Why We Love Amateur Detectives

In the world of mystery writing, amateur detectives come in all shapes, sizes, skills, pedigrees and even species. They go to bed with us at night, keep us company as we wait for the kids in the carpool, and distract … Continue reading

Where Ideas Come From: A Lesson from O. Henry

Unlike O. Henry, most of us are not short story factories. We stare at blank screens and wonder if our writing lives are over. What if we never get another fresh idea? What if that last essay or story or … Continue reading

One Day at a Time: How to Break the Blocks

Painter Anna Oneglia created the artwork for the cover of my novel of lost and found creativity, Maud’s House. I remember the first time my young daughter saw it she said, “It looks like Maud’s outside looking outside.” The story … Continue reading

5 Ways Plain Writing Helps You, Your Book and Your Business

Plain language is the law. And it’s not a moment too soon. For years, I have been preaching clarity in writing to author clients and in business writing classes. Now, someone finally gets it, and that’s President Barack Obama. In … Continue reading

Themes Are for Disneyland, Not Writers

Themes are for parks like Disneyland, not for books. When it comes to writing,  I prefer to sculpt my stories around an armature. I came upon this concept in an extraordinary little writing book called Invisible Ink by Brian McDonald. … Continue reading