Your Novel Check-Up (Part 1)

What makes a great book? Is it the story? The characters? The age-old conflict between good and evil? Or, perhaps, the thrilling richness of escaping into a fantastical new world? From a business stand-point, what is it about a book that makes an editor or publisher sit up and take notice (or yawn and pour…

What does the Sorting Hat say?

I’m a total Potterhead. Unashamedly. I love the Harry Potter series, with its fantastic characters, complex plot, and rich world building. I love the concept of the different personalities of the houses, and, as an INFJ, am acutely fascinated by differing personality types and quizzes like the Meyers-Briggs test. Often writers tend to create characters…

ENARA: Fusing Fashion and Faith

I love to be inspired by young men and woman who are on the cutting edge of creative pursuits, allowing their God-given creative gifts to bless others, while supporting themselves doing what they love. I believe we can and should support each other across the creative mediums, and allow each others’ work to inspire our…

Preventing creative burn-out

Burn-out. Such an ugly phrase. I prefer to use other, nicer words like tired or stressed or encountering writers’ block, but the result is the same. I end up discouraged and depressed, banging my head on a mental wall and desperately squeezing every last drop of creativity from my soul to meet real (or self-imposed)…

Why dressing professionally is like writing a book

Can I make a confession? I love fashion. Yes, I’m a slightly nerdy tomboy who loves action movies and rolls my eyes at drama. But I also love fashion. For artsy “free expression” types (that means me, by the way) “fashion” is usually whatever we feel like wearing. For introverts, fashion is often just another word for…

Musical Cues for the Creative Writer

Few creative mediums instantly set the tone and affect our emotions so immediately and powerfully as music. Think about the Indiana Jones theme. Now the Imperial March from Star Wars. You’re humming it, aren’t you? How did they make you feel? Were they different emotions, or the same? Now think about Lily’s theme from the last…

10 Tips for Working with an Editor

Congratulations! You’ve completed your manuscript, chosen your editor, and are ready to make your baby shine. In fact, a good edit (or several) are all that stand between you and glorious publication. Right? Well, it’s not quite that simple. Editing is a lot of work. Re-writing is a lot of work. And working with an…

Planning a “Workation” on a Budget

I curled up in an overstuffed armchair with a mug of my mostly-milk Mexican chocolate brew, editing an Appalachian-themed historical novel in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Fifty pages later, I set aside my work for a jaunt to the stunningly gorgeous Lily Lake outside of Estes, Colorado, to stretch my legs, enjoy the…

RealmMakers 2016: Steampunk Princesses and Creative Space

I sat around a table with three steampunked Disney princesses, a Zelda princess and Kylo Ren (complete with lightsaber), watching a room of geeky introverts turn into extreme extroverts. In the buffet line, Capt. Jack Sparrow mingled with Molly Weasley, River Song, Agent Carter and an Amish zombie. This is the creative craziness that is…

Explore: The Outer Banks

The Outer Banks of North Carolina. The very name makes me think of lighthouses and bird cries, the salty tang of sea air and the mysterious rhythm of murmuring surf. The Outer Banks is a regional term for a collection of barrier islands off the Atlantic coast of North Carolina famed for its dangerous ports…

Pottery – Where Art and Daily Life Intersect

I first met the fabulous Rachael Wright on a rooftop restaurant in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (we were both there for my cousin’s wedding). For her day job, Rachael devotes her time to others as a counselor. But on her own time, she’s a talented artist with a unique perspective on the intersection…

10 Tips for a Healthy Creative Business

Business. Ugh. It’s practically a dirty word in creative circles, and I would be the first to agree. I never had the slightest interest in business–or making money, for that matter. Then I grew up (a little) and realized that I like to eat, and therefore money did occasionally come in handy. Furthermore, I came to…