So You Want A Plasma Rail Gun Of Your Very Own?

One of the very fun aspects of writing near future science fiction is researching the weaponry of the future.  It all started with my husband laughing at me because I used the term “raygun”. He was like, “Nobody says raygun, anymore.”  Ok.  So what do they say?  Apparently they say “Plasma” weapon.  So I look […]

The Story Grid Workshop with Shawn Coyne

People like me need structure.  Even if I did write my entire NaNoWriMo project by the seat of my pants, I like to know that the overall story spine is there, and that everything works.  Listening to the Story Grid podcast all year and working through the book, The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know […]

RENEGADE PROFILES: Author Barry J. Hutchison

Author Barry J. Hutchison JV: Barry, tell me who would play you in a movie? Easy. Adam West in his Batman days. Seriously, I wouldn’t even hold auditions, I’d just call him up and offer him the part. He’d have to learn to do a Scottish accent, but being arguably the greatest actor of his […]

Refill Your Creative Well – Read 200 Books This Year

200 Books? Sounds like a lot.  But you’ve probably come across those guru guys who say they read a book a day.  Between listening to audible books on 1.5 x speed and reading a few evenings a week, I read a fair bit.  But I’m not sure I come anywhere close to 200 a year. […]

It’s Monday – Just Keep Swimming

I had the flu. It knocked me out. I must have slept 15 hours on Saturday. Chills, fever, body ache. I was suffering. I was miserable. Then my fever broke, and I felt vaguely human again, utterly thrashed to be sure, but the horrible headache was gone. And just like that, it’s Monday. I’m behind […]

RENEGADE PROFILES: Author Julian St. Aubyn Green

JV: Julian, tell me who would play you in a movie? I don’t think I’ve ever done anything exciting enough to be in a movie. After enough booze, and on a good day, women tell me I look a bit like Karl Urban. I’ll choose him. JV: Good choice. Dayjobs before you went renegade? I […]

Using Dictation in Writing

As the old adage goes, “How do you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time. That’s how I have been looking at increasing writing speed.  When I read Andrew Mayne’s “How to Write a Novella in 24 Hours” I recognized that many of his tips were about chipping away at the volume of words […]

One Kick, Ten Thousand Times

One of the most interesting blog posts I have seen of late is one by James Clear breaking down deliberate practice.  He uses the example of Ben Hogan and his deliberate golf practices, but it is equally applicable to creatives. Thinking about how to engage in deliberate practice as a fiction writer is an interesting […]

You Can Make Magic By Saying “Yes!” to New Things

What Risktakers Like Mark Cuban and Rosa Parks Can Teach Us In 2006, I started a blog related to my profession.  On the one hand, I thought I was late to the blogging game, but on the other hand, my profession was notoriously stodgy and risk averse.  So no one except a few of my […]

What Are Your Tools for Successful Writing?

My boss and mentor often says, “Pay for good tools.  Just cry once.” He was a mechanic for years, putting himself through grad school by fixing Volkswagon bugs. So his philosophy started early and then carried through for many decades throughout his professional life.   He never hesitated to invest in buying computer hardware equipment, […]