Microbiology for Writers

Right now, your cells are dividing and multiplying.  They are tirelessly synthesizing protein and breaking down waste.  Right now, your cells are working on a masterpiece and, from one writer to another, this prompts me to ask:  shouldn’t you be doing the same? Inside your cells are microscopic structures called organelles.  They each have a specific function that is needed to help a cell survive and thrive.  As writers, we have the same features.  We may not call them organelles and they may not be tangible objects, but they do work in similar ways.  They are the tool box that we must have to function as a writer.   Cell … Read more…

Continue reading →

Say Something or STFU

Always write with a message. Every piece you publish should have a message, a purpose behind it. A piece without a purpose is just words. I need to say up front: I’m not talking about free writing. You should write just to write, but you publish with a purpose. Why a purpose? Your readers give you their time; don’t waste it. ‘Purpose’ can be wide and sweeping: To get to know a character. People love connecting with people — even fictional ones. To educate. To persuade. To entertain. The other week I started an article, but couldn’t finish it. I put it away, as I often do, to let it … Read more…

Continue reading →

6 Tips for Living a Creative Life

Note from the Editor: Writing and creativity. They just go hand-in-hand, don’t they? That’s why we’re republishing this piece from Shannon’s blog. Find the original here. (And be sure to check out her other stuff while you’re at it.) When you think of a creative person do you visualize a person with pots of paint and brushes and canvases? Maybe it’s somebody who writes daily and publishes poems, stories and books. Do you picture a photographer or a clothing designer or an architect? Those are the types of people my mind used to conjure up and for the longest time I thought I wasn’t a part of that group of … Read more…

Continue reading →

On Writing

I think you should know: I am a hypocrite and also I have had two glasses of wine.  These two are not closely related, but they are both things that are happening right now, so I thought you should know. This is a piece that will explain how the most important thing to do is to just write. To really sit your butt down and just get it done. This writing piece was scheduled to be complete two weeks ago. I have not, until now sat my butt done and done it. So that explains the hypocrisy; the pinot grigio explains itself. In this piece of writing, I am going … Read more…

Continue reading →

4th Grade & Fiction & Flying M-Inklings

When I was in 4th grade my friend Chad and I started writing books during recess. Chad was a more enthusiastic storyteller than me, so he took the lead and I helped fill in the details. I was the designer. While he wrote, read the stories to me, and asked for my input, I transferred the finished works into my much prettier handwriting, onto cut, folded, and stapled pages, with illustrations placed just so. There were thoughtfully spaced margins, covers drawn in colorful felt tip markers, title pages, and page numbers. We wrote book after amazing book together. Mysteries, adventures, more mysteries, no romance, animal stories, and of course, more … Read more…

Continue reading →

Books Were Made for Lovers

Is it just me or can you relate to this? Have you ever felt happiness well up in your chest when you find out that one of your favorite authors has a new book coming out? Do you ever feel like that or is it just me? I can tell you that my chest fills with heartache. Not heart break, but heartache. Yes, joyous, bursting heartache! I can’t wait to rush out and find the beautiful book on a bookstore shelf and take the copy that sits in the very back, way behind the other copies. I want the one book that hasn’t been picked up by some ignorant person, … Read more…

Continue reading →

Flying M-Inklings Writing Contest – “Rising Up”

Writing Contest

CONTEST RULES: Theme – “Rising Up” Contest is open to writers 18 years and older. Entries must be original, previously unpublished pieces, 500-1500 words in length, and written in English. Only one entry per person will be accepted. Essays, fiction, and memoir will be accepted—no poetry. Pieces will be judged on their creativity, style, passion, voice, and a compelling story line or message, based on the theme “Rising Up”. They will be judged anonymously. The deadline to enter is midnight, Mountain Time on Friday, July 10, 2015. Winners will be announced on the Flying M-Inklings Website and Facebook page on July 25. The contest winner will receive a $50 Visa … Read more…

Continue reading →

Being a New Author and Writing Non-Fiction is TOUGH! So, I Made Sure and Did it TWICE!

A really brilliant writer and literary agent, Amanda Luedeke, wrote a blog post recently for another brilliant writer and literary agent, Chip MacGregor. You should read it if you are a non-fiction writer or thinking about becoming one. The post didn’t discourage new writers from writing non-fiction, per se, but Amanda was definitely clear about non-fiction authors having to have a well-established platform. Without one, it’s going to be very difficult to sell books which will make it very difficult for new writers who are trying to break into the industry to get a publisher to pick up their work. If Madonna wants to write non-fiction, she should do it … Read more…

Continue reading →

I am a Writer

11127201_10206556475134706_8567167505085211335_n

I am a writer. That sounds glamorous, doesn’t it? Important even. It sounds like I have the art of word crafting all figured out. I am disciplined with my writing, setting aside time to create my master pieces. It means that I am published and selling thousands, no millions of copies of my amazingly sophisticated novel. My name is on the top seller list in the New York Times, of course. I have mysterious secrets about my writings that are debated in lit circles worldwide; and a secret spot where I go to spin my tales, where the creative energy flows through me best, like a rushing river in the spring … Read more…

Continue reading →

I Don’t Follow the Recipe — Yeah, Right

Ah, the romantic ideal of creativity! We all know how it works, right? In a flash of brilliance, you sit down and you write/paint/sculpt, and art suddenly appears! That’s how it works, right? Well, yeah. No. How many of you, by show of hands, have heard someone say something like this: “I don’t follow the recipe. I just get in the kitchen and cook?” Okay, thank you. Now put your hands down. You look silly sitting there in the coffee shop/at your house, holding your hand up in front of your screen. Yes, you have heard people say that. YOU might have even said that. But here’s the thing: it’s … Read more…

Continue reading →

Hold The Rope: Group Therapy Saved My Life

 Group therapy saved my life. The hidden irony in this statement is that when these six other people entered my world I was doing everything I could to detach myself from the universe. My life felt upside down and kiddywampus. My mental outlook was stuck in a black hole with me grasping to the end of a rope with both hands. Despite my state of mind, I was being pushed by an unforeseen force to get my writing moving. I couldn’t see where to start when I was feeling as empty as I did. The invitation to this group came. I decided to give it a chance. To see what it … Read more…

Continue reading →

Musings for Aspiring Scribes

My dear editor and friend, Donna K. Wallace, told me one day that I needed to start a blog, so I had one up and running by the end of the day. Lately, I’ve been approached by people in the Rainy Dais Community who have expressed interest in starting their own blogs, and they’ve asked for my expertise in this area. God bless these deluded souls who believe that I have expertise. I don’t. I am about as technically adept as a kangaroo driving a car—just ask my 24-year-old son. However, I managed to do it, and so can you. If you have half the aptitude that I have, here … Read more…

Continue reading →

Get Some Writing Done: It’s Okay to Ignore Your Children

The clamoring voices of my children are ever in my ear: “Play with me! Daddy, daddy, daddy!” I have to close my eyes sometimes and intentionally focus in order to quiet their cries for attention. But if I’m ever going to get some writing done, I have to set some of my children aside. It’s not that I don’t love them—I do! But that’s actually the problem. I am so in love with some of my “children,” aka the ideas that I have for projects, that I find myself jumping from one to the next without truly finishing ANY of them. So I have learned: some of my ideas, I … Read more…

Continue reading →

A Blogger’s Toolbox

Do you read blogs and wonder if you could write your own? Of course you could! You can read plenty of advice about starting one, writing your first post, working your SEO, building your traffic, and connecting with your readers, but what does it take to really do the work? You know what they say—you need the right tools for the job–so what are they? It probably depends on who you are, but here are some tools I think you should have in your Toolbox if you’re thinking of writing a blog, or even if you already do. Time: Blogging takes time. A lot of time. Regardless of your reasons … Read more…

Continue reading →

Be Empowered by Writing with Filters

My earliest writing memory, at perhaps age nine, involves sitting at the kitchen table writing about bears. The story was about a mama bear and two cubs during hibernation. The cubs go out to have fun and get in trouble, but mama bear saves them. They go back to the cave and sleep for the rest of the season. Nice story. I might have ripped it off from somewhere. My mom read it, handed it back and told me to revise. Make it better. She didn’t make any notations of her own, just told me to revise. Later in life as I was reading a book for leisure, my aunt stopped me … Read more…

Continue reading →

A Benediction for Writers

Do not scatter your thoughts like marbles in the hall. Stay aware of your life and do not tell yourself that there is time for writing tomorrow… No, Write now! Spend time writing everyday. Don’t let your hours slip by without feeling the pen press against paper or without letting your fingers move over the keyboard. Take time everyday to express your thoughts, even if you are just describing the color of your room or the way the afternoon air tastes to your skin. Tell yourself that you can write and then do it, every day. In the book Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg writes, This is the practice … Read more…

Continue reading →

The Power of Synergy: How to Start a Writing Group

The chemistry generated by creative people is not to be underestimated. If you are a creative, you already know that. Ideas become things. Whether you’re sitting in a think tank with people you trust and respect trying to brainstorm ideas for a blog, or editing a chapter for one of your mates who wants to publish a book, or simply working on a poem or story that’s been stuck in your head for three weeks and won’t go away – five or six heads are better than one. However, to become greater than the sum of your parts, you must find the right combination of people. This can be a … Read more…

Continue reading →