Do You Love Yourself Too Much? The Story of Narcissus

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) Maybe we need to focus less on loving ourselves and more on loving others. In Greek mythology, Narcissus was the son of a river god and a nymph. When Narcissus was young, a blind soothsayer prophesied Narcissus “would live to an old age if he did not look at himself.” The(…)

7 Tricks to Add Variety to Your Dialogue

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) A simple back and forth exchange in dialogue is like a plain chicken breast. It’ll keep your body full and moving, but pretty soon your taste buds get bored. You need BBQ sauce. Or Ranch shake-and-bake. Or spicy raspberry-balsamic marinade. You need to add variety. The same principle applies to your(…)

Why Does Fear Exist?

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) Fear can kill us in more ways than one. In the Star Trek: Voyager episode “The Thaw,” the crew of the starship Voyager finds a planet that suffered an ecological disaster. Five of the aliens who lived there placed themselves into a timed stasis, set to release them when the surface(…)

Is Your Website at Risk from Hackers? 8 Ways to Protect Your Blog

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) A hacked site can cause you days of downtime. It can cost you money, both from lost income if you sell books through your site and from having to pay a web guru to fix the problem. It can cause you stress as your regular readers send you messages telling you(…)

Why I’m Thankful for the Stress Tests in Life

I’m thankful for the stress tests of life. Three weeks ago, my husband and I chose to spend our “date afternoon” together participating in a Guild Wars 2 stress test. Guild Wars 2 is a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) based around the story of the re-emergence of Destiny’s Edge, a guild dedicated(…)

Why Every Author Needs a Professional Photo – Guest Post by Brent Foster

In my continuing effort to bring you useful tools, I wanted to look at why every author needs a professional photo (also called a “head shot”). Mine is in dire need of an update. Today I’m pleased to be able to welcome guest poster Brent Foster, a photojournalist who says, “I believe in storytelling, and(…)

Not My Normal Monday Post

This isn’t going to be the post you expected. The type of posts you do expect on Mondays will return next week. I had a different post scheduled for today, but I’ve delayed it until next week for three reasons. Since this is a holiday, I expect most of you are spending the day away(…)

5 Basics About Dialogue You Need to Know

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) “Dialogue is conversation–nothing more, nothing less” (Gloria Kempton). A couple months back when I took a survey on what you wanted me to write about, one of the topics you asked me to cover was dialogue. So today I’m kicking off a new craft series. Through the series, I’ll cover ways(…)

Cinderella Strong – Guest Post by August McLaughlin

Last April, I read a post on the Cinderella fairy tale that made me see it in a completely new light. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I asked the author, August McLaughlin, if she’d allow me to re-post it here today. If you’re not already a regular reader of August’s blog, make sure(…)

How to Help Your Readers See Your World

By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy) I have a confession to make. It took me three tries to finish Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. I stalled out the first two times in the same place—at the house of Tom Bombadil. I tried to slog through all the description, but my attention would slip, I’d set the(…)