Monthly Archives: May 2016

Three Thing Thursday


Ann Dee and I are teaching together on  Saturday at an event that’s raising money to buy bookshelves for the Rick Walton Library in St George. $99 buys you a small 2.5 hour class with two writing teachers, keynote addresses from Shannon Hale and Ally Condie plus other stuff.

There might be room left, if you are interested.



One thing that I love to do when I’m depressed is to make my characters miserable.

It’s important for characters to be miserable. Their lives should be filled with problems that seem like they can never be fixed. Readers need to be worried, terrified even, that we’re going to kill off (or at least seriously maim) someone they’ve grown to love.
The reason it makes me feel better is that I have the larger perspective. This misery that I’m putting my character through isn’t going to last forever. Maybe there will be some lasting damage, sure. But overall, it’s going to be okay. I know that the cavalry is riding in at breakneck speed. I know the misunderstandings that led to the problem sounding worse than it really is. And most importantly, I know that in the end the character will be at peace. I love my characters more than any reader ever will, and I won’t let them down. I will always make sure they get the ending they were always meant to have, even if it’s not the perfect one that they envisioned.
Doing this soothes me. My life isn’t perfect. Most of the time, it’s a mess. But that’s okay. Because like my characters, I’m not at the end of my story. And I trust that at the end of my story, there will be a resolution. Not a perfect one, to be sure, but a resolution nonetheless.

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15 Minute Monday

We’re talking about my Dragon software.

Recently I came up with several book ideas I wanted to get done quickly. ( I haven’t done any of that writing yet.  Life.)

So I bought one of those Dragon thingies. You know– the thing that listens to your voice and then writes down whatever you’re saying? Rick Walton used one. It was always hilarious to get his emails. I’m not so sure he went back and reread and reread and reread trying to catch mistakes

Good old Rick. (Now I must admit I haven’t gotten the hang of this thing perfectly. I forget, or have not learned yet, commands that will help me. And Dragon did just write brick instead of Rick. So there.) (Also it tears out my hair when I try to take the microphone off. And I don’t have hair to spare.)

Anyway, this Dragon thing. It works pretty well. I like it.

The problem is with me. I’m not used to talking  out my book ideas.

I’d say  6 % of my writing  I do using the Dragon.

Like this post.


That’s my endorsement. The Dragon thing.  Get one if you have carpal tunnel.

(I don’t have carpal tunnel.)

Suggestions for names? I can’t have a Dragon thing and not have a name for it.


Also, yesterday at church, a five-year-old  was asked to identify Peter, James and John  in a poster I held.

“Who is this?” I asked him in front of the entire group of children.

With a huge smile he said, “Penis, James and John.”


Oh, I love kids.

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New Faces

without pictures 😉

Okay. We have Lisa Roylance taking over Friday posts

and LoriAnne Spear helping with Three Thing Thursday.


Ya. Hoo!

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Three Thing Thursday


Our dear Brenda won’t be able to write for TUW for much longer.

Brenda–I will miss you.

Is there someone out there who would dare to write something weekly for our little blog?

You wouldn’t be taking Brenda’s place, as no one can. You will just be adding your insight.

Please let me know if anyone wants this super high-paying job.



Lately, I’ve been trying to take time to focus on the five senses.

What do I hear? A car outside, the footsteps of a stray cat, the rattle of window blinds as the fan hits them.
What do I feel? The watch against my wrist, the ring pressing into my finger, the hair tie slipping out of my all-day ponytail.
What do I taste? The aftertaste of a brownie I shouldn’t have eaten, but the texture was perfect–moist and silky, with the tiniest crunch at the edge.
What do I smell? Nothing lately…I’ve had either allergies or a cold for the last month or so.
What do I see? Soft, yellow, incandescent light, casting soft shadows across the floor, but my eye is drawn to the bright screen of my ever-present, never sleeping phone.
If I were writing a scene, not all of these senses would be important. But one of them would be. Determining the most important detail in a scene can ground your reader in the entire storyline. It’s just a matter of finding what that perfect detail is, and then finding the best way to describe it.
Sometimes, think I don’t know enough to be specific. For instance, I’ve lived in my condo for close to ten years. Just a few years ago, the Powers That Be (think local H.O.A.) decided my stretch of nothing but lawn in the front was sad. They had our “hired hands” plant a young tree. I loved having a new tree in my yard! A year, maybe two later, we had a horrific storm and it ripped one of the arms of my small, struggling tree. I still have one piece of it: a dead limb, bent out at a rakish angle, and denuded of leaves. It’s dead. I don’t have any tools strong enough to clip it — so sad looking. Like nobody cares enough to give this old gent a haircut! And here’s the worst part. I have no idea what kind of tree it is. If I knew, I would use that name, and you, the reader, would know what it looks like, how sad it is; so it just sits there (on “my” side of the tree—it’s what I look at from my sunroom cum office window). And some of you would know, with precision, what that would look like, if I only had its name. When it turns to autumn leaves. When the first buds of leaves begin to pop out in the spring. So, we all need to learn more, to enrich and nourish our writing: fruit? But what kind? Fresh pineapple (that makes my mouth water); cantaloupe (makes me squirm —I’m allergic to the fresh melon, but cantaloupe sorbet ? — great, if I can find it. Flowers? You talkin’ roses? geraniums? dandelions? orchids? Look around you, no matter where you are? How many things can you name . . . with accuracy? Those are the details which will make our writing stand out, be engaging, be memorable.

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