Showing posts from December, 2015

A Long-Expected Announcement

I have a short story in an anthology! My short story, "The Debt-Keeper," was published in the Crossover Alliance Anthology Vol. 2 this month. That's me on the top right of the list. :D I've been keeping this announcement under wraps until our family Christmas celebrations were past, though, because part of our gifts to our parents were copies of the anthology (which you can purchase directly from The Crossover Alliance in your ebook format of choice  here  or in Kindle and paperback formats here *). This is a big deal for me, and I've had the hardest time not spoiling the surprise. You can also check out this awesome group interview  that Peter Younghusband (who also wrote the foreword to the anthology) conducted with all the authors in the book. I wrote a little about the origins of the story and the world of John Valley where it and my two stories in When the House Whispers are set. If you'd like to get a book of stories to entertain a

Writing Lessons from Dr. Seuss, or What the Grinch Teaches Us about Storytelling

As we commenced our annual viewing of the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas , I discovered that this simple little special (and the book upon which it's based) offer some impressive little tips on writing, and I thought I would share those with you (as much for my own edification as for yours). 1. Introduce the conflict ASAP. "All the Whos down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot, but the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did not." Seuss just lays down the central conflict in a sentence. Granted, he's writing a children's book so he has less room to wiggle, but no matter whether you side with the Whos or the Grinch at first, your attention is caught. 2. Don't overexplain your antagonist. There's something to be said for mystery and ambiguity. No one quite knows the reason, but here's a working theory. 3. Keep your characters true to themselves, and the story will follow. You can't have the Grinch hate Chri

Hard Lessons for Christmastime

Hello, everyone! I'm sorry I all but disappeared last month. NaNoWriMo took up a lot of my spare time. To sum up: I won NaNo with about 52,000 words, but didn't finish There's No Place Like Home? by about 10,000-15,000 words. So December's goal is to finish that up and maybe get a couple other small writing projects off the ground. While working on NaNo, I've also been preparing for Christmas dramas at church. Really, I've been preparing for them since some time in August or September (I've slept since then, so the exact details are a bit fuzzy), but we are now in crunch time, with the next two Sundays taken up with adult drama (written by yours truly) and a children's musical (which I will only be participating in as a character). Not THAT character, but the show does have a Whoville-type setting. And in the last few months of preparation for these productions, along with an Advent-starting service this past Sunday, God has been teaching