Share a Snippet 2018 – ROUND TWO!!

We’re at Day 45 of the 2018 Winter Writing Festival , and we’re starting to see the finish line approach!! Before we say goodbye to the Festival for another year, I’m eager to see another glimpse of the WORDS everybody’s been writing since we started.

Our first round of Sharing Snippets was really fun….so let’s all be brave again today and SHARE SHARE SHARE. In one of the comment boxes below, post a paragraph (or a few) or even just a favorite line that you’ve written sometime within the last few weeks.

Jump right in!!



It’s the Winter Writing Festival Week 6 Check In!!

We’ve made it to the end of SIX weeks, and we’ve got ONE WEEK TO GO!!! Some once-hardy explorers have fallen by the wayside, but a solid core are still with us, scaling to the peak of the mountain. If we all reach deep and make one final push, we can achieve our goals!! The […]

Building Worlds

World building is the creation of detailed settings for out characters. Think – “giant terrarium” where we, writers, get to play God! It’s one of my favorite parts of being a writer. A story’s world is more than just a setting. Setting, like the two-dimensional background on a stage, lacks depth, history, emotion and all […]

Digging Yourself Out

I’m from Alaska, which means every winter I see someone slide into ditch or a snowbank.  Sometimes the snow and ice just win (especially if you aren’t paying attention to conditions or don’t know how to drive in them).  Similarly, there comes a time in every writer’s life when their manuscript goes into the ditch, […]

Winter Writing Festival Week 5 check in

And it’s Valentine’s Day! And it’s Ash Wednesday! First order of business. Do NOT give up chocolate for Lent this year. Not with all that wonderful Valentine’s Day chocolate out there waiting for us. And do NOT give up writing for Lent. If you’re a writer in your DNA and your marrow, you can’t give […]

When the New Year’s Not So New Anymore

Well…it’s here. 2018 is in full swing. New Year’s resolutions have likely gone by now, swept away by the surge of life that always manages to interfere with our good intentions. For those of us who opted for a weight loss goal, there’s been the torture of the food festivus that is Superbowl Sunday and […]

Striving for a Personal Best – The Olympics!

I love the Olympics.  Not for the thirty minutes of human interest packages you get for every ninety seconds of actual sports.  Not for the national pride of chanting “U-S-A” or hearing the national anthem or counting how many medals we have versus other countries.  None of that stuff has ever mattered to me – which […]

It’s Time for the Winter Writing Festival WEEK 4 Check In!

Happy check in and welcome to Week 4! How are we already here – a month into the festival?! We’re at that stage where we’ve had some wins and some hiccups, some forward progress and some maddening slow downs. That’s normal!! And the reality of the job. The important thing is to keep our eyes […]

Research for contemporaries: the intersection of Oklahoma!, lady umpires, and autism

I love research. I’m one of those authors who will spend so much time in research that I delay to dive into the writing for way too long. Maybe that’s procrastination, but I’d rather believe it comes from a deeper need to be so familiar with my characters’ backstories that the words just flow. My first […]

Learning a Hard Lesson – Catastrophic Hard Drive Failure

Happy Friday, everyone! How was your week? Mine started off like this: “Let me show you this hilarious clip I saw on facebook,” I said to my 19yo daughter. I brought over my Lenovo Thinkpad laptop and lifted the lid. The normal Lenovo sign in red popped up on the normal black background. We waited. […]

How to Get “Tight” (Ruby Reprise)

“Needs tightening.” My least favorite comment. I hate tightening.  Hate it at the gym.  Hate it with my household budget.  Really, really hate it with my writing. I love the luxuriance of books, the lavishness of language.  Back in first grade, I always needed extra sheets of story-paper for Writing Time, and never got around […]

It’s WEEK THREE check in time!

Happy check in day, friends! I know week three has come and gone. Crazy, isn’t it? Didn’t we just get started? If you’re like me, you may have had some set backs. Weekends are particularly tough for me because, um, family. They’re so demanding. They like to be fed and have clean clothes and stuff. […]


We’re three weeks into the Winter Writing Fest, and whether you’re writing, plotting, or editing your middle could be a bit dull. Let me tell you what I know about story middles. They can be expanded into a huge massive saga and not hold one ounce of story muscle. Or, they can be elusive and […]


I’m feeling rather melancholy today – we buried the matriarch of our family after being fortunate enough to have her on this earth for 96 years. She was my grandfather’s sister and she embodies so much of the good, loving happiness I equate with my family, both immediate and extended. I spent so many years […]

Share A Snippet!!

We’re 16 days into the 2018 Winter Writing Festival, and participants have spun out hundreds of thousands of new words, whether joining in the writing sprints or working in the privacy of their own writing caves.  I love hearing folks in the Chat Room come back after  20 or 30 or 45 minutes of sprinting […]

Week Two Check-In for the Winter Writing Festival!

The Eighth Annual Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival is going strong, with the Ruby Sisters and dozens of writing cohorts writing their fingers to the bone! As of yesterday we have officially completed our SECOND FULL WEEK, so today it’s check in time! If you’re reading this on the Festival website (the blue site), […]

Fun with Names

I love naming my characters. It’s fun to think through the millions of possibilities, picking each name for its perfect sound, its underlying meaning, the uncertainty of not knowing if someone will be insulted when I use it. Think about Fitzwilliam Darcy, a name that fills the mind with a proud, handsome man who quietly […]

Using the Power of Words to Reach Your Goals

This is the time of year when we make goals or think about where we want to go or what we want to do in life. Some of us make lists with steps. Some of us just ponder or “dream.” Wherever you fall on the goals measuring line, I have a powerful tool to help […]

The Writer’s High

You know that feeling, when you’re in the zone and the words are flowing and something a little bit magical happens, when it feels like the story takes over and you’re just the vessel it flows through?  Your awareness of your body fades away.  You forget to be hungry.  Or tired.  Or care about the […]

It’s the Week One Check-In for the Winter Writing Festival!!!

The Eighth Annual Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival is fabulously under way, with the Ruby Sisters and dozens of their always-talented friends writing their hearts out! Yesterday we completed our FIRST FULL WEEK, so today it’s time to officially check in! If you’re reading this on the Festival website (the blue site), jump on […]


Virtually every day in the WWF chatroom a writer kicks the cyber garbage can as they exit the room.  Why? Because they need to stop working on their WIP and head to the job that pays their bills. I empathize with them, because for more than a decade I felt the same exact way. I […]

Welcome to Week 2!

Welcome to week 2 of the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival! We’re now a full 5 days in to the Winter Writing Festival and the excitement and enthusiasm that pushed us over the starting line has begun to even out a bit. We’ve had a few sprints under our belt and a few days […]

Body language – an author’s occupational hazard

My best friend and I were sitting at lunch the other day, and a hot guy walked by. So I said, “That guy is hot.” (I’m eloquent that way.) “Would you say that in front of your husband?” she asked. “Sure would, and he doesn’t mind.” She expressed some disbelief on his behalf, but it’s […]

Love the One You’re With

The, ahem, older song “Love the One You’re With” was always one I liked, but the message wasn’t one I really cared for. If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with? Well, that sort of encourages cheating, doesn’t it? And, of course, a man wrote it. I think. But […]

Let the 2018 Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival BEGIN!!!

**Finding out about the Festival after January 10? No worries!! Just jump right in and join us. Give yourself however many bonus points you need to catch up, and get writing!!!** And here come some of our favorite words of the year: We now declare the Eighth Annual Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival OPEN! […]

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