Archive | August, 2014

Mama Said There Would Be Days Like This

28 Aug

003Happy Thursday to all my friends out there in the online world.

I am hopelessly behind, and that inspires a very brief blog posting today.


It is not all bad, this getting old, ripening. After the fruit has got its growth it should juice up and mellow. God forbid I should live long enough to ferment and rot and fall to the ground in a squash.

Josh Billings
I’m not entirely certain what that quote means, but I howled when I read it.


My new expanded blog format just went up in smoke this week, as did my new schedule.  For those of you taking notes, it took exactly two days for me to get hopelessly behind in my writing.

Having said that, I am humming “Mellow Yellow” by Donovan as I write this.  Would you like to listen?  Follow this link for some good 60s music:

So here’s the thing:  I can either fret about this little hiccup, or I can drop to my knees and thank the gods that I am lucky enough to be a writer.

My old man worked a manual labor job for twenty years, and he hated that job.  I’ve worked some pretty miserable jobs myself.  Today, I’m a writer.  I am lucky enough to get up every single day and create something that is hopefully beautiful and will last decades.  What do I really have to fret about?

So I move on to Plan C.  I have no clue what that plan is yet, but it will come to me, and I will try it, and if that doesn’t work I’ll try something else….and it will be okay.

I’ll let you go early today, class.  Have a great day and thank you from the bottom of this old heart for always being here.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Find the Elegance in your Writing

26 Aug

003And a very Happy Tuesday to you all! I hope the weekend was good to you, and you are ready to dazzle the masses with your words.

This marks the first of the expanded format here on Artistry with Words. I hope you find it helpful.  If not, we’ll change it again.

I spent the weekend working on our urban farm, and we also went to the Northeast Neighborhood Street Fair.  What a great community we live in.  What great neighbors!  I am feeling quite blessed today.

Let’s get this show on the road.  Hop in my jalopy and buckle up.  Let’s find out what this engine can really do on the open road.


But I think beautiful is simple and elegant, like a ballad with simple harmony.

John Fogerty
How often do you visit a site where John Fogerty is quoted?


Let’s talk a moment about the elegance of writing.  We writers are communicators.  I heard once that we are the storytellers of our generation, and I believe that to be true.  I want to put in a word about practicing elegance when you are writing.

There is a beauty in words when they are used perfectly.  It really is quite remarkable what we are capable of saying with a few simple nouns and verbs, mixing and matching, tossing in and tossing out.  It would be a shame, wouldn’t it, if we did not do our best to find all of the elegance we could with those words?

Metaphors….similes….themes…..voice….tone….we have so much to use as our tools.

Don’t shortchange your readers.  Give them your best.  They deserve it.  Make each of your writings elegant, and at the end of the day you can step back, look at your words, and smile.


Try a new approach to your writing this week.  Even if it is just one article, or one flash fiction exercise, try writing in a different point of view, or toss in a metaphor you have never used….something that stretches you as a writer.


A shout out to my dear friend Sha, who shared the following with me on last week’s blog:

“I’ve been fortunate this week to have change come to me. I had just purchased a course on how to double your freelance earnings. This was Tuesday. No sooner had I downloaded the program (which I’ve yet to look at and now don’t have the time) that I was sent a short assignment writing meta descriptions. Later that day I heard from an author in need of an editor who was referred to me. Then I heard back from CopyPress who had sent me a couple of (paid) test assignments for Rocky Top Log Furniture. They also have a DIY reality show on DIY Channel and American Country Channel, called Logheads. They loved my copy and now I have 29 product descriptions to write for their website. Whoo hoo!

On top of that, the author has accepted my rates and I’m in the process of drawing up the contract.

These times they are a changin’! Finally!!”

Hooray to Sha!  Perseverance and hard work led to that success.  She never gave up and finally good things are coming to her.  That, my friends, is human elegance.


March 10, 2012 010

A picture prompt today.  What does this picture say to you? Could you write 100 words on it for a little warm-up exercise?  Well then do it!


I’m going to give another shout out, but this time to a new writer who just started following me on HubPages.  I’m all about community among writers, and helping one another out, so I’m asking you to show some support for this writer.  Comment on her work and tell her how you heard about her.  Let her know that this community idea works if you work it.  Say hello to Iris Draak from Boise, Idaho.  You can find her here.


The Hollis Summer Poetry Prize Contest can be found here

The Aura Estrada Short Story Contest can be found here.


I discovered a new blog from an old friend.  I invite you to visit…it says it is a website for women, but that didn’t stop me from signing up….say hello to Jo at her site, found here.


If interested, you can buy my latest novel, Resurrecting Tobias,  on my website at

And because my friend Sha asked about my ebooks, here is one of them available on Kindle.


Thanks for the visit. I hope you found something worthwhile.  I’ll see you again on Thursday.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”




When is Change Necessary?

21 Aug

003Happy Thursday to you all.  Let’s get started and then we can be one step closer to the weekend.  Oh, hey, in case I forget to say it at the end….you are all appreciated greatly.


Everything has seasons, and we have to be able to recognize when something’s time has passed and be able to move into the next season. Everything that is alive requires pruning as well, which is a great metaphor for endings.

Henry Cloud
Isn’t that a great quote? Can you get what my thoughts are for the day?


Summer is being shoved aside by fall, and that is the perfect metaphor for a writer’s life.  Some things work.  Some things we try fall flat and fail miserably.  Oh well.  The trick is to recognize when we should change our approach to this writing game.  We are constantly adjusting, not only our writing craft, but also our approach to that craft.

Starting next week, I will only be posting three articles per week.  For over two years I have posted five or more per week, but it is time to change. I need to spend more time on my novels, and I can’t do that if I continue to pound away at articles.

I am not being forced to make this change.  It just feels necessary and right.  And that decision is one we all have to make as we sit down to write.  What feels right? What feels wrong?  Should I make a change and when should I make it?

I hope the answers to those questions come to you and that the transition is a painless one for you.


Sit down and review your writing plan.  Are you currently on task with regards to that plan?  Do you need to make a change? What kind of change would be beneficial to you?  There is no reason to beat a dead horse, so if what you are doing isn’t working, then maybe you need to change your approach.


Say hello to a dear friend of mine from England…Ann is her name and on HubPages she calls herself Annart.  You can find this very intelligent and talented woman here.


That site is right here. I’m going to start devoting more time to this blog.  I want to keep it to twice a week, but I want to expand it so that it will be more useful for you.  Give me suggestions of what you would like to see on this blog, and if I can I will incorporate that into it.  Thank you.


But I will see you next Tuesday with an expanded format.  Remember, if you would like to guest blog here, just drop me a line at and we’ll work it out.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Learn from the Best

19 Aug

003Welcome back my friends!  Let’s see what kind of mischief we can get into this week.

Let’s start with a quote and then get down to business.


Just as food eaten without appetite is a tedious nourishment, so does study without zeal damage the memory by not assimilating what it absorbs.

Leonardo da Vinci
Read that quote again.  It speaks volumes no matter what path you take in life.


I am assuming, and that is always a danger, that those who are reading this blog desire to be better writers.  At the risk of kicking the proverbial dead horse, I’m going to discuss this issue of improvement once again.

We have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips.  Never before, in the history of mankind, has so much knowledge been available to anyone interested enough to do research.  How can we not take advantage of that?

If you want to be a better writer, learn from those who are better than you.  I can learn very little from the writings of a 5th grader. No offense to the 5th graders of the world, but they are not at the level, yet, that I need my mentors to be at.

If I want to be a better mystery writer, I need to read Burke, James, and MacDonald.  The same is true for those interested in being better poets, or memoir writers, or whatever other avenue of writing you follow.  Find out who is the best in that genre and read their works.  What makes them so good?  Why are they considered the best in their field? Do they play metaphors like finely-tuned instruments?  Do they plot a story that is mesmerizing?  Have they crafted a writing voice that is instantly recognizable?  These are the things we must learn if we are to improve our craft.


Go to the library and pick out a book by the best writer in your genre.  Read it….dissect it….and learn from it.


What’s the best movie you have ever seen?  You can only pick one.  Now, why is it the best? What makes that story so memorable?  Can you write a flash fiction using whatever techniques you found in that movie?


The Richard Sullivan Prize in Short Fiction is accepting submissions.  Check it out here.


Say hello to Nell Rose.  You can find her by following this link.  I think you’ll enjoy her sense of humor and the wide-array of “strange” topics she covers with her articles.


I’ll be back Thursday with more tidbits about writing.  You know how much I appreciate you being here.  Let’s do it again soon.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Writers Observe Life and then Record It

14 Aug

003It seems like forever since I actually wrote one of these. My thanks, again, to Mari, Mel, and Christy, for graciously taking over for me the last three postings.  It was nice to take a break and it was nice to read the thoughts of other writers.  Sharing information is what this blog is all about so please, feel free to share your thoughts, as we move into fall in 2014.

So let’s get started with the quote of the day.


There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

Will Rogers


All I can say to that is OUCH!!!!!

We writers are the ones who learn by observation, so that those who pee on electric fences might save themselves some future injury and discomfort.

Just an observation by yours truly!


I know you are busy.  I’m busy too, and I recently took on another customer, so I’m busier, really, than I would like to be….but….take time out during the day to observe life.  Writers are the eyes of the reading public.  We are the creative observers of life.  We internalize that which we see, find words to express it, and then share in a way that our readers can “see” what we have seen.

How are we ever going to do that if we don’t get out there and observe?

Try this exercise…..


Go outside at some point today.  Take a five minute break and head outdoors.  Lie down on the grass and close your eyes.  Shhh….what do you hear?  Now open your eyes…what do you see?  Now close your eyes….what do you smell?  What do you feel? Categorize it all and save it for a time when you’ll need it.  If you are a true writer you’ll understand.


The Chariton Review is taking submissions for their Short Fiction Writing Contest.  Up to 5,000 words…I believe the entry fee is $20, and the deadline is September 30thYou can find it here.


This is a written prompt….think of a childhood scene from your own life when you had a wonderful summer excursion.  Maybe you went to the zoo or swimming at the local swimming hole.  Now write about it and see if an article or short story isn’t born from that memory.


A shout out to my friend Debbie who, like most of us, has her good days and her bad days, but she just keeps on keeping on.  Here’s to all of you who work in relative obscurity simply because you love writing.  You can find Debbie on HubPages if you follow this link.


I’ve mentioned this site before, but let’s revisit it today.  If you have never visited Kickstarter then do so now. Maybe you need some funding for a writing project…Kickstarter is a great place to consider.  Find it here.


I will mention my latest self-published novel before I leave.  Resurrecting Tobias can be purchased from my website at

And I’ll leave you with a passage from my new novel, Shadow Kills.

. “ Nobody is safe, whether you live in the bowels of New York City, or the idyllic wistfulness of the country.  Evil walks among us.  Hell, there are those who have never heard of Olympia, Washington, and yet twenty miles to the north of us, Ted Bundy called Tacoma his home, and fifty miles to the north of us, Gary Ridgeway dumped dead bodies as though they were cardboard at a recycling center.

Evil walks among us.

Plato said that ignorance is the root of all evil, but what is a sociopath ignorant of?  There is no moral dilemma for the depraved among us.  They are driven by a voice most of us will never hear.  It is not a lack of intelligence but rather a dysfunction so deeply ingrained as to be a part of their DNA.  They terrorize good, unharmed people, in the name of God or payback for cruelties paid to them in their youth, or whatever other justification they have manufactured.  One does not counsel such depravity, nor does one lobotomize it.  The only solution for peace-loving citizens, the only reaction that will bring them peace, is total annihilation.”


Have a great weekend, and thank you!



“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”


Guest Blog with Melanie Chisnall

12 Aug

Welcome back and Happy Tuesday to you all.  I hope your weekend was rewarding. I know mine was, even though we had two of our quail die in the heat.  Such is the life of an urban farmer.

Today I am proud to introduce you to Melanie Chisnall, my dear online friend from South Africa.  Mel has graciously agreed to share some of her thoughts about finding balance in writing.  You can find Mel by following this link.

And now, as Ed McMahon was fond of saying….HERRRRRRRRRRRE’S MELANIE!

melanieFinding daily balance as a writer

Working from home and being a full time writer has to be one of the best jobs in the world. But of course, with anything that good – there have to be a few downsides… Just to shake things up a little.

One of those things is learning the art of balance.

I struggled with this a lot when I first started writing two years ago. It felt like whatever I did was never enough. I guess I felt guilty for having the luxury of working from home.

I convinced myself that I had to work like a mad person to prove to myself and others, that what I was doing was proper work – and not just some sideline hobby.


I’d start working some days at 6.30am and forgot what lunch breaks were. Somewhere along the road writing stopped being fun and became an unwelcome schlep instead.

My work-life balance was completely out of sync.

Anyone who works from home will tell you that trying to switch off from work and get into ‘home mode’ isn’t as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of will power – especially if you’re a perfectionist or over ambitious like I am.

Everyone has their own ways of finding balance with writing, and although I’m still finding some of that balance, I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better at it.

The most difficult thing for me to get into the habit of doing was – and still is – to continue trying to do less.  And telling myself that’s okay.

And to learn how to deal with those bad or depressing days we all have – you know, the days when it feels like we’re invisible, or like nothing’s happening and we’re wasting time.


But there are other things that I’ve started doing that have helped me a LOT with my writing-home life balance. Things like…


  1. Exercise. To stay motivated, focused and stress-free I try and do two quick online workouts every day. One before the work day starts, and one to end off the work day. I do yoga, kickboxing, cardio, toning, walking – whatever I’m in the mood for. It’s great and lots of fun.


  1. Lunch. I force myself to take 30 minutes to an hour lunch every day. Even when I’m swamped. I’ve stopped watching TV and have asked family not to call over lunch so that I don’t get distracted and can keep that momentum going for the rest of the day.


  1. Time blocks. I read a great article earlier this year that suggested blocking your day into four 90-minute blocks. This has helped me so much. When I need to, I also use online timers so that I stay more productive with each writing project I’m busy with. Whatever I don’t finish gets carried over.


  1. Tea breaks. I take two 10 or 15-minute breaks mid-morning and mid-afternoon. This is a great way to get the blood flowing and move around – away from the computer.


  1. Family time. I make sure I finish my work day just as I would if I was in an office – by 5pm. Some people might not agree with this – especially if you’re freelancing or running a business, but I find that this is what I need to do. For me, family is way more important than anything else, and that quality time together is more important than marketing my blog on social media or trying to squeeze in a few more words.


  1. Weekends. I hardly ever work on the weekend. It’s almost like an unwritten rule in our house. Some Sundays I might spend an hour finishing up some things I didn’t get to on  Friday, but that’s about it. I need my weekend down time – especially as I don’t have a car during the day. It’s my time to escape “cabin fever” and get out into nature, catch up on series, bake something, or visit with friends and family.


I think the most important thing I’ve realized this year is to stop being so hard on myself and to stop comparing myself to others. I think that’s why I used to get so tense, frustrated or down in the dumps about my writing. Writing is a job. So I feel like it’s important to treat it as such and set realistic boundaries that are going to work for you. But writing is so much more than that – it’s a passion too. It’s got to get me excited about doing it. Staying balanced with my writing helps me keep everything in perspective.

How do you find balance as a writer?


And thank you, Mel, for sharing some great thoughts.  I’m sure we can all relate to this article.

The offer is open. If you want to share on my blog just get in touch with me and we’ll work it out. 

I’ll see you again on Thursday.  Until then, knock ‘em dead with your writing.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”






A Guest Blog with Christy

8 Aug

Welcome back and Happy Friday!

This is a great day for me because for the second blog in a row, I don’t have to do anything. I can just sit back and read the words of a dear friend who is kind enough to do my work for me.  How great is that?

Christy Birmingham has graciously agreed to write today, so I’ll turn it over to my favorite poet from Victoria, British Columbia.

How to Write a Gratitude List: 5 Tips to Creating a Great One

cwGuest post by Christy Birmingham

A gratitude list provides a great way to offer your thanks to people or things around you, which hopefully helps you live life in a full and meaningful way. To write your own – and make it a great one – here are 5 tips:

1. Set Aside Regular Time

Make time on a regular basis, whether it’s once a day or once a week, to make of list of things you are grateful for. By incorporating the writing activity into your routine, you are more likely to keep with it and less likely to consider it bothersome.

2. Make the Decision to Be Grateful

Set your mind to being more grateful about your life, and you’re more likely to keep an amazing gratitude list! The reasoning here? You are more likely to go through your day with a positive outlook and pick out details from the day that made you happy.

3. Use All of Your Senses

Don’t just live your days halfway! When you go for the full experience by invoking all of your senses, you’re going to have richer details to fill your gratitude list. You’ll likely start to notice sights and sounds that you hadn’t even realized were there before.

4. Grammar Be Gone

Don’t worry about grammar, spelling or other language rules as you write. It’s okay to step outside the rules for your gratitude list as it’s all about helping yourself feel more alive than being correct in wording. Your focus, the reason why you’re writing the list, is to increase your positive outlook and that’s what’s more important here.

  1. Don’t Force it

If you’re not feeling in the mood to write a list today then don’t force yourself to do it. There’s no point in faking happiness as it will show right through your words and won’t help you feel better around you surroundings. Instead, give yourself time to relax and rejuvenate.

These are a few tips for creating a great gratitude list that hopefully will help you feel happier about your life than if you didn’t write it. Remember to enjoy your surroundings and yourself as life really does go quickly and there’s so much to be grateful for!


Christy Birmingham is a poet, author and freelance writer in British Columbia, Canada. Her debut poetry collection Pathways to Illumination is available exclusively atRedmund Productions. If you haven’t been by her blog Poetic Parfait yet, check it out. You can also find Christy on Twitter.


What a great writing exercise, Christy!  Thank you my friend.


I’ll be back Tuesday and yes, I have another guest blogger on that day. Melanie from South Africa, will take over then.  This is like a magical mystery tour of writers all on one site. How cool is that?

Have a great weekend and thank you so much for joining Christy today.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

A Guest Blog from Mari

7 Aug

Happy Thursday to you all!

You are in for a treat today.  My friend Mari has agreed to do the blog for today.  She has her own blog and I invite you to visit her by following this link.

Now, let me turn this over to Mari.

mari5 Tips to Help Improve Your Writing and Achieve Your Goals

I don’t always write, but when I do, I do it in the most transcendent way.  Not really, but it is a great goal to strive toward.  This is something that you should do as well.  Have a goal, strive for it, attain it, and then share it with others.  Keeping those wonderful achievements to yourself is just selfish and people want to know how you progressed from start to finish.  Who knows, you could even become the next Stephen King, Chaucer, oooohhhh, even Shakespeare!  Are you game?  Do you have the salt to get from point A to point B like a boss?  If so, devour (not just read) these five ways that can help.

  1. First and foremost, WRITE IT ALL DOWN!
  2. Organize an evil plan of attack.
  3. Start creating the magic within you.
  4. Write until your fingers bleed.
  5. Mutilate your obstacles and soar.

First and foremost, WRITE IT ALL DOWN!

You’re probably wondering why I’m yelling at you in capital letters.  It’s because someone once told me that “if you didn’t write it down, it didn’t happen,” and that little tidbit stuck with me and probably always will.  Have you ever noticed when you write something down, you have better recall of it later?  Writing things down improves memory and understanding and unless you have photographic memory, it’s best to start keeping a paper and pen with you at all times.  Ideas come out of nowhere need a place to call home.  Let your notepad be their home.  I cannot stress this enough.

Organize an evil plan of attack.

I have recently re-read Hugh McLeod’s Evil Plans and it is amazing.  It is a motivating force that exemplifies what it means to have goals and a well laid out plan to achieve them.

As part of your plan of attack you will need the following:

  1. The goal you want to achieve.
  2. Where you are right now in achieving that goal.
  3. What obstacles can be in your way.
  4. How this will benefit you, your family, your friends, etc.
  5. Every single step that you need to take to achieve your goal.
  6. The reward you will obtain or give yourself once you do.

Once you have a clear and concise plan laid out, it is time to start creating some magic.

Start creating the magic within you.

What magic?  I have none.  All out and anything that was there was crudely torn from me the day I realized Santa wasn’t real.

Let’s try something.  Think of the worst possible experience you have ever had.  Now that you have that painful memory in your head…write the sucker out on paper, squeezing out every single detail that you remember until there’s nothing left to write.  Lastly, begin building on that experience.

Write down what happened next.  Write down what you think should have happened.  Write down how this experience molded you into the person you are today.  The point is to create a stream of events that flows from an emotional and real place.  This is where the magic comes from…you.

We’ve all heard the saying about writing what you know.  What better way to start writing or create some imaginative destiny than to write about your own experiences?  When people read your words, they’ll feel the impressions, they’ll relate to the journey, they’ll yearn for the reality.

Write until your fingers bleed. 

Writing is a constant action of building upon ideas and moving story lines so that it compels readers to want more.  Lovers of their craft, masters of their craft, will go to extreme lengths to create their works of art.  It will hurt them, it will challenge them with every keystroke, and it will corrupt their sense of time and responsibility.

So, if you truly love this writing thing, as my friend Bill Holland has told us many times before, write until your fingers bleed.  Write until the knuckles crack in your hand when you finally stop.  Fall asleep writing if you must, but don’t stop!  Then when you have stared and stared at the alphabet in its infinite combinations, you’ll keep writing until other body parts start to bleed.  Unless you’re actually bleeding, then please stop and see a doctor! 

The fervor you have, as I mentioned before will come out in your words and the world will see you in those words.  They will know the story as if they have walked it themselves.  They will share it as intensely as you have.  This is your work of art, your masterpiece, and should be treated as such.

Mutilate your obstacles and soar.

After you have changed the fabric of time with your literary masterpiece, it’s time to move on to sharing it with others.  This is probably the most difficult part about writing.  Every single person on this Earth has a story to tell.  Some are better story tellers than others, but you know that you have a gem in your hands.  The competition is fierce.  The naysayers are screaming at you, letting you know passively that they have failed at their own endeavors and wish for you to join them for dinner.  The finances, the marketing, the socializing is too much to bear!  What to do?

Screw ‘em.  That’s right, I said screw ‘em.  Push past the negativity, the walls, and the hopeless and keep going.  Do not stop until you have reached your goal.  Destroy thy enemies with might!  Whoa…getting a little carried away here, but you get my point.  There are so many people out there ready to peg you down at first chance, but the biggest obstacle in your way is you.  You are holding yourself back every time you deny the chance to write.  You are holding yourself back every time you deny an opportunity to share what you love to do with others.  Stop this.  Move forward.  Soar like a bald eagle on the 4th of July carrying the American flag.

Don’t stop!

You may or may not have been inspired by this, but I know I got you thinking.  That is a good place to start.  Think.  Think about what you want out of your life and go for it, but don’t give up on yourself.  Too often we allow ourselves to reason away our potential.  Yes, it will be hard.  Yes, it will take time.  Yes, it will get confusing, but it will be worth it.  Just keep going and endure to the end, my friends.


My thanks to Mari for some great tips and suggestions.  I’ll see you all again on Tuesday of next week. Until then, write the way you were born to write….oh, I’ll also have a blog post tomorrow…Friday…and my dear friend Christy will be the guest on that one…and then next Tuesday Melanie will be doing the posting…exciting times my friends.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Keep Your Eye on the Target

4 Aug

003Happy Monday to you all!

I hope you all had a great weekend.   I was busy starting our little mealworm enterprise, and taking the first steps toward building a rabbit hutch.  On weekends I like to do anything but writing, although my mind does not shut down.  I’m thinking of topics to write even while I’m stapling wire to wood.  Such is the life of a writer.

Thanks to those of you who weighed in on how often this blog should appear.  I think I’ll compromise and post it twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Obviously this is Monday, but since I didn’t post a blog on Friday I thought I’d better toss this one out so you didn’t forget me.  The next installment will be on Thursday and then I’ll try to be consistent from that point.

Let’s get started, shall we?


If you dream of something worth doing and then simply go to work on it and don’t think anything of personalities, or emotional conflicts, or of money, or of family distractions; it is amazing how quickly you get through those 5,000 steps.

Edwin Land
I don’t know what the “5,000 steps” means, but I love the quote, and let me tell you why.


I have been thinking about this for the past few days.  I’m an observer.  I watch what other people are doing, and I listen when other writers speak, and there has been a great amount of complaining of late about distractions.  Some writers are distracted because their score has dropped on HubPages.  Some writers are distracted because their views are down and they don’t know what is wrong.  Some are distracted by online theft, and some are distracted by the daily stuff like family, work, errands, chores, etc.

Well….I would hope that all those distractions are not taking you away from the one thing you must do as a writer…..WRITE!

Let me use HubPages as an example for a moment, and I’m sure I’ll annoy a few people with what I have to say, but oh well.  I currently have twelve articles on HubPages which have a little “c” marked next to them, meaning that they have been copied and/or plagiarized.  I haven’t done anything about that, much to the confusion and chagrin of some of my writing friends.  They can’t understand why I’m not incensed about it all, but they don’t see writing through my perspective.

I can’t stop online copying.  To think I can is ridiculous.  As soon as I file a form stopping one, another two-hundred copiers pop up.  It’s like that carnival game where you bop those little men on the head and another one immediately pops up somewhere else.  I can’t win that game, and I can’t stop all the online copying.

And I don’t care.  I am a writer.  My main goal is to write books and become a well-known novelist.  It is not to make $500 per month on HubPages.  If I let plagiarism distract me from my goal, to become an excellent writer, then the plagiarists have won.


Concentrate on being the best writer you can be.  Everything else is window-dressing.


Follow this link and you can read the thoughts of Janet Reid, a literary agent. There are pearls of wisdom in each blog post, and they give you insights into the mind of an agent.


I’ll keep offering and hopefully you’ll take me up on it.  You are invited to do a guest blog here any old time you want. Just contact me at and let me know you are interested.  As long as your posting is about writing then I’ll be happy with whatever you come up with.


I thought I’d give you a snippet from my new novel, “Shadows Kill.” I hope you like it.

My sleep was restless that night.  I was being chased in a dream, but I couldn’t see the face of my pursuer.  He was darkness upon darkness, a shadow man, barely visible each time I turned to look at him.  I raced through the woods, my heart exploding in my chest, my breath raspy and strained, sweat pouring from my brow.  I knew there was no point in running, that being caught was inevitable, and finally I tripped over a tree root and fell hard to the ground.  Turning over, I saw the shadow man standing over me, and his shadow formed a smile, dark teeth in a dark mouth.

“It won’t be that easy, Eli,” he said.  “Now is not the time.”




What’s happening six months from now? That’s what an article writer should be thinking to get maximum exposure for their article.  Six months from now will be Valentine’s Day….set up a calendar and write your articles six months in advance.  You will thank me for it.  I promise.





I’ll have more for you on Thursday, including some new contests for you to consider.  Now, enough of this….get out there and dazzle the world with your words.




“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”