Sound smarter. Learn how to write better & speak well!

Afraid to speak out? To speak up? What if you say the wrong thing? Or the right thing, but no one understands your point? How about writing? Are you one of the millions who write in short texts and acronyms: LOL, BTW, B4, ATM, BRB, FYI? What if WORDS fail you? Think you’re alone? Not even a little bit. Fear of public speaking is one of the highest recorded fears. Some numbers list this fear as high as 75% for most people. (Kids are afraid, too!) Public speaking doesn’t mean standing on a stage with notes or a teleprompter. Places to speak in public: Loads of places to speak up & speak out. What about […]

Here’s how to kick-start YOUR Creative flair.

Uncover The Path The dreaded, cringeworthy blank space. Every creative individual knows the fear of looking into the abyss and discovering: a blank page, an unpainted canvas, a bleak backdrop, an empty skillet, a barren website. It’s not easy to find a way past the void. The creative well may truly seem dry. But hard is only a place to start. Courage is staring down the void and then getting busy, anyway. Not every typed word is a diamond – believe me, I know. Each brush stroke is not a keeper. Loads of recipes serve up disastrous culinary experiments. And every graphic artist has scads of launch designs that will never see the light of […]

How to become a ‘keeper shelf’ author

Part I I don’t give negative book reviews. I will add someone to my own personal list of ‘not to buy again’, but reading is subjective. Unsolicited opinions are better kept behind sealed lips. Authors don’t always hit my Black List after one poor read – it depends. A newbie author’s first release is given more leeway. A successful author switching genres gets a pass. But let’s face it – time is precious. Readers value their quiet moments to escape into a story. Authors must be diligent and dedicated to serving up their readers the tastiest story treats. Recently, I read – and painfully finished a book – by an extremely well-known author. The character […]

How to understand what words really mean.

Dissecting words is NOT hard . . . a lot less messy than those school frog experiments. Prospective vs. Perspective Being a Texas girl, I’ve learned that most of my species – folks from Texas – talk like we have a mouth full of marbles. Consonances are slurred; ending letters are dropped; and short words are dragged out to infinity and beyond. But Texans are NOT alone in this enunciation battle. As I’ve traveled extensively through Southern states, I’ve crossed many a verbal sword with store clerks, waitresses, hotel receptionists, even roadside assist. Add masks to the talking mixture, and the language minefield explodes with confusion. HOWEVER, not all word snafus are a result of […]

Want to EDIT like a professional? 7 Easy Steps

Editing is part of every writer’s job. Finding the time, and more importantly, making that time count is how the PROfessionals edit. Read on for the 7 editing tricks to enhance your writing. 1) Find your editing groove. For some this is EARLY when eyes are the sharpest and focus is the clearest. For others their peak time might be mid-to-late afternoon. Caffeine kicks in, morning rush dies down and – again, this is about focus – the brain settles into a rhythm. I caution against late night editing. Eyes are slower from all the image bombardment of the day. Eagle eyes are needed for effective editing. If, however, evening is the ONLY quiet time […]

Learn how to talk like a real Texan!

Every region of the country has its own colorful sayings. Texas is NO exception. Texas folks don’t mind newcomers . . . and in lots of small Texas towns, if you’ve moved in during the last 50 years or so, you might still be considered a newcomer. Learning Texas slang helps ease the transition. Remember, that the slang is based off history. Texas Saying . . . Faster than you can shake a stick. Meaning . . . pretty darn quick. The ‘tighter than Dick’s hatband’ was one of my mother’s favorite expression. She referred to folks who squeezed a nickel harder than she could as tight-fisted, cheap, or just plain old mean money-spirited. I […]

Chasing Destiny Almond Flour Pancakes

Chasing Destiny – characters that cook! Characters absorb parts of the author’s personality . . . and often the writer grows through the character. In each ‘Donovan Legacy’ book, one of the characters (could be a secondary character) loves to cook. Why do my characters cook? Kitchen: the heart of the home. That phrase is more than a saying on a tea-towel or wooden plaque. Most — I didn’t say all — have some fond memories from the kitchen. If it involves food, it could be the smell of grandmother’s special cookies or holiday candies and treats. If the memory doesn’t involve food, it could be the early morning scent of coffee. It might be […]

Am I a Creature of Habit?

Grocery shopping – who can relate? It’s not like we can ignore the need to purchase food products. Whether we shop in big box chains or the corner greengrocer, the majority of us will grocery shop. But shoppers, like planets aligning around the sun, tend to gravitate to their normal shops. I visited one of the local grocery stores this weekend – not an unusual occurrence for my weekends – but it wasn’t my ‘normal’ shop. In the states, grocery chains are huge; one store seemingly much like the next. EXCEPT . . . Chains may share a common name, stock basically the same groceries, even offer like discounts, but serious grocery shoppers (I’d be […]

How to Make the MOST of your Writing Weekends: WORDfest 2019

WORDFEST.org Saturday, March 23, 2019 — a day spent with writers, bloggers, authors, playwrights, educational specialists — in essence, a day to grow and learn as a writer. Like most conferences, there were seminars designed to encourage growth of basic skills to the next level, those for writers who’ve been around the proverbial publishing block, ones to maximizing online presence and even specialty sessions for groups wanting to grow their membership. Visual demographics leaned heavily toward the female gender, but there was a great blend of young and old. “Writing isn’t for the faint of heart. Writing is for the tenacious . For those who can stand the solitude. For those who are willing to […]