gollum in the movies, Andy Serkis, is …

Read More about You Can Listen To The Actor That Plays Gollum Read ‘The Hobbit’

You Can Watch Daniel Radcliffe and Other Celebrities Read ‘Harry Potter’ From Home

That sound you just heard was the *SQUEE* my daughter let out when she found out Daniel Radcliffe was helping to read the FIRST Harry Potter Book — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. And that SECOND sound you just heard was the *SQUEE* I let out when I found out it is TOTALLY FREE …

Read More about You Can Watch Daniel Radcliffe and Other Celebrities Read ‘Harry Potter’ From Home

An Instacart Delivery Driver Went Out Of Her Way to Get An Item On A Families List and My Heart Is Full

Good things still happen. Even during a pandemic, there are still awesome people in this world. This story will melt your heart. For real. Check it out! The other day, Michelle Hulen logged on to Instacart, and ordered her groceries to be delivered — as so many of us are doing these days. Her Instacart …

Read More about An Instacart Delivery Driver Went Out Of Her Way to Get An Item On A Families List and My Heart Is Full

LeVar Burton, From ‘Reading Rainbow’, Will Livestream Storytime For Kids On Twitter

LeVar Burton, from Reading Rainbow fame, is going to be livestreaming family-friendly LeVar Burton Reads programs, and you can bet my family will be tuning in. I LOVED Reading Rainbow when I was young. LeVar Burton was like a calming force; a constant when life could be scary, crazy, or even happy. That is exactly …

Read More about LeVar Burton, From ‘Reading Rainbow’, Will Livestream Storytime For Kids On Twitter

You Can Enjoy Weekly Online Activities From The Author And Illustrator of ‘Captain Underpants’

Oh, Snap! My son is going to FREAK OUT over this! Dav Pilkey, who is the writer and illustrator of the Captain Underpants and the Dogman series, is going to be hosting a FREE WEEKLY online program through The Library of Congress. Seriously, elementary students everywhere just let out a giant cheer, and did a …

Read More about You Can Enjoy Weekly Online Activities From The Author And Illustrator of ‘Captain Underpants’

Here’s How Your Kids Can Listen To Hundreds Of Audiobooks For Free Right Now

You guys!! Audible just made hundreds of their audiobooks FREE for a limited time! This makes me WAY giddy! I’m a huge book nerd — and this gives me an even BETTER reason to be nerdy. I have about exhausted all my music playlists since being stuck inside due to this self-isolation mess. Now I …

Read More about Here’s How Your Kids Can Listen To Hundreds Of Audiobooks For Free Right Now

Turns Out, Listening To Audiobooks Is Just As Good As Reading Them

Alright, all you book snobs — which used to be me years ago. A study shows that listening to audiobooks stimulates the same part of your brain as physically reading a book. All audiobook fans just did a collective, HAHA! UC Berkeley just finished a neuroscience study on reading. They scanned the brains of people …

Read More about Turns Out, Listening To Audiobooks Is Just As Good As Reading Them

The Author of ‘You’ Confirmed We Will Be Getting Two More Books and I’m Excited

This is THE BEST news I have heard all day. Joe Goldberg’s story is not over. A source — *ahem* the author — has dropped an EXCELLENT announcement via her Twitter bio. Caroline Kenes, the author of the books that the hit series, YOU, is based off, has CONFIRMED there will be a third and …

Read More about The Author of ‘You’ Confirmed We Will Be Getting Two More Books and I’m Excited

Writing Saved Her Life (And It Can Save Yours, Too!)

Writing saved me. That might seem overly dramatic to you (especially if you know me), but it’s true. If it weren’t for writing, and blogging, specifically, I would not be here today. If It Weren’t For Writing, I Would Not Be Here Today About 7 months ago I went through a pretty life-changing event. An illness …

Read More about Writing Saved Her Life (And It Can Save Yours, Too!)

Procrastination Is That Friend That You Hate To See But Love To Party With

I’ve got so much stuff to do. I should be working on my manuscript, working on my pitch for said manuscript for an upcoming writer’s conference, tackle various freelance design jobs, organize a class I’m teaching at a said writer’s conference, keeping my house at human occupation levels, and oh yeah, I’ve got an 8-5 …

Read More about Procrastination Is That Friend That You Hate To See But Love To Party With

Turns Out I’m A Hufflepuff. Thanks A Lot, Sorting Hat!

So, I was at a conference (sort of) recently and seated for dinner with other writer/reader types—who are also good friends I get to see not often enough—when the conversation turned, as it does, to Hogwarts’ houses. Look, don’t even pretend you haven’t had the “what house would you be in” conversation, or secretly sorted …

Read More about Turns Out I’m A Hufflepuff. Thanks A Lot, Sorting Hat!

What To Do When Your Muse Is A Dirty Prostitute

If you’d known me when I was thirteen, you would’ve known three things: First, I wanted to be the first female to play in the NBA. Second, I wanted to be the first female President of the United States. Life experience acting as the killer of idealism, I abandoned my presidential dreams, but who knows, …

Read More about What To Do When Your Muse Is A Dirty Prostitute

Grammarly is Pretty Cool

I use Grammarly to check grammar online because it’s better than having my grandma proofread my erotic novels for me. I kid, I kid! I love having my grandma proofread those. 🙂 A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by Grammarly. They asked me to try out their service and write a review. So, …

Read More about Grammarly is Pretty Cool

Just Read

It’s banned books week, and that makes both happy and sad. It makes me happy to know that we as a society care enough about reading and free speech to devote a whole week to the books others are trying to ban, but it makes me sad to know those people trying to ban books …

Read More about Just Read

It’s HERE!

The first WriteOnCon girls to have their book published. I couldn’t be more excited for them if it was my own story. If you want to win a copy, then head over to WriteOnCon RIGHT NOW and win signed copies, hair dye, fancy jewelry, and so much more! Way to go LiLa!   *Seriously, we’re …

Read More about It’s HERE!

Did You Mark Your Calendar yet?

Our next WriteOnCon live event has been scheduled! Go ahead and get those calendars out… Monday, October 25that 9 PM EST Featuring:Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary Agency, LLC Sara has worked at the Nelson Literary Agency since 2006. For three years, her main responsibility was to be the first reader for all queries, sample pages and full …

Read More about Did You Mark Your Calendar yet?

Writing Compelling Characters

Okay, today is the day of Elana Johnson’s great blogging experiment. Don’t know who Elana is? Shame on you. Get over to her blog and find out, because she’s like nineteen different kinds of awesome–AND she’s a WriteOnCon girl. What more could you want than that? And so, today we’re all blogging on the same …

Read More about Writing Compelling Characters

It’s time for us to SPEAK

Books are a big deal. But, being able to choose what books you (or your children) read is an even bigger deal, and when some extremist tries to take that away– well, I shouldn’t even have to explain how wrong that is. Unfortunately, it happens all the time, and it’s happening right now to a …

Read More about It’s time for us to SPEAK

Constructive Criticism

The term constructive criticism brings up all sorts of confusing thoughts for me. Even the name is both positive and negative. Making it so that I don’t know feel about it, and instead just leaving my brain all squishy. The thing is, I have always wanted to be one of those people who could handle …

Read More about Constructive Criticism

Wordled Wednesday

I’ve talked about the fantastic that is Wordle before. Basically, you can cut and paste any text into the little box, and it will make a word cloud for you of the most used words in that text. I love this for books because it always catches my tendency to overuse just. And like, apparently… …

Read More about Wordled Wednesday

My WriteOnCon Giveaway!

Okay, for starters… run over to the writeoncon site and sign up for all the crazy giveaways! It’s a big ‘ol pile of awesome today! We’re talking critiques, ARCS, autographed books, and more! A new post goes up every hour–so sign up for each one!! (We’re doing a bit of a fundraiser so we can …

Read More about My WriteOnCon Giveaway!

My agent is teaching a Webinar!

Mary Kole is one of the first people who donated her time to WriteOnCon. When the conference was just a thought, we went to her with questions and ideas–she answered each and every one of them, and then made suggestions of her own. On September 23rd, she’s teaching a webinar about writing for children with …

Read More about My agent is teaching a Webinar!

Embarrassment Freaks Me Out

I hate when people get embarrassed. Seriously, I can’t handle it. I I’m not sure exactly why–but if I see someone in a particularly uncomfortable situation, my whole body hurts for them. I dislike it so very much that I have trouble spelling the word. It’s pretty much the only thing I have to look up …

Read More about Embarrassment Freaks Me Out

AHHH It’s HERE! It’s HERE!!

HOLY CANNOLI!!! Today is the first day of the first WriteOnCon. Instead of giving you more to read over the next three days, I’m simply going to post the schedule for WriteOnCon. Each one is linked for your viewing pleasure. Be aware that only the events that have already happened will appear, all others will …

Read More about AHHH It’s HERE! It’s HERE!!

Birthdays and Barry

Okay, for starters–it’s my fabulous agent of amazing, Mary Kole’s birthday. So I teamed up* with a couple of her other clients, Jenny Martin and Karsten Knight, and we made this little video for her. Happy Birthday MK! Today is also Barry Lyga Rocks day, and he does- indeed -rock. But, I have a big …

Read More about Birthdays and Barry

The Real Problem With EBooks

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about Ebooks. Let me just say for the record that I LOVE Ebooks. I think they will play a huge part in the future of publishing, and I am very happy about that. I downloaded one of my favorite author’s latest, and I immediately started reading. I couldn’t get …

Read More about The Real Problem With EBooks

Loving it!

My friend Heather teaches us how to use the Sone Touch eReader for AWESOME editing. I love seeing people using technology like this!  I am such a geek. 🙂 Revisions with the Sony Touch from Claena on Vimeo.

Read More about Loving it!

No Idea How To Act

I consider myself a pretty social person. That is to say, I’m not awkward in a group setting, and most of the time, I’m downright fun. Until I get around big time authors. Then I’m something of an idiot. The first time I met my now-good-friend Rosemary Clement-Moore I was such a moron. I didn’t …

Read More about No Idea How To Act

Blog Break #AmWriting

That’s right, I just used a twitter hashtag in the title of my post. Let’s just move past that, shall we? I am going to spend the rest of the week getting my book into shape so I can send it off to beta readers. But, I need two things from you… (What, you thought …

Read More about Blog Break #AmWriting

Giving Up

Last week I did an interview over at Elana Johnson’s blog, and one of her questions was how often have I wanted to give up. I was pretty honest and admitted that there have been more than one or two times along y little writerly journey that I’ve really just wanted to say screw it …

Read More about Giving Up

The Love, Um- Bow Tie?

**If you’re visiting from the lovely Elana Johnson’s Blog today. Well, Howdy! Thanks for Stopping by. But, if you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about then click here to read her interview with me. Thanks Elana!** Okay, so you all know how perplexed I am about the love triangle. (For those of you …

Read More about The Love, Um- Bow Tie?

My Saved By The Bell Moment

**This is a repost from a year or so ago. My daughter is having some dental work today, please think good thoughts for her!** I’ve been getting really into facebook lately, and I recently friended someone from high school that was on the drumline with me. That’s right, I was a bona-fide band geek. I …

Read More about My Saved By The Bell Moment

Anatomy of a Blog Post

Today, I’m going to do something special*… I’m going to let you in on how I put together a blog post. This isn’t the way I always do it, but this is what usually works for me. This is what gets comments and retweets on twitter. And, if we’re being completely honest, isn’t that what …

Read More about Anatomy of a Blog Post

Know Your Audience…

This weekend my husband and I took our daughter to the Casa Manana children’s theater. We have season tickets that my mother-in-law gets us every year. All in all they are awesome. I was wowed by their production of Treasure Island, I cried when Charlotte climbed up to her web for that last time, when …

Read More about Know Your Audience…

Changing the Rules Mid-Game

All this talk about grammar rules yesterday really got me to thinking… When I was younger, I was one of those kids who would make up a game for everyone to play, and then change the rules right in the middle of it just because I didn’t think it was working the way I wanted …

Read More about Changing the Rules Mid-Game

February Review

Okay, first off–Holy Crap February was short. How am I sitting here writing my monthly wrap up post? So, let’s start with the writing. I’m still hard at work on my gamer girl book, but it’s not finished. So, writing is well, but nothing exciting to announce or anything. Daughter is loving the new preschool. …

Read More about February Review

My Feet Stink…

So much so that I made an informative graphic: Now that I’ve just come out there and admitted it, I feel much better. I hate socks, and I hate shoes more. If I could just wear flip flops year round I would, but it’s been like snowing in Texas so that’s not really an option …

Read More about My Feet Stink…

Jobs I Had Before I Was a Writer

The thing about writers is, until we figure out that we’re actually supposed to spend our lives living in make believe lands and telling pretend stories–we are a little lost. So, we work some pretty interesting jobs. What’s so great about those experiences, though is that they give us a chance to see and learn …

Read More about Jobs I Had Before I Was a Writer

5 People I’d Beat Up

I’ve been thinking a lot about super powers lately. Yeah, I know that most of you probably don’t spend a lot of your spare time sitting around thinking about what you’d do if you had special powers. (Or maybe you do, and that’s why you’re here. In that case, wanna go for coffee? I’m buying.) …

Read More about 5 People I’d Beat Up

Over the Tippy Top

Looks like I’m Over the Top! And, now since it’s Wednesday and that really is the best reason to write about yourself I will play with my blogalicious reward from Rhonda over at Snarktastic Ramblings. As always, there are rules but these are easy and probably somewhat fun!! Rules: Answer the following questions with single …

Read More about Over the Tippy Top

Win an Autographed Book!

If you’re like me, you love books, but you love books signed by the author EVEN more. (Seriously, it’s like my guilty pleasure to go and look at my signed books on the shelves in the family room, it makes me so happy to see someone write their name on that inside page!) So, in …

Read More about Win an Autographed Book!

Are You Wearing A Bolo Tie?

Okay, so here’s the thing. I’m from Texas. You know, the Lone Star State. Now, it’s important that you know there are some cowboys here, we do have a lot of trucks, and there is the occasional hoedown. But Texas is more than that. Dallas is a freakin’ technological mecca, we have some really great …

Read More about Are You Wearing A Bolo Tie?

Thinking…

Now that I am on the other side of getting an agent I’ve been thinking a lot about it. First, I remember obsessing about all the details. Is my book in the right font, did I spell everything right, did I ask the right questions and compare my books to books they’d actually read. If …

Read More about Thinking…

Friends Getting Theirs

One thing I love about the writing biz is the karma. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen kama in its pure form the way I do in this industry. You help a friend out with a query letter, and yours gets exponentially better. You show someone how to format their manuscript and you get …

Read More about Friends Getting Theirs

NaNoWhatMo?

Okay, for all you non-writerly types–there’s this little thing called NaNoWriMo. It’s a huge deal for a lot of writers. Basically they spend the month of November writing an entire book. It’s supposed to be pretty fun and crazy stressful, but in the end you get a tangible book that you can revise and turn …

Read More about NaNoWhatMo?

I’m Thankful

Okay, so I have to admit that I’m mostly making this post so I can find an awesome turkey cartoon to stick out to the side. I don’t know why, but I love a good comical turkey. But, I think it’s important to stop and think about how freakin’ awesome my life is. I should …

Read More about I’m Thankful

Revising Reminds Me of Moving

Right now I am pretty much the busiest I have ever been. I am working back and forth a little with my agent of awesomeness on my book, my kid is doing the usual thing–dance classes, preschool, playgroups, etc., and oh yeah WE’RE MOVING. We’ve been packing and cleaning out closets, storage bins, etc. It’s …

Read More about Revising Reminds Me of Moving

All About Sketch

Okay, so maybe that title is a little misleading. But, still–many of you wanted to know what my book is about. This is when it occurred to me that I have made a lot of new friends throughout my little journey here, because I talked quite about Sketch while I was writing it, but since …

Read More about All About Sketch

Edward, The Vamp I Intentionally Left Out

Okay, yesterday I wrote about some of my favorite hottie vampires.  But I left a certain sparkly bloodsucker out. “How dare I forget him?” You yelled in the comments. You guys are right… he’s hotter than hot. He’s smokin’. (Pretty much in every picture… that guy smokes a LOT.) I want to lick him and …

Read More about Edward, The Vamp I Intentionally Left Out

Mini-Excerpt Time!

It’s Friday, and I have moved in with my Revisions. At first things were tough, and I considered breaking up–but now we’re getting along swimmingly, but blog friends– our relationship is new and at times I have to pick Revisions over you. That’s not acceptable, you say? I can respect that. What if I tide …

Read More about Mini-Excerpt Time!

Writer Friends…

I love Wednesday. That’s my favorite night of the week, because that’s the night I get to be a writer. I’ve mentioned the Writer’s Workshop before, but I feel like I just can’t convey how very important to me it is. (How very un-writerly of me, right?) It’s the time where everyone in the room …

Read More about Writer Friends…

Revisions

Revisions are a part of every author’s life. You write a story, and when you’re writing it, you absolutely fall in love with the whole thing. It’s the greatest thing ever written, and then you go back and read through it–whoa. It’s pretty crappy. So, you go through again, and make it suck less. You …

Read More about Revisions