Part One of My Notes from a Recap of RWA National 2018

Every year, my local chapter of Romance Writers of America has a potluck meeting and those who were able to attend can share what they learned with those of us who could not attend. I try to make notes about the important things but sometimes I get sidetracked. Like by Sara who is a twin and a mother of twins! Teenagers, even. And the anthology Fae Worlds, written by some of my friends in the chapter. And by the delicious food set out for the chapter. Mmmm. Continue reading “Part One of My Notes from a Recap of RWA National 2018”


The Luck of the I Wish

If you are reading this on August 19, that means I didn’t get my RWA notes written up in a discernible format in time to post them today. Instead, something that has been on my mind a lot is this tirade on Luck. Continue reading “The Luck of the I Wish”

Rejections Bring You One Step Closer to Acceptance

My long story about my novel, Crazy for Trying, began at NaNoWriMo 2017. I managed to write 50,000 words in 30 days amid holiday celebrations, putting on a literary event, becoming so sick I wanted to be anesthetized, and because I am retired, not getting any sick days. In other words, I still have to take care of the pets, plan dinner if not cook it, shop, do laundry, and try to write. How I managed it was to write needless prologs and epilogs to get my word count up there without having to brain very much.

072717 grateful

Continue reading “Rejections Bring You One Step Closer to Acceptance”

California Deamin’ 2017 Writers Conference Part 6

The State of the Industry by HelenKay Simon and Shauna Summers

HelenKay ( is not only an author of many books but also serves on the board for RWA National. Shauna Summers is a publisher of many romance books. They delivered the information from the publisher’s side first, then the author’s side. Then they will take questions. Continue reading “California Deamin’ 2017 Writers Conference Part 6”

Scribophile: Great for Writers, Bad for Readers

Two of the best things that ever happened to me as a writer are Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Scribophile . RWA lets me meet other local romance writers, many of them published, and take on-line courses and attend a monthly meeting with speakers and contests and lots of fun. Scribophile lets me waste hours every day in the forums talking to other writers from around the world, critiquing other people’s writing, getting critiques for my writing, and the brownies are all virtual.

The bad thing about RWA is the cost, but it’s not unreasonable. I have been blessed with a scholarship that allowed me to attend the meetings while I weathered my worst financial situations. The bad thing about Scribophile is that once you start looking for errors in writing, you start to notice how many got past the editors of published books.

Passive verbs are not totally eliminated, but use with caution.

Filter words get in the way of letting the reader experience what the character is experiencing. She felt the cold vs. She shivered in the cold.

And so many writers struggle with dialogue tags and formatting, but it’s easy.

These are just a few of the things you learn while critiquing and being critiqued at Scribophile. And a common lament is that you then can’t read for pleasure without smacking into these bad habits that people ACTUALLY WERE PAID MONEY FOR WRITING!!! Ahem. Excuse me. (Overuse of exclamation points is something I have to work on.)

Without permission, I can’t quote directly from any books, but I can list those books. Considering the flap over Elora’s Cave and that blogger who ran afoul of them, I think I’ll let you look for yourself.

And to give you an even clearer idea of what you are looking for, here are the Bulwer Lytton contest. You may recall Snoopy on his dog house typing something about the weather. Well, here’s the original source. “It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” — Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830) Yes, that is one sentence. Yes, that is really poor writing for this day and age, but nearly typical for the time in which he lived. Still, Jane Austen wrote better.

And the 2014 winners. Be sure to catch the Purple Prose section. Good stuff.

I’ll be back on Sunday.