#WritingCommunity #QuestionOfTheDay: To Plot Or Not To Plot?

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There’s a huge debate in the writing community whether or not having a very detailed plot outline is invaluable or a waste of time. Does it really make a book better? There’s a new story idea I’ve been toying around with and so I’d considered plotting out my next manuscript.

With my last one, I sort of had to do a super light outline because I had multiple POVs and a dual timeline. But it was the second book in a duology, and so I already knew the characters. It’s a lot different if you’re writing out a series and you already know the characters, the storyline, and kind of know what he/she would do next. It’s a lot harder to start from scratch when you are simply going off of a brand new idea that you haven’t quite fleshed out.

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#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth: Depression In Writers & Why It Sucks

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October is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it’s a subject that is deeply personal to me.

I wish I could say that I wake up every morning smiling from ear to ear. I wish I could say that I have an infectious laugh, a bubbly personality, and skip everywhere I go.

I wish I could say that winter weather doesn’t affect me and that COVID didn’t affect my mental health. I wish I could say that I don’t mind isolation, that I can celebrate everyone else’s success with a huge fucking grin on my face, even though all the while I’m feeling like a big fat failure.

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Why I’ve Become a Cynical Writer & Expect Zero Compliments

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Writing isn’t only a lonely endeavor but a thankless task. Many people who aren’t writers are often the most judgmental, and you see this in the countless negative reviews on Goodreads.

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Don’t Let Perfectionism Sabotage Your #WIP

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The hardest part of writing a novel isn’t starting but knowing when to stop without perfectionism stalling progress. It’s easy for people to start something and fiddle around with it for years. I’ve spoken to writers who have taken 10-15 years and are still tweaking the same novel. Meanwhile, I’ve read drafts where I can tell the writer rushed through the process, and the manuscript requires many more revisions.

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Writing Morally Grey Characters

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One of the biggest concerns us aspiring authors have is whether or not our audience connects with our protagonist or our cast of characters, for that matter. Did we make a likable character? Did our readers care about the character enough to keep reading?

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#AmEditing: Using Kindle To Revise Your #WIP

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Every writer has a different method when it comes to editing their WIP. Some writers insist on printing pages. Though, I have found Kindle to be a great tool that can help during revisions. How can Kindle be a great asset to the editing process?

First off, let’s answer the bigger question: Why is it important for a writer to get better at editing their own manuscript?

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#WritingTip: When To Not Name Characters

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Sometimes writers intentionally want to create big worlds, so they go out of their way to write a huge cast. If you’re like me, you might’ve unintentionally done so. During the revision process, I discovered that I had named too many minor characters. Many of these characters never return.

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Post-COVID: Its Ongoing Effects On Mental Health & Depression

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Note: I’m deviating from my typical writing topics to discuss mental health because many writers, myself included, battle depression and other mental health issues. It’s a topic that has been taboo for far too long. Self-care as a writer is just as important as any writing tip.


Mental health has been one of the most under-discussed topics throughout COVID. We’ve talked about washing our hands for at least twenty seconds, carrying around hand sanitizers, wearing masks, and keeping six feet from one another. But we’ve failed to highlight the importance of prioritizing mental health.

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When Crap Happens: Writing Through Trauma

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When my husband and I were trying for our second child, we thought it would be simple because we conceived our first child on the first try. Little did we know the long road we would have to endure ahead. Being the creative person I am, trying to breathe life into my manuscripts and a little human at the same time was the hardest period of my life. It felt like my body was rejecting me at every turn, and so were traditional publishing houses.

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#EditingTip: Benefits of Beta Readers & How To Work With Them

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Writing a novel isn’t the hardest part; it’s the entire process that can be time-consuming. Editing takes up the biggest chunk of time because it’s more than spell checking and grammar. It’s also getting feedback. Reading your work to yourself isn’t enough. Having additional eyes on our work is one of the most valuable aspects of the editing process.

Good beta readers and critique partners can be hard but not impossible to find. Luckily, social media has opened up a great window of opportunity for writers to connect. Twitter has a dense #writingcommunity that is very supportive. There are also large groups of beta readers and critique partners on Facebook. Joining a group can be very helpful and the first step toward getting more perspectives on your writing.

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Being A Minority Writer: Why We Don’t Fit In A Box

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Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

Woman. Writer. Hard Worker. Sister. Wife. Mother. Aunt. Best Friend. Korean. Puerto Rican. Mixed Minority. Non-Bilingual. American. Educated. Social Media Maven. Content Producer. Book-Nerd. True Crime Buff. Insomniac. Major Depression Battler. Self-Help Junkie. Sushi Fanatic. Nature-Lover. Dog Mom. Eternal Learner. Human.

None of us fit in one box, and most of us wear many hats. That’s why I’ve never liked questions where I’m not just asked but forced to choose one ethnicity. Am I Hispanic or Latino? Well, yes, but I’m also half Korean. Where’s the box for that? You don’t see— Are you German? You don’t see—Are you Irish? It’s only—Are you Hispanic or Latino? That damn question is everywhere and on everything and not just job applications. I’ve always wondered why the hell does it even matter that I’m half Hispanic or Latino? It forced me to admit one very hard truth—it does matter to our society. Our society wants us to fit in something that they can identify, to help them categorize us.

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Finding Joy In Writing Amid Uncertain Times

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The first rule of being a writer is learning to accept isolation. Separating ourselves from outside distractions enables us to focus on the words and listen to the internal voice that helps us to follow our vision. Read the rest of this entry »

Creative Empowerment: Build A Life You Don’t Have To Escape From

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I admit it as a creative soul, as a writer I’m quite the escape artist and there are many forms of avoidance. A glass of red wine or two. A mind-numbing videogame on my cell phone. Even a good book. Read the rest of this entry »

On Overdrive: Confessions of an Audiobook Addict

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On Overdrive: Confessions of an Audiobook Addict


I wasn’t familiar with the Overdrive App until my sister told me about it. Her daughter had a reading assignment, and her teacher passed along information regarding the app that has changed the way I sit in traffic. Read the rest of this entry »

How Writers Can Use Self-Doubt To Their Advantage

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How Writers Can Use Self Doubt To Their Advantage

Everyone says that confidence is a make-it-or-break-it trait. A lack of confidence shows in everything that you do. It is as if people can see the “L” for loser branded on your forehead. If you don’t have confidence, you’re doomed. You’ll likely never reach your goals, you’ll never amount to the success you’ve been trying to reach. Read the rest of this entry »

Fail Loudly. Win Silently.

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Losing is key to personal growth, character building, and even success. I think without our losses, it’s impossible to taste victory. Imagine if there were no such thing as tears. Imagine a world without pain, without struggle, without rejection, without losing. While this might sound like Utopia or maybe even some old Star Trek episode, there’s a sense of wrongness to it. Without pain, we’d never grow, and without growth we can’t fully appreciate the sweetness of winning. Read the rest of this entry »

#WritingCommunity: Which POV & Tense Is Better? Third or First Person? Past or Present Tense?

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#WritingCommunity: Which POV & Tense Is Better? Third or First Person? Past or Present Tense?
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com


Heading into the New Year, we all love the feeling of starting out fresh. Who doesn’t want a new beginning? The start of a New Year can also mean getting out of our comfort zone. For writers, the first thing that comes to my mind is tense. Are you considering writing in a different tense or POV this 2019? Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Miss Q & A With Author Ken Pisani of AMP’D, A LOL Dramedy Novel

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I ran across this article,“Trying To Find An Agent Is The Worst Thing Ever,” and I laughed so hard. I was determined to track down the author, Ken Pisani.

Let’s just say after a few Twitter DMs and emails, we set up a time to meet for coffee, as we’re both L.A. locals. An inspiring author myself, I had to meet the funny man behind the hilariously written article. I found his humility and natural comedic personality refreshing. We sat and had coffee and he answered all of my questions about the writing world and the TV industry. I then ordered Ken’s book AMP’D, an adult commercial dramedy, and absolutely loved it! AMP’D briefly landed on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller List and was later nominated for the 2017 Thurber Prize for American Humor, “losing” to Trevor Noah’s memoir Born a Crime. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Being Chronically Busy Doesn’t = Productivity

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Why Being Chronically Busy Doesn’t = Productivity

Productivity often feels better when we’re going at warp speed, but manic levels of workaholic loads come with a price. Here’s what I’ve learned in a crash course of Go! Go! Go!: What comes up, must come down. At the end of our long day, what we could all use more of is a little something called balance. Read the rest of this entry »

Minimalism For Success: Why Little Wins Count!

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Minimalism To Success: Why Little Wins Count

Caution: This post contains purposed run-on sentences and fragments. Grammatical freaks read at your own peril.

Having a minimalist approach to success means understanding how to quantify your wins. Success is often measured on a large scale, but you don’t have to win the Nobel Prize to feel like a winner. Read the rest of this entry »

#WorldHealthDay & Why #MentalHealthMatters

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Of all health awareness issues and causes, mental health remains an under-represented topic.

World Health Day is more than an opportunity to complain about our rising health insurance premiums. Health coverage differs all around the world, and of course, the U.S. doesn’t rank as one of the best. This includes the lack of mental health services. Read the rest of this entry »

#InternationalWomensDay: 10 Interesting Female Facts You Might Not Know! #PressforProgress

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Dedicated to Women Worldwide

When I think about the difference between women and men, the first thing that comes to mind is childbirth. But, there are many fascinating facts about women that I bet you didn’t know.

March 8 is International Women’s Day. In honor of IWD, here are 10 female facts you likely aren’t aware of: Read the rest of this entry »

Chasing The Dream: My Experience With Writer’s Conferences

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Writer's Conference
Photo By: Thought Catalog

 

I’ve been MIA because I was writing so much for a contract. Let’s just say I pumped out over 80 articles, most being almost 1,000 words long. Add those up and you get 80,000 words, which is roughly the length of an average novel. Read the rest of this entry »

Love as a Solution: Diving Below the Superficial

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February Collaboration (main)

There is nothing that weakens the human spirit more than discouragement, and there’s also nothing more powerful then gifting unconditional love. While Valentine’s Day tempts romantics to binge watch Hallmark movies, re-read favorite romance novels, and swoon at the drop of the slightest amorous gesture, there are those of us who cringe at the sights and sounds. Read the rest of this entry »

Finding Hope: A New Year’s Resolution

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Hope

My New Year did not start off as planned, I found myself faced with issues of mortality. The choice between life and death doesn’t always get placed in our hands. However, I soon found myself having to play God and forced to make a very personal and sensitive decision. Read the rest of this entry »

Goals & Reflections: I’m Not Quite There, But I’m Not Where I Was!

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Goals & Reflections: I’m Not Quite There, But I’m Not Where I Was!

December is a perfect time to reflect as we enter into the New Year. Whenever it comes to goals, most of us can say that we’re not quite there. While there are rare individuals that can boast that every area of their life is absolutely perfect, it’s not common. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Writers & Readers Should Diversify Their Reading List

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Why Writers & Readers Should Diversify Their Reading List

I’m a believer in diversifying your reading list because it flexes both your writing muscle and your ability to identify good plot. Strong characters come in all genres, and impactful page-turners are genderless with regards to the author. Read the rest of this entry »

The Las Vegas Massacre: Honoring Our Heroes In Blue

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The Las Vegas Massacre: Honoring Our Heroes In Blue

While I slept peacefully, thanks the Seroquel I take for my insomnia, hundreds of people were running for their lives. As a deadly massacre took place in the city I once lived in for more than 10 years, where I went to high school. The city of sin and lights…Las Vegas.

This is a city where my mom, sister, brother-in-law, nieces and nephews still live. While I am not a big country music fan, my sister and her family are. Luckily, they were not at the concert that night, but many others were. But what if they had made the Route 91 concert a family event? What if they all had gone that night? Read the rest of this entry »

Self-Respect Means Knowing What Love Is & What Love Is Not

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Self-Respect Means Knowing What Love Is & What Love Is Not5 years ago…

My face hit the floor, as I was literally brought to my knees, begging and pleading with snot and tears running down my face. I might as well have been kissing his feet, and all to make him reconsider ending our marriage.

The response I received started as an arrogant scoff that accumulated into explosive laughter. He rolled his eyes at me with not an ounce of sympathy or concern and mockingly spit out, “Get up off the floor and stop making a fool of yourself.” Read the rest of this entry »

One Step Closer: Rising from the Ashes of a Tumultuous Relationship

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One Step Closer: Rising from the Ashes of a Tumultuous Relationship

At 32, I entered one of the worst relationships I have ever been in. The man was manipulative and yet a smooth-talking charmer. He was younger than me by four years, which is not much but still enough to boost my ego. His blue eyes and sweet boy-next-door looks swept me off my feet. Read the rest of this entry »

Finding Strength In Death: The Mohamed Bzeek Story

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The day after Mohamed Bzeek turned 62 years old, doctors diagnosed him with colon cancer. This time in his life could not have been lonelier, as his wife had recently passed away, and his son was unable to provide support due to his disability. Mohamed found himself without a soul to lean on and in the hospital scared. Unsure if he would even survive, fear consumed him and so did the thought that perhaps he would die completely alone. Read the rest of this entry »

The Role of Daddy

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A Belated Happy-Father’s Day Message. Better Late Than Never!

 

I caught sight of the boy at a distance, watching us with wide eyes. We were with our daughter, playing on the swings, like any typical day at the park. Read the rest of this entry »

Why 15 Minutes Is All It Takes To Be Kind

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Having gratitude essentially enables us to not take things for granted. There are times when seeing the silver lining is a challenge, and I do not want to undermine real struggle and hardship. However, obstacles in life can lead to great rewards because we cannot come out of struggle without being inherently changed by it. Nevertheless, it’s up to us to make sure that change is good rather than bad. Read the rest of this entry »

Overcoming Fear: Resurrecting You Without Limits

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Photo: National Geographic

Fearless is climbing El Capitan in Yosemite. Overwhelming and epic is ascending the famous rock with only 10 fingers and 10 toes and a bag of chalk—in about 3.5 hours, no less. Talk about someone who has personal motivation removed of insecurities or what? Read the rest of this entry »

Let Nature Provide The Answers

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Let Nature Provide The Answers
Photo by: Sonyo Estavillo

I love sunflowers because they have such a radiant and happy spirit to them. There’s such an energy in nature that you can’t get in the concrete jungle. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Struggle is Good For Us

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Photo By Julia Caesar via Unsplash

Struggle allows us to ponder the direction of our lives. If we never reflect, we forget to challenge ourselves to be better. I hadn’t realized what struggle does to our character until I was listening to a podcast about the subject. It was Joe Rogan who pointed out something profound, something I hadn’t thought of before on the subject of struggle. Read the rest of this entry »

The Tragic Death of Chris Cornell: Depression’s Toxic Bedfellow…Suicide

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Chris Cornell’s death will stand to be one of the saddest moments in rock history as yet another infinitely talented artists is no longer of this world. It is one of the most profound recent tragedies next to the loss of Prince, at least for me.

He was gifted with one of the better rock voices in the modern era of grunge and alternative rock. Cornell was blessed with raw talent that made him a Rock God, one that aspiring as well as successful musicians idolized. And to pair up his throttled, husky voice, Chris had the perfect looks to be the front man for Soundgarden and Audioslave. The man with a 4-octave vocal range was also lead songwriter, guitarist, and drummer. Read the rest of this entry »

My Humble Thanks 4 The Versatile Blogger Award Nominee!

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I received the Versatile Blogger nominee from Tired Mind Typing Fingers who is an awesome blogger. I am really humbled by this award, I’d like to think that I’m versatile or at least I try to be. There are so many amazing bloggers out there, so hard to get through all of the posts. But, I do try to read as much as I can and comment. Read the rest of this entry »

Mother’s Day: The Humble Responsibility of Mother

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Mother_s Day- What it takes to be a Mother
Taken By Hubby: Ariabella & I yesterday after seeing Sesame Street Live! So fun!

You don’t have to give birth to a child to be a mother. Plenty of women who cannot have kids are excellent mothers. They exude love and kindness and that motherly charm for friends, family, coworkers and even complete strangers. If one of these women adopt, they provide a warm, secure home. Read the rest of this entry »

Where Does The Time GO?

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Dissipating time

Traces of itself dissolves

Leaving me behind


Note: I’m working full-time now, so my time is slim. I didn’t include an audio today for my Haiku. I will try my best to comment and read your blogs. ❤

Some days I feel like time just evaporates right before my eyes. So, I try and find gratitude with the time I do have for myself. Some days we don’t have a lot of “me” time. It’s not the quantity that truly matters, but the quality. Quality time is better than an exorbitant amount of wasted time. Read the rest of this entry »

What or Who is the GPS of Your Life?

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What or Who is the GPS of Your Life?
Stock Photo

I wonder what I would do without GPS in my Prius? How would I get groceries? Hell, how would I get home? I’m admitting to the blogging world that I have a terrible sense of direction. Yes, I have gotten lost in parking lots. Hey, some of them are very big, like one huge maze. Read the rest of this entry »

Communication: Why You Shouldn’t Defend Yourself

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Communication- Why You Shouldn_t Defend Yourself
Stock Photo


If you don’t want to get roped into an argument, then the easiest solution is to not defend yourself. I know it sounds crazy and counter to what we might initially feel, but it’s true. What happens when someone backs you into a corner and you don’t feel like arguing? Read the rest of this entry »

The Drive (A Short Story)

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The Drive (A Short Story)
Image By: Cassoday Harder via Flickr
https://www.flickr.com/photos/cassodayann/

The day was plain. The dull blues of the sky were devoid of clouds, wind, and any hint of impending thunderstorms. In truth, the earth felt plain. Read the rest of this entry »

Masterpiece (Flash Fiction)

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Masterpiece
Photo By: Valentina Kallias
valentinakallias.deviantart.com


My inquisitive nature has led me to foreign places. I’ve understood the nature of exploring the odyssey of unique beauty, obvious and tranquilly available at my grasp. Spain had been at my selection, rich in the lather of cultural heartiness. Old dust, buildings erected from history, and life living in the spirit of the people recovered from old traditions. Read the rest of this entry »

Your Creativity & Art Will Not Go Away If You Take A Little Break

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sunset
Photo by: Sonyo Estavillo

Creative souls desperately yearn to create as often as possible. We are sensitive and often in touch with more emotions that others choose to bury. Some creative people are naturally prone to a little melancholy, as I touched upon in a previous post Pursing The Art: Depression & Creative Minds. Read the rest of this entry »

Mental, Physical, Spiritual: A Balanced & Fit Life Is A Happy One

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Photo via Abobe Stock


If you’re feeling sluggish, there’s not enough coffee that can get you going. Trust me on this. As a matter of fact, too much caffeine can send you crashing later. Read the rest of this entry »

Responding to Hate with Love

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Image via iStock


To clarify, love isn’t a magic wand that prevents misunderstandings, ceases all wars and dissolves emotional roadblocks. Personal baggage is a part of the process of living in an unfair world, one in which we are the results of toxic parenting styles we didn’t choose, that unite us in blood to personalities often challenging our own. Read the rest of this entry »

San Bernardino School Shooting: How Do You Explain Murder to a Child?

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Image via iStock

My daughter is brave, smart, and, I’ve been, told advanced. But could her little body manage a bullet fired by a gunman who bursts into her classroom with revenge on his mind, fueled by psychotic anger blinding him from all rationality? Parents in San Bernardino are asking themselves a similar question, as their city suffered yet another tragic shooting. This time at an elementary school, no less. Read the rest of this entry »

When is a Novel Truly Finished? Seriously, I’d Like to Know!

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When is a Novel Truly Finished? Seriously, I’d Like to Know
By Debbie Ridpath @ inkygirl.com

“They” say that writers are never quite done editing their novel, that there can always be some bit of tweaking or full on rewriting to perform. But at some point you need to know when it’s time to end the rewrite process. I’m not even sure I know when that moment is exactly, after rewriting a few chapters, deleting stuff, and having a professional editor go over it. Read the rest of this entry »

Find Time To Read: Reading A Good Book Is Never A Waste Of Time!

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Find Time To Read
Free Image via Pixabay

Reading is necessary for anyone who aspires to become a better writer. But, reading allows us to digest another perspective, build our vocabulary, and broaden our imaginations. Read the rest of this entry »