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First Draft Words & Writers United

First Draft Words & Writers United

Posted on Jul 1, 2019 in KC Creates, KC Writes, Promotions

What are your first draft words? Every time I start a first draft I want to die, because its bad… really, really bad. It is full of lazy verbs, vague descriptions, and brimming with first draft words. First draft words are crutch words–the words I use to get me into a scene or get two […]

Stealth Edits at Writers United

Stealth Edits at Writers United

Posted on Jun 4, 2019 in KC Writes, Promotions

If you would like the chance to get five pages of your work edited, for free, by me, here’s what you need to do: 1) Join my writer email list. 2) Format your work in standard manuscript formatting. 3) Print a copy 4) Write the secret code word: BREATHER on your submission. (Hand write it, […]

Want to meet some Kansas City Writers? Save the Dates!

Want to meet some Kansas City Writers? Save the Dates!

Posted on May 10, 2019 in KC Writes, Promotions

I’m excited to be partnering with the Johnson County, KS Library for Writers United! Our amazing library is making it a little easier for writers to find one another by having monthly writer meet-ups this summer, and they were kind enough to invite me to be a guest host. If you’re in the KC area […]

3 Reasons Editors Love Standard Manuscript Format

3 Reasons Editors Love Standard Manuscript Format

Posted on Apr 14, 2019 in Uncategorized

Did you ever wonder why publishers & agents are so concerned about formatting? 1. It’s easy on our eyes. The double spacing, simple fonts, and wide margins minimize editor eye strain. 2. There’s room to write our notes when we edit by hand. Yes, sometimes we still print out entire manuscripts and mark them up! […]

Podcasts for days! What’s your favorite listen?

Podcasts for days! What’s your favorite listen?

Posted on Mar 4, 2019 in Review, Uncategorized

I had a great time getting book recommendations from you in response to my Best of 2018 Reads newsletter, I thought I’d pick your brains yet again. But this time I want to know what’s in your ear-balls? There’s a slight chance I may have become addicted to podcasts. I like listening while I take […]

2018 Best Reads

2018 Best Reads

Posted on Feb 7, 2019 in Essay, Review

I read 80 books in 2018. Since my Goodreads goal was 75, that makes me pretty happy. By read, I mean all the way to “the end.” If I give up on a book it doesn’t count toward my goal. Sometimes, if I’m slogging through a book, guilting myself to get to the last page, […]

Let’s work together! Apply by February 15, 2019 for spring coaching session.

Let’s work together! Apply by February 15, 2019 for spring coaching session.

Posted on Jan 9, 2019 in Promotions

2019 feels full of potential and unexpected surprises, just like that book you’ve been working on. Now’s the time to polish your manuscript and build your writing support system. You can do both in my spring coaching session. (Learn the full details here.) The session runs March 15th-July 15th and includes: One full developmental edit […]

I’m Going to Pavlov Dog the Crap Out of this Meditation Stuff

I’m Going to Pavlov Dog the Crap Out of this Meditation Stuff

Posted on Dec 1, 2018 in Essay, Interview

When I saw MEDITATION on the daily schedule at my writers’ retreat my first thought was: that hippy crap will never work for me. My brain runs one-million miles per hour with no exit ramps or stop signs. There is no way in hell I’d be able to sit and chant “ohm” for an hour […]

100 Rejections. Let’s Celebrate.

100 Rejections. Let’s Celebrate.

Posted on Nov 1, 2018 in Essay

I wrote this in 2016, when I was deep in the querying trenches trying to find the perfect agent. My work with YA4YA has me thinking a lot about that period of my life, because I’m trying to figure out the best way to mentor the authors I’ve decided to work with. I can’t say […]

FREE writers conference Nov 1-4 at the Jo. Co. KS Library & I’m Presenting!

FREE writers conference Nov 1-4 at the Jo. Co. KS Library & I’m Presenting!

Posted on Oct 2, 2018 in Promotions

In October of 2015, I took the opening pages of The Color Eater to The Johnson County Library. The library was hosting an entirely free writers’ conference, and one of the sessions involved group critiques of your work. Those critiques helped me fine tune the opening scene, the scene I sent in to Kneerim & […]