The Lie of Helen of Troy

The dental hygienist peered into my mouth at the gap where my front tooth used to be. “How did it happen?” she asked. “Did you fall?” “I bit a piece of soft caraway-rye bread.” “Oh.” It started when a previous dentist botched a simple filling. I returned to him four times to have it fixed,(…)

6 Grammar Mistakes That Will Cost You Readers

Make these mistakes in a query letter, and your work might never see publication. Make these mistakes in a blog often enough, and your readers will find another similar blog that doesn’t make them cringe. Mistake #1: Your/You’re This mistake is why I can only take Facebook in small doses some days. Add to the(…)

What Star Trek Race Are You?

When two nerds fight, especially two married nerds, it can take a very strange turn. She tells him that the problem is she’s a Vulcan and he’s a Klingon, and he counters that she’s not a Vulcan, she’s a Borg. And he’s not like a Klingon, he’s more like a Hirogen. And pretty soon they(…)

Something Like This, But Not This

Writing can be one of the most confusing professions around. We’re told that agents and editors are looking for something fresh and unique–but not too fresh and unique. We go to our critique group or send out our manuscript to beta readers and what one person loves, another hates. And everyone wants to tell us(…)

Are You Brave Enough to Punch A Shark?

When most people think of their honeymoon, they envision sipping drinks on a beach, touring the museums and art galleries of Paris, or eating their way around Italy. My husband and I dreamed about scuba diving with sharks. So when my grandpa gave us a very generous gift and made us promise we’d spend it(…)

Five Reasons I Wish I Was a Jedi

Since I was out of town this past weekend attending the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York, I asked my husband (a.k.a. one of the world’s biggest Star Wars fans) back to fill in today while I’m “recovering” 🙂 ********************************************* I’m a huge science fiction fan, and Star Wars is nerd-indulgence of choice. Ever since(…)

My Life As A Three-Headed Chimera

The Khimaira (Chimera) who snorted raging fire, a beast great and terrible, and strong and swift-footed. Her heads were three: one was that of a glare-eyed lion, one of a goat, and the third of a snake, a powerful drakon ~ Hesiod, Theogony, 319ff (trans. Evelyn White). For years, I lived life as a chimera(…)

3 Reasons Kathryn Stockett’s The Help Became A Bestseller

Time to get honest. We all want our book to become a runaway bestseller and get turned into a movie. And we all know exactly what it takes to get there–a great book and word of mouth. That hasn’t changed and won’t change no matter what technological advancements come along. But that doesn’t mean it’s(…)

Grab Bag January 14, 2012

Like a grab bag of candy where you reach your hand in and pull out some fun surprises, here are some surprising treats from around the web. For Science Fiction and Fantasy Lovers Star Wars’ Greatest Villain by Patrick Thunstrom – For every Star Wars fan who hates Jar Jar Binks. Robin Hood: The Man(…)

My Dark Secret

I have a dark secret, one certain members of my family feel should never be admitted to. It’s just too embarrassing. Too pathetic. Too geeky. It marks me as a social misfit. Because at first I didn’t know anyone else who shared my dark secret (other than the man who’s now my husband—but that’s another(…)