I’ll Take All the Help I Can Get!

Isn’t it amazing to think that when you walk by an anonymous person on the city sidewalk he/she might be the first cellist in the St. Louis Symphony? Or the chief of cardiology at Barnes hospital? Or that the bib overall wearing, Johnny Cash loving neighbor next door might be the best pediatrician in the area?

The way the package is wrapped doesn’t necessarily describe what’s inside. So it is with books. They have to be known to be appreciated. And every book you read can teach you something about writing.

Continue reading


You Know You’re a Writer When…

Just for fun, I came up with a list of characteristics that might apply to you as a writer. Some are serious, some are humorous. Enjoy!

You know you’re a writer when:

You have more pens, pencils, notebooks and sticky notes than an office supply store.

You email a writer friend about a character in your novel and your friend’s husband thinks something’s wrong with a real person.

You trip over piles of books on the floor during the night.

Continue reading

For the Study of Writing

Dear me there are so many good writing books, how can you choose one to write a review about? Well, I can’t.

Product Details

38 Common Mistakes is one of my favorites. It is helpful, truly helpful. I have referred back to it often. It is one of those that you really should have on your shelf. It says it is only 38, but it feels like much more. Your bookshelf should have a spot for this book.

Product Details

Self Publishing Attack by James Scott Bell is a wonderful work for those of us interested in self publishing. I have published my novel, Caitlin’s Summer Adventure. It is available both on Kindle and in paperback. And I have Mr. Bell to thank for assistance in my journey. This book is easily one of the most helpful books I have read on self publishing. The points are clearly explained and it has a positive energy that keeps you reading and re-energizes you for your project.

Continue reading

Book Review: Writing Your Novel From the Middle by James Scott Bell

The title of this book is intriguing enough to plant a question in the mind of a writer to pick up and read the book to discover how anyone, be it even a seasoned writer such as James Scott Bell, could accomplish a task working from the middle back, and to the beginning forward while writing a novel. Thankfully that is not the concept of this book.

Product Details
In the first chapter he introduces us to a pantser and plotter and tweener and their trials as writers. Getting to know these three writers is the catalyst to knowing which one the reader identifies with and on this premise the revolutionary novel writing idea is fleshed out.

Continue reading

Writer Mama–a Book Review

I am the only member of Paddle Creek Writers who has children in the home.  Writing around children can be a challenge, so when this book came out several years ago, I bought it right away.  I’m glad I did.  Lots of great stuff in it!


Writer Mama
By Christina Katz
© 2007 Writer’s Digest Books
296 pages, $14.99

Can motherhood and writing go together? Absolutely! It takes some scheduling and discipline, but it can be done. Katz outlines the steps moms can follow for a stay-at-home writing career while still spending time with their children.

Short chapters and an easy to read style help make this book a pleasure to read. Writer Mama encourages new writers to start with tips and similar short pieces to gain clips to use to break into local and regional markets and then use those clips to break into glossies and national publications. There are no shortcuts and no luck according to Katz. Do your work well and pay your dues and in time editors will come to you.

Continue reading

Round Robin – Final Piece

Pat finished the story. We’d love to hear how you would have finished it had you been spot #4!!

“Have you ever helped someone hide?” she asked, testing him.

“Sure, that’s basic stuff. Who are you hiding from? Police?”

She shook her head.

“FBI? CIA? Homeland Security?” her head continued to shake as he quizzed her.

“The Amish?” he asked, with a grin.

She smiled back. “Thank you,” she said. “I haven’t smiled in weeks.”

“So, Miss Ninja, tell me your story,” he said as he stood and walked across the room to a mini fridge. “How about a bottle of water?”

“I’d rather have caffeine if you have it.”

He pulled out two Cokes and opened hers before handing it to her. “I have a feeling I’m going to like this story.”

She didn’t know where to begin.  It probably didn’t matter. She just needed to keep hiding. How they figured out who she was baffled her.

“Do you know who I am?” She asked.

“Professor Weingarten, instructor of Religious Studies, English Lit, and Non-Fiction Composition,” he answered.

“True. That’s true for the past two years.”

Continue reading