Old Dogs and New Tricks

Jeep, our border collie rescue, turned 14 last July and had a bit of a rough road after a severe adverse reaction to Gabapentin. His vet thought it would help for hip pain, and I didn’t research it before giving it to him. Note to self: never do that again. Turns out it’s a seizure…

Chirp All About It! Publishing News!

As it has for millions of people, the pandemic has had a big impact on my working routine. When not plugging away on contracted projects, I would normally be brainstorming new ideas, researching markets, and submitting finished projects. With the country pretty much shut down, there wasn’t much point in all of that. Since I’m…

Keeping it real

One of many things I have gleaned from successful writers is to make sure my fictional stories are believable. Experienced sci-fi and fantasy writers are adept at weaving a made-up world and filling it with characters and situations that a reader can believe and invest in. Legal thrillers play out according to real laws with…

Celebrating the pre-birthday of Bug!

My new picture book, Bug, is now available for pre-sales! And it has already been getting some attention. Here’s what I can share so far: Author and blogger Dawn Prochovnic invited me to tell Bug’s Birth Story for her blog. I’m so grateful that Dawn takes the time and energy to promote her fellow authors…

When to give up on a story.

Writers love their stories. It can be a love-hate thing throughout the writing process, but when a writer reaches the end and declares the story is done, they are hopelessly in love with it. Does anyone remember the intro scene from Romancing the Stone, when the sobbing Joan Wilder types in the final scene in…

Changing with the times – how I stayed published.

This piece is from the May 2006 issue of our local electrical coop’s Ruralite Magazine. I interviewed myself actually, and was very easy to talk to. I also took the photos, hence the cut off head. The gist of the interview was how we creative types struggle in our careers. Getting published doesn’t mean we’ll…

DIY Picture Book Query Letters

When it comes to picture book submissions, editors and agents nearly always ask for the entire text. For novels and nonfiction, they generally ask for a synopsis, the first three chapters, and/or a proposal and outline. It’s a no-brainer that one should write a query for novels or nonfiction to get the prospective publisher interested…

Sock-sock-shoe-shoe? or sock-shoe-sock-shoe?

I had this discussion recently with a Millennial, who felt that the first option was the only answer that made any sense whatsoever, and, he didn’t want to hear any discussion about the alternative. The discussion recalled a hilarious scene in one of the best sitcoms ever made, All in the Family, which aired in…

The Rejection Wins

My paternal grandmother, Zola Koontz, aka Mrs. Wilbur Koontz, was one of many mid-20th century housewives who took a stab at jingle writing contests. It is a mystery why she sent this one again under her Mrs. Husband’s name rather than her own. But in any case, she won! $25.00 in 1947 had the same…

BUG! Publishing News

It began last October with a semi-desire to learn how to do scratchboard while tinkering with a story idea. As usual, my brain firmly resisted this new task that sounded messy, time consuming and difficult to learn. So, after buying all the materials and watching a few tutorials, I tried creating the scratchboard effect using…