Category Creativity

Because writers are crazy #MFRW

Imagine that — we’re halfway through the year-long Marketing for Romance Writers blog hop. For week 26, the writing prompt is: Why I Write Fame? Fortune? Uh, no. The latter would be welcome, of course, but there are easier and more surefire ways to get rich. Robbing banks. Printing your own money. Becoming a CEO. The real […]

What the heck was in those Christmas cookies?

Sometimes it’s pretty obvious where writers and musicians get their artistic bent. Other times, it comes out of nowhere. My case fits the latter description … almost. I have no artists, writers, sculptors, etc. in my family tree … except for my mother.  What was her art? So glad you asked. Baking. Her pies and cakes […]

Ray Bradbury on “Hearing Voices”

Here’s a drop of wisdom from a man who knew all about those of us making their living by telling lies for fun and profit:  

The Trials, Tribulations, and Triumph of Writing Sequels, part 2

In my previous post, I introduced three issues I found I needed to be careful of when I began writing sequels. Issue #1: Lots of names from previous books Issue #2: Lots of recapping Issue #3: Assuming that readers identify with protagonists because they read previous books For the beginning of this article, originally published at Savvy […]

The Trials, Tribulations, and Triumph of Writing Sequels

My last post, Top Ten Thing Readers Hate about Books, has turned out to be the most popular post I’ve ever done on this blog. That popularity inspired me to follow up with a related article I wrote recently for Savvy Authors  (which is a great resource for writers–I recommend it). You see, many of […]

The Writing Process Blog Chain

Thanks for including Mr. Valentine in The Writing Process Blog Chain, Paula Millhouse! Paula is a good writer friend of mine, even though we’ve never met.  We’re both members of an online chapter of RWA, “Futuristic, Fantasy, and Paranormal” and have critiqued each other’s work on FFnP’s Mud Puddle. Be sure to check out Paula’s […]

Beauties of Nature

It’s often humbling to me as a writer to realize that no matter how beautifully I write, Mother Nature is going to kick my butt. Take sunsets. Spectacular sunsets are free, and they’re all around.  The one above is from my backyard. Beauty abounds even in the most unexpected places. Take swamps. An international team voted […]

My Next Big Thing

Time for an update on Mr. Valentine’s latest big thing.  A bunch of writer friends are writing similar posts about the books we’re currently writing, so be sure to check out their blogs, as well: Celia Breslin, author of Haven Amber Belldene, author of Blood Vine Paula Millhouse, author of Dragonstone Tricia Skinner, author of Angel […]

Lessons from Marcia, the Mars Rat

Marcia and the Amazing Human Brain One of the Curiosity Rover’s most popular pictures is the so-called Mars Rat.  I’ve heard she even has her own Twitter account.  The long-distance ISP charges must be horrendous. (If you haven’t heard of the Mars Rat, see here, here, here–oh heck, just Google ‘Mars Rat’.) For the sake of convenience, and […]

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

I don’t know how many times I’ve read articles or books where writers say they get asked all the time where they get their ideas. A couple of examples: Neil Gaiman: – Every profession has its pitfalls. Doctors, for example, are always being asked for free medical advice, lawyers are asked for legal information, morticians […]