Plays with words, runs with scissors

The fifth chapter of Something Familiar is now available on Curious Fictions (along with chapters one through four) for those who need a try before you buy option. If you read any of the teasers and want to find out more, Something Familiar is available in a variety of formats and from many retailers. You […]

Wide photo of a heavily wooded lake in northern Wisconsin.

I spent the last few days without internet or phone service, with nothing to do but play in the water with my family, read (on the bench swing or while sitting on a chair plopped in two feet of water), write, and think.

Rustic simple bridge in the woods.

Critique is an examination of a story’s components and how they work together, in order to identify strengths and weaknesses. The goal is to help the author tell her story in the best way she can. Copy editing, identifying grammatical and structural language problems, isn’t the same as a critique, though critique may include copy editing. Whether you’re new to it or you’re trying to change your process, critique can seem a lot more daunting than it really is.

Writing the other involves creating characters who differ from us (ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, age, personal philosophy, etc). When writers don’t take the time to research and think this through, it can come off artificial and supports stereotypes rather than contributing to the work’s diversity. In written works, skin color is overvalued as a difference, […]

Phalen Creek on its way through the hollow to the Mississippi.

Most artists don’t improve and grow without some external input; it’s often tough to identify weaknesses in your own work. Critiques are one of the best ways for artists to improve, because they provide the response of an audience, showing you what didn’t successfully transfer from your internal context to the rest of the world.

Panelists at a convention discussing writing routines.

I’ll be attending Diversicon, a cozy speculative fiction convention July 26-28. This year’s theme is “The Next Step.” This year’s guest of honor is Nisi Shawl, a Tiptree-award-winning author who excels at teaching speculative fiction writers about how we can reflect real world diversity in our work. The special guest this year is Ben Huset, […]