5 Books that Inspired Me to Write


You know that bookish kid portrayed in movies who stays up into the wee hours sneaking a few more precious moments of reading under the blanket with a flash light? Yea, that was me. I devoured the pages with a voracity for the worlds I was exposed to. The characters became my friends (and sometimes my enemies). I wasn’t satisfied until the last word on the last page was read. And then, curiously, I was often both relieved and sad. If you are an avid reader, this last sentence needs no explanation. Continue reading “5 Books that Inspired Me to Write”

5 Things I’ve Learned From My Critique Group


When I joined my first formal critique group through the American Christian Fiction Writers I can honestly say my expectations were simple. My manuscript was professionally edited and I’d already spent time rewriting. I was ready to begin sending queries to potential agents. I expected compliments peppered with a few catches of mechanical errors (there are always some lurking around). Boy, was I in for an awakening. Continue reading “5 Things I’ve Learned From My Critique Group”

My Soapbox

We all get passionate about something. When that passion aims to evoke change in others, it’s often called finding our soapbox. For some it’s politics, social justice, or animal rights. Others feel passionate enough about clean eating, breastfeeding, essential oils, or hybrid cars to tell others about the benefits or pitfalls.

If I had to declare my soapbox it would be so very simple:


There it is. Short and sweet. Be kind. Continue reading “My Soapbox”

The Getting Critiqued Blues

Ba da da da dum / I got the blues…
Ba da da da dum /  I got the getting critiqued blues…
Ba da da da dum /  …
the just-got-my-first-rough-critique-of-my-novel-that-I-thought-was-almost-done-and-no-body’s-gonna-like-cause-it-obviously-stinks-so-why-even-bother-blues.

Overly dramatic, perhaps? I reacted like the stereotypical writer/creative that turns critique into self-loathing.

Last week I wrote about the distinction between judgment and critique. I did so in anticipation of joining American Christian Fiction Writers‘ Scribes critique group. I quickly did my two required critiques that earned me my submission of the first chapter of Good GracesContinue reading “The Getting Critiqued Blues”

Don’t Judge Me

pic_inside_editingThe first time I remember being judged by a group of my peers occurred on a dark, dreary day in the second grade at Winegard Elementary School. It was the annual second grade spelling bee for which I had studied for weeks. Although confident that I had earned my way to the final two spellers, my clammy hands gave away my nervousness. The final round. I looked out over the crowd of my classmates watching intently (the classmates of the winner received an ice cream party — a lot was at stake).

“Spell kite,” the librarian-turned-spelling-bee-moderator asked the cocky boy standing nearest her. Looking over at me he answered her without hesitation. “K-I-T-E.” The students in his class cheered, fists pumping high into the air.

This was it. It was up to me. Spell one more word right and I catapulted us into overtime and another chance to win. Get it wrong, and it was all over.

Continue reading “Don’t Judge Me”