Sirens: Adapting Myth to Modern

Adapting ancient Greek mythology to use in modern stories can be fun but challenging. Mixing Greek and Celtic Myths even more so.

Letting Go of the Past: How characters turn lies into truth

If you’ve lived into your teens (insert age here), it’s a safe bet there’s something in your past you’d like to forget. Book characters have these moments, too. And good book characters learn, over the course of the story they populate, how to change that moment from a lie into a truth. That moment, which…

Remembering with Honor

We as humans dispense honor in various ways. We honor those we deem have served us in some capacity: in war, in art, in leadership. We remember and honor the dead and those who’ve achieved milestones of age, accomplishment, birth, or marriage with cards, phone calls, flowers, and gifts. The Bible says we are to…

Caves, Tunnels, and Dogs in Scottish legend

Great Hand and the tunnel beneath Edinburgh Castle Tis said the tunnel beneath Edinburgh Castle leads to Holyrood Palace, used in times of siege for soldiers to sneak from the castle and surround their enemies. This tunnel also allowed resupply for the king’s men protecting the castle. A large cave led to the tunnel and…

Tennessee is the new Florida: Spring Break 2021

I don’t always travel over Spring Break. Sometimes, as a teacher, it is more relaxing to just stay home. This year, however, following the quarantine times of 2020, my family was itching to go somewhere–anywhere! We chose a cabin in the mountains of Tennessee as our destination and began scouring Airbnb and VRBO for potential…

Editing Hacks: for the beginning writer

I wrote my first complete novel in 2012. It took two years for me to realize that what I thought was good writing, was actually, well, not so good. Oh, it wasn’t that the plot was uninteresting, or the premise was untenable, or even that the characters weren’t deep or well-drawn. It was the mechanics…

2020 Reads that Upped my Writing Game

2020 was a banner year for my reading habit. At least it was good for something, right? I read/listened to 152 books this past year, a new record for me. If you’re a voracious reader and you don’t keep track of the books you read, I highly recommend you start. It’s gratifying to look back…

A NaNo 2020 Wrap-up

Underwrite? Overwrite? Which is your nemesis? I’ll talk about that in my NaNoWriMo 2020 wrap-up as well as give some resources for writers.

Scottish Ghosties

Interested in Scottish Faeries, legends or folklore? This blog by Rebecca Reed introduces you to a few. Photo by Céline Geeurickx on Unsplash

Building Fantasy Worlds – from the Experts

In the last blog post I wrote about my own world-building efforts for my fantasy novel. In this post, I want to share some insights from the experts and masters of the fantasy craft. These are experts according to my taste. Some of you may disagree, but I believe their success speaks for itself. Let’s…

Worldbuilding for Fantasy

I’m writing a fantasy series. This past week I’ve suspended my writing in favor of planning, plotting, and worldbuilding. Some of this I achieved alone in the solitude of my office. But the best ideas come when I am working with another–especially my daughter. We discussed power and the needs of the citizens of my…

Help! Past or Present?

Help needed. Writer seeking input for WIP I’ve got my idea. I have characters. There’s a basic plot and a little over 23,000 words. There’d be more words if I didn’t have to keep going back to fix the tense of my verbs. It was never a problem before. I’ve always written in third person…

Shadowfell series: A review

Thank you, Chirp! I might never have discovered this delightful series had it not been for a discounted copy of Shadowfell on my Chirp email. Let’s face it, when you devour between two and four audiobooks a week, you just can’t pay full price for them. That’s where Chirp and the Daily Deals from Audible…

Book Review: Well Spring Series by James L. Rubart

Freedom isn’t Free – but the price has been paid. You must accept and believe. The Well Spring Series, three novels by award-winning and bestselling author, James L. Rubart, are not new releases. I’ve owned the first one, Soul’s Gate, for over a year in e-book format, but caught it in audio a few months…

Hope for a Dove – a short story

Hope for a Dove Two come for the seventh – raven and dove. One to be trained, the other to love. Beware the beak where brightness dulls. Mourn the heart as it falls. When perched above, sacrifice made, watch the trees for a Warrior babe. – Great Battle Prophecy April 1900, Glasgow, Scotland Catriona wiped…

Book Reviews: The Bone Witch and Everything You Are

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco The Bone Witch was not what I expected, but turned out to be so much more. Much of the story is still unclear as there are two more books in the series. I was enchanted by the magic that Tea and Lady Mykaela use. Dark magic used for good….

Trust the Reader

One of the hardest things I’ve learned recently as I’ve worked on editing my latest work in progress (WIP) is that I need to trust my reader. Instead of telling readers what to think or feel, and detailed feelings of the characters, I need to let readers filter the character’s words, actions, and experiences through…

Backstory: When and How Much?

Every author is a connoisseur of story. The problem can become where to begin our wonderful tales, and how much stuff that happened to our characters before the story started do we need to tell our readers so they can understand what is going on now and why it’s happening. There are two basic types…

Stay Connected while remaining Physically Distant

In previous periods of crisis, people gathered. 911. Various wars and conflicts. People rallied or protested or both – in groups. The COVID-19 pandemic presents a completely different situation. We are asked to separate and remain apart. We are isolated and told to be “socially distant.” As we physically separate, we must find other ways…

Birthdays and Significance

Birthdays and Significance: Do you look back over your life and wonder if success will ever find you? What if success were not what you were called to, but rather significance? Read on for more thoughts.

Defeat Doesn’t Have to be Your Story

Being a human is hard. 2. Being a human with a family and a job is harder. 3. Being a human who aspires to be a published author can be downright discouraging! You could fill in lines two and three above with almost anything and make the comparison work. No matter what words you choose…

Gifts from Christ-following Authors

I write fiction with Christian themes and messages. Many other authors do the same. The genre “Christian fiction” is an interesting distinction, and sometimes I think it is merely a gate-keeping phrase that tends to keep people out instead of drawing people in. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate knowing the kinds of scenes I…

A New Standard

Have you ever longed for something new? For a change? Maybe of jobs, homes, scenery, hair color? It could be anything. I believe that if we’re honest, most of us have at some point in our lives wished for change or a break. Most of my students wish school were over for them. They long…

Thinking about a Balanced Life at Christmas

Have you heard of the upside-down Christmas tree phenomenon? When this trendy idea came to my attention, I was not sure what to think of it. My first reaction was, why? After a bit of research, I discovered that this may have been a tradition way back in the Middle Ages to represent the Trinity….

A North Carolina Thanksgiving

I know the Thanksgiving holiday has passed and most of us are hurrying to ready ourselves, our families, and our homes for Christmas, but today I thought I’d reflect a little on the past. For one thing, today is my birthday. I turned fifty-four years old today. Everyone should be proud of me for knowing…

NaNoWriMo – 2019 – A Journal

NaNoWriMo AKA National Novel Writing Month. This is my second year of participation in this event. Last year I was a new novelist, still very wet behind the ears, so to speak. I was a slow writer and did a lot of editing as I went. The lesson I learned from last year’s participation was…

Cariño – a Way of Life

As a Spanish teacher, I come across many cultural ideas that are often different than the ones I grew up with as a product of midwestern America. Cariño is one of them. Cariño is the idea of caring or loving those around you. I first came in contact with this word as an interpreter at…

How to Deal with a Bully: Guest Post by Linda Sammaritan

Cyber bullying has made the headlines in recent years. As if bullies were a new phenomenon. But bullying is as old as the first family’s existence. The Bible only details the final showdown, but I imagine Cain and Abel had several go-rounds over the years. The boys had a history. Abel probably stood toe-to-toe with…

What kind of faith?

There are many kinds of faith. Most everyone has some type of faith in something or someone. What kind do you have? More importantly, will it save you?