My Goal for 2017: Live Well

‘Tis the season of New Year’s resolutions (although by now, most will have given up on theirs) and goal-setting. All around me my writer friends are setting word count goals and plotting how many novels they’re going to churn out this year. And there’s not necessarily anything wrong with setting those kinds of creative goals….

When you have no words (and that’s okay)

I ask my friend in the Dillons parking lot, shoppers passing by with carts full of riches untold for most of the people in this world. “Do you ever feel like you don’t have any words left, or maybe that there’s too much to say for words?” Like you just need to be with the people you…

Celebrating 2016 (*passes the champagne and popcorn*)

Have you ever noticed that Christians (creative ones in particular) aren’t very good at celebrating accomplishments? Making to-do lists, sure. Crossing things off the list, sure. Maybe even mentioning something to a close friend over coffee, as long as you’re careful to enumerate all the ways the accomplishment is imperfect in the process. But celebrating…

JaNoWriMo, WIPjoy, and other weird things writers say

Writers are a strange breed. No, really. I mean, we search Google for the best ways to kill people. (“As a mental exercise, I’ve often planned the murder of friends and colleagues.” BBC Sherlock, Sign of Three) We wax eloquent about pacing and syntax, identify ourselves as “pantsers” or “plotters,” talk to imaginary people and…

Courage to Laugh at the New Year

My best friend loves to give quirky and/or homemade gifts for Christmas, and this year was no exception. In addition to a hilarious photo book of our escapades the last couple years, she gave me a framed typography Scripture verse that she colored during one of our many nights watching movies together on the basement…

Finding joy in every season

Every season has its charms. The flowering trees and new warmth of spring. The carefree, lemonade-sipping dog days of summer. The crisp fall air, perfect for walks in brilliantly-colored leaves. And then the Christmas season, where the dark comes sooner and the days grow colder, yet all over the world people put up lights and…

Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Okay, I’ll admit it. I went into Fantastic Beasts cautiously excited and more than a little skeptical. I love the Harry Potter world and series (both the movies and the books) and I was prepared to be disappointed by a completely different story line, time period, and cast of characters. Instead, I was utterly charmed…

DON’T WRITE EMOTION IN ALL CAPS

Have you ever had that happen to you? You’re going along, calmly minding your own business when *ding* you get an email or text message from your friend or relative. You grin, humming the tune to “You’ve Got Mail,” and click on the message. HELLO!!!!! HOW ARE YOU?????!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 😛 😉 The…

Home for the Holidays: Writing Family Roles in Fiction

There’s one in every family. You know who you are. (If you don’t know, it’s probably you). There’s always a black sheep of the family, just like there’s the quirky aunt who gives you horrible knitted sweaters for Christmas, or the grandparent who forgets you grew into an adult 10 years ago, or the screaming…

Mulan, dragons, and embracing your creative inner child

When I was growing up, every night before bed my dad would read to me, while I colored in my Audubon bird coloring book (yes, I was homeschooled). At first it was short chapter books, like the Whitey series and Hank, The Cow Dog. Then we graduated to longer classics, mostly historical fiction related to…

5 Autumn Staples for the Weary Writer

It’s that time of year again, the season of colorful leaves and walks in crisp fall air and bleary-eyed writers stabbing wearily at keyboards in a mad attempt to pound out a novel in a month. The struggle is real, my friends. The struggle is real. If you’re the unfortunate friend or family member of…

How to Find Inspiration in Everyday Life

What do you do when you’re not feeling inspired? For me, lack of creative inspiration manifests in compulsive house cleaning (a revealing tell for my friends and family, as I hate cleaning), eating copious amounts of chocolate ice cream, and staring morosely at my computer screen. Alas, these activities rarely produce the desired effect–brilliant, creative…