Mission Accomplished

This is the face of satisfaction:


Computer shut

mission accomplished


But it’s really like this:


258 free verse poems roughed

it’s an ugly baby right now

but it’s complete!

And it doesn’t take long to feel like this:


What’s next?

Reading Wired for Story by Lisa Cron

while revising older stories

and researching people and places to submit to.

Marinating on the two ideas

I’m contemplating for my next projects

before cataloguing

the research I need to complete

to round out the rough draft

before going through the



OOH! Now I can get that haircut I told myself had to wait until rough was done.

Rough is done!

Hello, Salon!


No Excuses

My daughter was at volleyball camp  and I had a rare afternoon alone with my son. I offered to go for a bike ride with him and get some ice cream.  He turned that down. Granted, it was raining a little.  Instead, he said he would like to draw comics together.  Did he see my eye roll? Did he hear my internal guffaw.  “I’m not a good drawer,” I told him.  Hello, where did my facility with the English language go? I wasn’t even going to consider the word artist.  So drawer it was.

To which he showed me

no excuses (2)

Thank you, Jedi Academy and your evil creator, Jeffrey Brown.  Ok, maybe not evil.  Maybe spot on. I want to encourage my kid to draw, right? But he wasn’t supposed to turn it around on me.  My self-imposed limitations have been a well-stitched-in part of my fabric for a while.  But I’m a mom and I can’t let my negative self-talk become his. Right? With my head in a defeated droop I follow him to the table where he is quick to the draw with a sheet of paper.

I grab a pen.  Yep, no eraser option. He’s all smiles and I’m all question marks.

He sees me staring at this blank paper and encourages me to start.

“I don’t know what to draw.”

“Draw a fluffy creature who wants to make a friend.”

Oh, how it comes so easy to his imagination.

“I don’t know how to draw fluffy creatures.” Dang, a negative self-talk escaped when I wasn’t looking.

HE encourages ME.

I’m a doodler. my doodles


Abstract, I call it. Nothing with bodies. Floating heads are okay in my world. But a comic strip with characters and three squares to get to a punchline?  That’s a lot of pressure. AND my kid’s watching.  He went after the comics that are more like Marvel and I went toward my background with comics, the funnies in the paper.

He’s tearing through his paper.  Rounding out his first comic while I marinate, after explaining what marinate means.

I see he’s not going to let me off the hook so I draw a line for the first box.  He plays peek-a-boo with my paper while I get some ink on it. And he keeps cheering me on.

So, by the time he finishes his sheet, I have the first box done and not sure how to give it a punch line.  He’s OK with that.  I tell him I need to marinate on it some more, but I promise to finish it.  He’s OK with that too.

Here’s to my son who wouldn’t except any of my excuses.  The next Peter Brown? video game designer? architect? oh the possibilities!

D's comic

(Did you notice, ALL FOUR?, I couldn’t even think through one! AND the back of the paper is filled with Olafs.)

And, here’s to not giving up.  To turning off the inner editor that is screaming at everything I should’ve done differently. And to total vulnerability with those who are suffering to push past their comfort zones too.

My comic



Book Trailers

To create a book trailer or not, that is the question.

I’m not talking about the book trailer that is used to market books that have already been published and I’m not going to debate the benefits and criticisms of them. I am going to talk about taking a day to create a book trailer for your WIP.  It may look cheesy and unprofessional, but here are a few reasons why it is helpful and some resources on how to do it. Read to the end for a reveal 🙂

Creating a book trailer for your WIP is helpful for so many reasons.

  • It requires you to deconstruct your novel down to its essence. A one page synopsis is a heck of a challenge for a 60,000 word story.  Chiseling it down to the 30 words or so that is the heart of your story gives you so much clarity.  This will help you to create your query and your elevator pitch in the future.
  • You will most likely use still pictures.  Maybe you want to create a live action trailer, but I’m not talented in that way, nor do I want to invest that kind of time.  The still pictures can help you visualize what you have been trying to portray through words.  This is especially helpful if you are writing a story that you did not personally experience.  This was my case for my first story, it takes place in Chicago in 1871.  Sometimes it’s hard to visualize the setting.
  • Setting it to music gives you theme songs that set the tone of the story.  I use music a lot when I write.  I find a theme song for my characters.  I use specific songs for scenes in the story.  I also have a soundtrack for each story. I believe that when we are using as many mediums as we have at our disposal to help us create this world in our story, it will be richer, deeper, and can come to life for the reader.  I REALLY WISH I COULD DRAW! That would raise my game to whole other level!
  • It inspires me every time I watch it. As cheesy and basic as it is, if I watch it before I work on the story, it puts me directly in the frame of mind I want to be in.  My mind is in my story and my heart is feeling the emotions I want my characters to feel and my reader to experience.
  • It is a great tool when you are getting to that point that you either are tired of your story or you don’t know what else it needs.  The trailer gives a fresh perspective to push you forward.


How to do it:

I’m thinking some of you reading this could better explain this than me.  So I would love to get some advice on this matter in the comments.

I used Movie Maker for Windows as the editing tool.  I used images labeled for reuse.  Your own photography would be great too, but since my story takes place in 1871, I wasn’t up to that challenge of recreating the look. And for my sounds I used songs and Pond 5 for sound effects. This wasn’t free, however. It took me the better part of a day to create it between learning the tool and editing down my story, music, and pictures.  Straining it all down to the bones and then pulling it all together was hard but so good! so very, very good!

A few more resources:

Where to get photo stock, check out these pages. Sixty-five sites. 17 amazing sites.

A couple sites with professional book trailers.  Some inspiration. Brainpickings and Book Trailers for Readers.

A critical perspective on book trailers from The New Yorker.

And a completely vulnerable moment for me.  My book trailer.