Wednesday Inspiration

“We’re all going to keep fighting, Harry. You know that?”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


The Amulet Saga, Volume Three The Silver Shores What Came Before: The Silver Shores,     Preparing,     Testing,     Auction Part One,     Auction Part Two Mistress   The woman walked quickly, without stopping for anyone. The crowd parted in front of her, a wave that closed in again almost as soon as it opened. Reith stumbled along behind, […]

Realm Makers 2017 and Hard Decisions

So, I finally decided. I won’t be going to Realm Makers this year. Sobs and grabs box of tissues. This was such a hard decision, and one I’ve put off for as long as possible. I love this conference! I love my fellow conference attendees, the teachers, the bookstore, and of course the Nerf war. […]

Auction, Part Two

The Amulet Saga, Volume Three The Silver Shores What Came Before: The Silver Shores,     Preparing,     Testing,     Auction Part One Auction, Part Two Reith set his jaw, determined not to make it easy for anyone to purchase him. There wasn’t much he could do—the cuff ensured that—but he didn’t have to smile or flirt or endear […]

Daughter of the Pirate King Book Review

“Oh, the ridiculous things one has to do when one is a pirate.”
― Tricia Levenseller, Daughter of the Pirate King

The Benefits of Sprinting for the Distance Runner

I’m a distance runner That’s a label that took me a while for me to wrap my arms around. I always hated running. Like with a passion. Like I walked at least part of the way every time a gym teacher or coach told us to run a mile. There was the time I ran a mile for the […]

The Benefit of Contests

I judge writing contests on a fairly regular basis. Sometimes for smaller, informal contests, like for a classroom, sometimes larger contests for a conference, and, obviously, the annual Havok contest. First of all, kudos to all of you who have ever entered a contest! It is a huge thing to put your work out there […]

Caraval Book Review

“Hope is a powerful thing. Some say it’s a different breed of magic altogether. Elusive, difficult to hold on to. But not much is needed.”
― Stephanie Garber, Caraval

What Every Author Must Do

OK. Maybe not every author,  but I wanted a clickbait-y title. I completed my latest manuscript during NaNoWriMo and have started editing it. I went through K.M. Weiland’s Outlining Your Novel (for a second time) to lay out the plot points. Something just wasn’t working. My introduction was too long and resembled a misshapen two-humped […]

Auction, Part One

The Amulet Saga, Volume Three The Silver Shores What Came Before: The Silver Shores,     Preparing,     Testing   Auction, Part One Reith was bustled into the bathing stalls, alongside the others, and afterward was dressed in clean trousers, the snug type that the other slaves wore, and his bare chest was rubbed with scented oils. The […]

Wednesday Writing Inspiration

“Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves … Photo credit – Sylar113 on CrispMe “There’s something else, too, unfamiliar and new and maybe even beautiful. In all the times I’ve […]

A Twist of Fate

The other week I wrote about how I believe in “luck” under the mathematical terms of random numbers and probability. The example I gave was how I run to praise music and whether or not God overrode the random number algorithm on my phone to “choose” the songs I needed to hear. Well, God wanted […]

Author's Journey



The Amulet Saga, Volume Three The Silver Shores When last we left Reith, he was Preparing for a life of slavery on the Silver Shores. Now, the time has come for Testing.   Testing Reith stood straight, lined up with the others from his group, along with the other groups housed in other parts of […]

Christian SpecFic

You Can’t Put God into a Box (or a Book)

Being a Christian means I believe God created the universe. (No this isn’t a creation/evolution debate—the point here is not how He did it, only that He did.) So, God creating space and time means He exists outside of those constructs. God can’t be limited. God can’t be put inside a box. That doesn’t stop […]

Creative Nook

Happy Mother’s Day 

Happy Mother’s Day 

    Hi, this is Zippy. I gave Gretchen Mother’s Day off so she could spend it with her family. Last Mother’s Day she wrote one of her more visited pieces. And this Mother’s day is extra special for Rosie and me. We’ve been late in announcing this, but December 2 we welcomed our firstborn, Shuffler, […]

Critical Views

If I Have Not Love

If I Have Not Love

Every now and then, something comes up in one of my various social circles that makes me think about how we as Christians should behave. Recently, in one of my groups, there has been some really intense discussion on several different topics, from writing to politics to theology and more. And of course, any time […]

Guest Blogs

Character Profile: Jayden Jorah

Character Profile: Jayden Jorah

  Guest Blogger: S.D. Grimm I am really excited for this guest blog post today. Not only do I get to talk about my novel Scarlet Moon, but I also get to do something really fun, and that is talk about my main character: Jayden Jorah. A little bit about Jayden’s appearance first. Eyes: Blue […]

Life and Such

Good Luck With That

Good Luck With That

I don’t believe in luck as a random phenomenon outside of God’s control, but I do believe in mathematical randomness. The idea for this post came up during St. Patrick’s Day when a handful of friends posted memes based around the phrase “we don’t do luck”. That phrase bothers me. I think it comes off […]

Marketing and Promotion

Conference Notes: Realm Makers Early Bird

Conference Notes: Realm Makers Early Bird

We’re here at Realm Makers, which kicked off today with a great early bird session by book marketing experts Suzanne and Shawn Kuhn of SuzyQ. For those who couldn’t be there, here are my  notes, keeping in mind that I missed the first half hour or so while I was at the registration desk. You are […]

News for Writers

Creating Memorable Characters Part Six: Backstory

Creating Memorable Characters Part Six: Backstory

Continuing my series on Creating Memorable Characters. So far, we’ve covered Relatability, Uniqueness, Physical Traits, Tics and Mannerisms, and Dialogue. These aspects of character development are all very superficial. They are the things that make a character stand out and come alive on the page. They are the things that make the character seem like […]

Our Faith

A Good Run

A Good Run

Sunday I went for a 5-mile run that ended up being 5.5 miles. It wasn’t my fastest run but it was one of my best. I even had a running partner to the end of our street (pictured above). Her total run was a half mile, not bad for a 9-year old. The day was perfect, […]