January Reads

{{unknown}}January has been a funny month. I lost a literary agent, but with that same person have been growing a great friendship. I’ve turned in a revision to a good publisher, and am also exploring the indie author route. I’ve been writing and editing manuscripts, and amidst all of this, have been reading some great books. So, I thought I’d share them with those looking for a great read while we’re still in the winter months. The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown My sister, Cammie, suggested I…

When Envy Creeps Up

I was eager to dive into my manuscript today, but after peeking at social media, the sticky threads of doubt and envy held my back. It wasn’t anything overpowering, but I could feel the oozing influence of envy, like tar, bubbling a little too quickly inside my head. Suddenly I felt incapable of moving forward–even though I’d just finished studying spiritual messages. But I didn’t want to apply my mind to my work the way I knew I should, because I wasn’t a “real” writer. I’d never…

While We Wait

{{unknown}}I’ve noticed a theme while talking to several friends and family members lately. A theme of desires. Many of us yearn to work on the right path in the right place. This applies to students or employees, who, week after week slave away to obtain that ideal position within a classroom or company. This applies to the underprivileged, couples who want children, those suffering health setbacks or relationship plateaus, to missionaries. This applies to artists and writers who want more than anything to find the…

For Writers: How To Survive A Holiday

There comes a time, especially during a holiday, when the writer in me wonders, “When is it over?” and “When can I”–erm, dare I say this out loud? Yes? Okay!– “When can I avoid all people, hide in my room, cuddle with my blanket, and continue my writing and reading?” These questions don’t plague my mind because I don’t like people, or because I have an issue with holidays. My favorite days are simply what others would call “boring”–when I can put my shoulder to…

Incorporating Setting – For the Visually Impaired

When I was a teen, at some point my mom turned the kitchen table ninety degrees. When I told her it looked great, she gave me a funny look and said, “I did that a week ago, honey.” Hi, my name’s Mary and I’m visually impaired (though my eyesight with contacts is 20/20). But how can this be? Mary, you say, writers are supposed to observe everything. Truth is, I’ve found a trick to help me catch up with everybody. And it came in immensely…

Family Vacay to Research Trip

Writers are hungry for moments to work alone–when the house is silent and free of gymnastics thumping/whining/laughter. As I’ve grown older, though, I’ve learned that it’s possible to make progress on my manuscripts with the children underfoot. (This is truly remarkable for me as I’m so sensitive to sound!) While I may not crank out chapter after chapter, I’m always thinking, planning, and this spring break I believed I could do more. I figured out a mini trip for a much needed family vacation while conducting research. And while this isn’t…

I Got an Agent and Here’s How

I’ve written a post like this before–I was repped by a lovely agent a few years ago. But, alas, she left agenting to pursue another path. I had the opportunity to work with her colleague, but decided I wanted to finish my next manuscript before approaching agents so I could work with someone who really wanted my work. It happened. A few days ago. But, boy, was I slow finishing this manuscript. It’s historical fic set during the French Revolution. Daunting? Oh, yes. The time period is amazing and…