Tag Archives: Olive Garden

Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee

Hey people!

Thought I would pop in and share some writing tips.

Well, I don’t really have any. I haven’t written all month. Finishing that last novel kinda kicked my ass to a point where I just didn’t feel like writing until rewrites. Which I need to start.

We all need to get back together and read! Remember the Olive Garden days?

Let’s plan that. YAAAASSS. It’ll inspire me to get back into gear and then I can see how everyone else is doing.

Mom. Plan it!

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Dinner and a Movie

Last night was terrific fun.

We had a lot of people show. If we keep doing these, I bet we’ll get a full room. (I’m thinking of another restaurant next time. Just to change things up?)

What do you think about us asking someone to come and read from their pubbed novel next time?

What if, instead of all of us reading, we did a mini-write-a-thon? What if someone spoke on craft?


We should have planned to have Ann Dee read from HER fabulous novel.


You were inspiring all. I loved the fresh voices I heard, the original details and the story you each conveyed in just a few words. It will be lovely to hold your books in my hands–or watch your plays.

Keep writing. We’ll do another one of these in a couple of months.

And we’ll have something writerly happen very soon.

Right, Ann Dee?



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Three Things Thursday!

1. I’ve reserved a room for us at the Provo Olive Garden (504 W 2230 N, Provo, UT 84604). It’s under my name (Carol). 7 pm. Bring 100-250 words to read. Depending on # of people, we’ll decide the amount to share. Make sure you mark your piece at 100 words, 150, and 200. We’ll also do a freewrite or two–short ones–that we can share tonight, too.


2. from Cheryl Van Eck

I love #FirstWorldProblems. Things like “I have too much dip for my chips. But if I open a new bag of chips, then I’ll have too many chips for my dip.”
So tragic.
What does this have to do with writing? World building.
For many of us, we live in a first world country, which means sometimes our biggest problem is that we have two hours with nothing to do and all 1,000 satellite channels have nothing good on.
But if your character also lives in a first world country, then it means they aren’t generally worried about having water to take a shower, or having a place to sleep, or having food to eat.
What if that changed? What if your character was plopped into a situation where nothing was taken for granted? Think of Ron in the final Harry Potter book. It had never occurred to me that Ron, who was known to be “poor,” had actually led a pretty pampered life. And when that was taken away from him, he cracked under the pressure.
And for a bonus point? In the comments, write your best #FirstWorldProblems!
3. Brenda Bensch
How do you start writing? I mean, right from the very beginning, without any prior experience, the very first day? One way is to write FROM the very beginning. About YOU. Anne Lamott suggested “Start with your childhood… Plug your nose and jump in, and write down all your memories as truthfully as you can.” The claim is that from such memories, you may glean powerful stories, or story ideas, with gripping plots and even important themes. You may need to write a lot about all your early memories to get there, but keep on truckin’ !
So, stuck? Write about YOU!
Finally–my thoughts and prayers go out to anyone who may have lost someone they loved on September 11, 2001. We were all changed by that day. I usually cancel classes, don’t go anywhere, stay at home and watch the horrific footage of what happened 13 years ago. This morning, Carolina and I awoke and lit four candles at the time that first airplane hit the first tower. Tonight, I’ll spend some time with good people, good writers. A moment of thought for all who were lost.


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Three Things Thursday

1. Good writing is in the details.

Ann Dee came to my class on Tuesday and talked about voice. And she said ‘write more concrete, solid details, instead of using adverbs and adjectives.’

a. What does she mean?

In my fifth book My Angelica, Sage, who wants to be a writer has created a character (Angelica) who is deeply in love with a one-eyed  man.  Here’s a short scene.

Angelica performed CPR on her Indian lover. His lips were blue. Both of his eyes were closed. At least Angelica thought they were. One eye was covered by a bearskin eye patch. The other lay limply in its socket. . . .

Angelica’s perfectly curled hair trembled with fear. Her  white-gloved hands looked even whiter on her lover’s bare chest. . . .

(She saves him. And then . . . )

Angelica, he signed to her. You have saved me. Will you be my squaw?

Angelica, kneeling at his feet, read the signs, impatiently at first, then triumphantly.

Yes, she signed back fluently. Her skill with language was like her skill with CPR.”

b. Write your own lover’s scene. Use detail. Rich detail. No adverbs. Strong language.

Please share.

2. OLIVE GARDEN IS STILL OPEN! It just has no shingles! So that means we can go there for our dinner.

Ann Dee will come up with a date for before the end of September.

Please come to eat. And talk books. Maybe someone will give a short chat on strong language. Or maybe we will just swear at each other.

Bring 250 words (or less) to read from a book you are working on.

3.  Look at a scene you have already written. How do you rewrite using concrete details?

4. One of my favorite writers, Karen Foxlee, has a new book out. It’s called The Midnight Dress. I can’t wait to read it.


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