Scheduling and Time Management by Alyson McLayne

Who doesn’t need help managing their time. Anyone who can live and thrive while wrangling five year-old twin boys deserves a medal, never mind a listen too. So with that I invite you to read this time management post by Alyson McLayne.

Scheduling and Time Management by Alyson McLayne

Ever wonder how you’re going to get everything done? Let Alyson McLayne show you how she seizes the day!

My secret? Coffee!

With January just ended, I realize I haven’t set any goals for the year. And truthfully, as busy as I am, I can’t help but wonder What’s the point? I already have goals for this year in the form of deadlines: 3 books to complete, 12 newsletters to craft, 25+ blogs to write, and the world to wow on social media—not to mention conferences to attend and edits coming out of my ears.

Maybe, like me, you’ve reached the point where you no longer sit down and write a list of New Year’s Resolutions—only to fail come December 31st. Instead, perhaps you choose an inspiring word that becomes your mantra, or theme, for the year. One year I chose the word “success”, and last year a friend of mine chose the word “courage”. This year she has a catchphrase: “Seize the moment”.

These are all good ideas. I can only imagine that if we courageously seized the moment whenever we could during 2018 it would lead to great success!

But I feel like those kinds of words and the sentiment behind them are too ephemeral for me this year. I need something with more grit, more heft, to get me through the challenges I face. Like many of you, in addition to writing, I’m also busy on the home front—I have twin five-year-olds, a puppy, aging and sick parents, and a husband who works long hours.

Read the full post at Romance University!

Unbelievably Strange Planets in Space

Here is some inspiration for all the science fiction writers out there! Or people who just like cool science like me!



Becoming a “Real” Writer

This isn’t about getting a contract or a million Amazon followers, but how to express your “real” self through your writing. Finding your unique voice and staying true to it. I really enjoyed reading it and I hope you do too.

Becoming a “Real” Writer

I love to go hear other authors speak. What a kick that Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout sounds like my favorite quirky aunt, or that bestselling author Margot Livesey’s lush prose begins with characters who, like mine, nod and shrug their way through her first drafts.

I’ve walked away from dozens of such interactions thinking, “She was just so real.”

Now, isn’t that a funny thing to say about someone who makes things up for a living?

Or perhaps writing engaging fiction is one of the most emotionally truthful pursuits in which we will ever engage. A novelist can spend years crafting a story that will illustrate an emotional truth. Why? Because the point she is making is vital to her worldview. That’s pretty darned personal—it’s laid bare.

Fear of such exposure is why reaching for emotional honesty can be a significant source of writer’s block. Accomplished writers grow in authenticity the same way we all must: one step at a time.

Read the full post at Writers In The Storm!

The Words That Changed Your Life: Discovering What Made You a Writer

I have always loved stories, making them up or reading them. My beginnings as an author started in first grade with Enormous the Frog.  I can’t imaging not be creative this way. How about you? What made you want to write?

The Words That Changed Your Life: Discovering What Made You a Writer

by K.M. Weiland

For me, it’s almost become a cliché answer: “I write because stories have always been my language. I write because my very first memory is telling myself a story.”

“Why do you write?” and “What made you a writer?” are two questions I’m ubiquitously asked in interviews. I can respond to those questions in my sleep. I don’t even think about their answers anymore.

And that, as I’m now realizing, is a shame.

As artists, our early influences were more than just the first domino in our journeys. They were more than “just” formative. They were the experiences that shaped us into the people and writers we have become. Sometimes these influences are conscious: some writers can recall a specific book or movie that made them say, “I want to be a writer.” But even in these situations, the subconscious impact is often far deeper and more telling.

Read the full post on Helping Writers Become Authors!

How well do you know typography?

Typography, fonts, serifs oh my! How well do you know different pop culture fonts? There is a cheat video linked below to see how you did.

Here is the link to the one with the answers –

Top 10 Words That Will Kill Your Writing DEAD

Oh-oh I am guilty of a few of these. However, In my defense I only use “however” in business writing. Now I am going to be extra careful none of these are used in my literary writing. It is a great post because by getting rid of these words you actually make your writing more active.

Top 10 Words That Will Kill Your Writing DEAD

So I read screenplays for a living, plus I spend a huuuuuuge part of my life reading FOR FUN (wtaf!), so I’ve discovered there are certain words that crop up again and again and again which threaten to TORPEDO writers’ narrative efforts.

I call these ‘crutch words’ (quiet at the back). Crutch words are those we may rely on in EARLY DRAFTS, which we need to seek out with a torpedo of our own and DESTROY in the edit process. Whether you’re a screenwriter or novelist (trad or self published), look out for these suckers …

1) ‘Suddenly’

The actual word ‘sudden’ means ‘quick and without warning’, so it’s especially ironic that including the word LITERALLY SLOWS THE ACTION DOWN. WTAF is the point?? Compare:

Read the full post on Bang 2 Write!

Going Dutch! Or Something.

I love finding concepts from different cultures that I can relate to.  Because I married into a German family, I was introduced to the word Schadenfreude some time ago. You know, the ability to enjoy someone else’s misfortune or humiliation.  Apparently enjoying different culture concepts is a thing now.  So here are a few that I know of.

One of my pictures of forest-bathing with the family. Nothing like the Sequoia Nation Park to keep you humble.

Niksen – Dutch. The ability to enjoy doing nothing. Which is actually very good for you to do as it gives your brain a much-needed break. So walk slowly and smell the flowers!

Shinrin-yoku – Japanese. Literally translated as “forest-bathing” it is the very healthy concept of spending time in nature to nurture yourself.

Hygge – Danish. A state of coziness. Often associated with wintertime, you really can appreciate and achieve a state of coziness at any time.

Jugaad –  Hindi. The art of converting misfortune into success or being able to make do with what you have or frugal innovation.

Lagom – Swedish. Having just the right amount or a balanced life.

Wabi-sabi – Japanese. Embracing imperfection, simplicity, and the transient nature of life.

I know I left out “Swedish death cleaning” but I learned about it from my German mother-in-law first.

What about you? Do you have any cool wisdom or concept share?


Well, Shit!

This isn’t the first report that shows the benefits of swearing, it is just the one that has monkeys. I love monkeys. But swearing can help ease pain and even make you seem more honest. So that is why I have such a potty mouth! I am just trying to honestly deal with my pain! Fuck raising eyebrows.

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Swearing Is Good For You—And Chimps Do It, Too

Cursing masks pain and builds relationships at work. But if you’re a woman, letting a profanity fly can still raise eyebrows.


When National Geographic caught up with Byrne at her home in London, she explained why humans aren’t the only primates that can curse and why, though women are swearing more today than before, it is still regarded by many as “unfeminine.”

Read the full post on National Geographic

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P.S. What is your favorite cuss word?

3 Ways to Change Your Thinking Today

Writing can totally mess with your mind. If you don’t show anyone what you write, are you really a writer? And who doesn’t want people to appreciate our prose? But then that means putting yourself out there, which is quite unnerving for some people. Raising my hand on that one!  Literary Agent wrote a great post on how to deal with your psyche.

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3 Ways to Change Your Thinking Today

Quick Link: Blogging as a Writer

Taking a quick trip to Elizabeth Spann Craig land where you can learn why it is good for writers to blog and she even has some helpful hints included!

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Blogging as a Writer

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

My first blog post was in August of 2008.  Along the way, I’ve tweaked the content and changed from Blogger to WordPress.  I’ve also played with the number of posts I run a week.  Aside from that, the blog is pretty much the same as it was nine years ago.

But along the way, I’ve seen lots of changes: some writers who used to blog no longer do.  Some folks never started. Some rarely post at all.  Which leads me to this post.  🙂   Should writers blog?  If you decide to blog, how do you keep it up?  And how do you get a blog started?

Why should you consider blogging?

Read the full post at Elizabeth Spann Craig!

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If you liked this article, please share. If you have suggestions for further articles, articles you would like to submit, or just general comments, please contact me at or leave a message below.

Quick Link: How to Use The Force to Write Your Novel

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Ok, I admit that I picked this post because I am OG (Orginal Geek) and a major Star Wars nerd. But this is still a great post from Randy Ingermanson at his site, Advanced Fiction Writing. And it is not probably what you are thinking of either.

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How to Use The Force to Write Your Novel

Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash

How do you find time to write your novel when there isn’t time to write? When your life feels like a treadmill to nowhere? When it seems like you’re in exactly the same place you were a year ago?

I hear from writers all the time asking how to manage their time so they can write the novel of their dreams.

The Most Powerful Force in the Universe

There’s a secret to doing this. I’m going to let you in on that secret right now.

If you want to write a novel…

You need to make it a habit to write every day of the week. (Or every weekday. Or every weekday plus every Saturday. Or whatever schedule fits your life.)

The most powerful force in the universe is force of habit.

Why You Need a Writing Habit

Read the full post on Advanced Fiction Writing.

Quick Link: To Pseudonym or Not to Pseudonym

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

I didn’t think pseudonyms were still a thing these days. There is no privacy on the web and it is pretty easy to find out information on people if you want. So unless you are doing a “Lemony Snicket” type book and a pseydonym is a marketing strategy, honesty is the best policy.  At BookBaby, Carolyn Howard-Johnson shares the pros and cons of using a pseudonym. What do you think?

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To Pseudonym or Not to Pseudonym

by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

There can be benefits to using a pen name, but I believe there are many more downsides to using a pseudonym than upsides.

Nora Roberts, the author of more than 150 romance novels, was asked why she writes romantic suspense novels under a pseudonym. Her answer: “It’s marketing.”

She says that writing quickly makes it difficult for her publisher to publish all of her work with an appropriate amount of time between each release, so she writes works which are “edgier” than her romance novels under the pseudonym J. D. Robb. She says, “Putting it under a pseudonym helps brand it for the reader.” Children’s writers often separate their real names or their “other” writing names from their children’s work to keep work intended for children untainted.

All these reasons are absolutely valid, and there are many more. But I believe there are many more downsides to using a pseudonym than upsides, especially from marketing and organizational perspectives.

Read the full post on BookBaby

Quick Link: How I Overcame Discouragement and Revived my Passion For Writing (and How You Can too)

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

I thought this lovely post by at Barely Hare Books was a lovely way to start off the week. And who couldn’t use a word of encouragement or two sometimes. I am bookmarking this one for future reference!

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How I Overcame Discouragement and Revived my Passion For Writing (and How You Can too)


You and I want nothing more than to write every day, all the time.

But in the whirlwind of life’s demands, you lose energy, focus, and determination. You feel it in your gut. That desire for writing is fading. And worse still, no one seems interested in your work anyway.

“Why don’t I feel like writing anymore? Does my fiction matter? How do I get my passion back for writing? Can I get it back at all? ”

Yes, you can, you sweet little pickled onion. Promise. Because I went through the same thing not too long ago myself.

Just a few months ago, life pushed everything I love into the background and plopped health problems and bills and rent and even more adulting onto my lap instead. My passion for writing began slipping away and I felt so helpless against it. Worse still, I saw my peers skyrocketing and I felt even more alone, resentful, and lost.

I didn’t write a single word for nearly four months.

So what changed? How did I start writing two hours a day for my blog and make book sales along the way?

Read the full post on Barely Hare Books

Quick Link: How To Boost Your Writing Confidence To New Levels

Quick links, bringing you great articles on writing from all over the web.

Happy New Year to everyone! To start the new year off right and ease on into things, I am sharing an inspirational post from at Bang 2 Write!

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How To Boost Your Writing Confidence To New Levels

Being a writer might be challenging, as creative people very often worry their work is not good enough. Lacking confidence can be immobilising and may influence the quality of your writing, too. Eek! But calm down and check out these simple ideas and exercises that can boost your confidence and make your creative genius shine.

1) Use writing prompts

Many creative people know that writing prompts is one of the basic exercises to develop your writing skills. Prompts are extremely useful  if you have writer’s block or simply want to develop yourself as a writer. The prompt can be anything:a word, a phrase, a picture, a person or just a thought. It can help you write focusing on one thing at a time and make your creative juices flow. MORE: 6 Writing Prompt Tips To Get You Started

Read the full post on Bang 2 Write!

Editorial Note: I am sick. And tired. But not sick and tired.

I caught the crud that is going around or perhaps multiple cruds. It feels like multiple cruds. One of the problems with having Addison’s that my immune systems sometimes plays hide and seek with me. Since I have been diagnosed and treated properly, I actually get much less sick than I used to, but when I do get sick it hits me hard.

What I am trying to say is I can’t breathe, I have no voice beyond entertaining squeeks and we are on the countdown to Christmas. I am pretty much Santa and the entire sleigh-pulling team. My nose is red though.

Sooooo I am going to apologize for missing yesterday’s post and promise to do my best for the rest of the week.

Thank you every so much for coming here, and I hope that you will continue to hang with me and hopefully we all get through these next few weeks into a hopefully better for everyone 2018.

Have a good day!


PS I am going on some funky cough medicine to help so my ribs don’t hurt so the posts might get very entertaining. Either that or I might sleep through Christmas.