Are You Struggling to Control Your Inner Centaur?

I’m afraid I might be part centaur. And it’s not something I’m proud of. Centaurs in the ancient Greek world were nothing like the stargazers on the grounds of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts or the wise, noble creatures in Narnia. The most common origin legend says centaurs are descended from King Ixion of the Lapiths and(…)

7 Tips for Increasing Creativity

I’ve been award the Kreativ Blogger Award from one of my favorite bloggers, a sister nerd, and just an all-around nice person—Jessica O’Neal. It’s a huge honor to receive this award from her. Thank you! As you’ve probably guessed, this award comes with some rules: 1. Thank the person who gave it to you. 2.(…)

Four Secrets About Writer’s Conference Faculty

It’s writer’s conference season again, and as someone who’s gone to multiple conferences, both as an attendee and as faculty, I wanted to share with you the top four things the faculty and presenters at writer’s conferences (including agents and editors) wish you knew. (1) We can tell from a 15 minute appointment who is(…)

What Groundhog Day Can Teach Us About Contentment

Important life lessons don’t usually come in the form of a large ground squirrel predicting the weather and a day that literally never ends. But Groundhog Day, a 1993 movie starring Bill Murray, weaves three of the most important lessons for contentment around the story of a cynical weather man trapped in a time warp(…)

Behind the Scenes: Angela Wallace and Elementals

Today I have the privilege of interviewing Angela Wallace, author of suspense-filled urban fantasy, to go behind the scenes on her Elemental Magic series. Dry Spell, the second book in the series, has just been released. Aileen Donovan is an elemental with magical control over water. When Aileen finds a mummified body at a scientist’s(…)

What About Characters Who Don’t Match Stereotypical Male and Female Qualities?

In the previous post in this series on “How to Keep Strong Female Characters Likeable,” featuring Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica and Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, Debra Kristi commented, “I always liked these characters because I saw something of me in them. I never felt the way you are describing. I guess I am(…)

Could You Be An Evil Person?

We all have evil within us. In “Water,” the second episode of Battlestar Galactica’s first season, a saboteur blows up their water tanks, forcing all the ships in the fleet to ration their water. If they don’t find water quickly, the approximately 47,000 people who are all that remains of humanity will die. They send(…)

Let’s Play A Game

I’ve been tagged in two fun games, so I decided to smush them together into one post. The first is called Eleven Questions, where you get to know weird facts about your friendly neighborhood writer. The Rules: 1. You must post the rules. 2. Answer the questions, then create eleven new questions to ask the(…)

How to Keep Strong Female Characters Likeable

A few weeks ago, I asked “What Do We Mean by Strong Female Characters?” and argued that a female character doesn’t have to deny traditionally feminine qualities to be strong. But what if you need to write a physically strong woman with few of those traditionally feminine qualities? Sometimes a story does call for this(…)

The Evolution of the Phoenix by Alica McKenna-Johnson

Today I welcome guest poster Alica McKenna-Johnson. Alica writes about snarky girls, kind boys, and the adults trying to keep them alive. After day dreaming for the first thirty years of life, Alica finally began writing her stories down, much to the delight of her readers. As Alica sits in her armchair at home dreaming(…)