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2017 already!? (On second thought, thank goodness)

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Blog Posts, Work and Career | 0 comments

2017 already!? (On second thought, thank goodness)

It is with considerable chagrin that I realize I haven’t published a new blog post since March of 2016 (though it is with some pleasure that I work the word “chagrin” into a sentence). 2016 was not the most productive of years, and that’s the kindest thing that can be said for it. My feelings toward it are not kindly and it was not at all kind. I lost my father unexpectedly, under difficult circumstances, at the end of September, and in November I lost another good...

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12 Words to (Almost Always) Cut

Posted by on Mar 13, 2016 in Blog Posts, Editing, Featured, Writing, Writing Advice | 0 comments

12 Words to (Almost Always) Cut

Strong stories are not necessarily short. They don’t need to be Hemingway-esque masterpieces of bare prose. In fact, I have friends who would argue “Hemingway-esque masterpiece” is an oxymoron; the man’s writing gets downright boring. And it would be hypocritical of me to argue for only short sentences or short paragraphs. I have to consciously apply myself to make use of either.    But in a strong story, every word counts. And no word is misplaced or ill-chosen. The...

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The Big List of Writing Writing Resources, Part One

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 in Blog Posts, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Advice | 0 comments

You can write your story with nothing but a reasonably flat surface and something that leaves a mark, but it’s a lot easier when you have the right tools. Happily, there are a lot of useful resources out there. Here are some of my favorites. I encountered a few while writing The Starter Guide for Professional Writers (about which I have exciting news: revisions and expansions are underway for a second edition! The past two years have seen some interesting changes in the publishing...

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“The Grace of Turning Back” at Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Blog Posts, Uncategorized |

“The Grace of Turning Back,” the final story of the Curse-Strewn World sequence, appears in Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #179, which can be read on the BCS website or in the Kindle store. The Tynesi merchants, who traded everything from the silver rice of Timru and perfume leaves from Simrandu to chips of ivory off the Keld’s temples, had a term for a particular sort of improvidence: to throw money, time, or strength into seeing to completion a bargain they had...

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“Arnheim’s World” in Analog Magazine

Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

“Arnheim’s World” in Analog Magazine

In the May 2015 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, alongside fiction from Rajnar Vajra, But Sparhawk, Robert R. Chase, Aubry Kae Anderson, and J.L. Forrest, my story “Arnheim’s World” explores the economics, ethics, and (anti)sociability of terraforming. Environment, economics, ethics, all stewing in a high-tension dilemma. Exactly the kind of thing you’d expect of me, I hope.  I worked on this piece on and off from 2011 onward, intrigued by the idea of a...

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Common edits to improve your writing

Posted by on Feb 25, 2015 in Blog Posts, Editing, Uncategorized, Writing Advice | 0 comments

A lot of editing and rewriting involves relatively minor mechanical and technical changes. A lot. Not that I’m complaining; making these simple changes is a routine part of my work, and if nothing else it keeps me steadily employed. Many of them are changes I make to my own writing on a second draft! However, I thought it’d be helpful to share my “greatest hits”: the advice I give most often, and make use of most often when revising my own work. If you can apply this...

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“For Lost Time” up at Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Blog Posts, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Lose no time in going to check out the latest installment in Across the Curse-Strewn World, a short story sequence following the wizard Aniver and his friend Semira’s quest to rescue his home city, which has somehow become lost in time. Their discoveries in the terrifying library of Arisbat have pointed Aniver and Semira in the right direction, but what a direction it is–the source of the blight that struck Nurathaipolis appears to have come from the Kingdom of the Dead....

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Free-to-use, high quality photography for ebook covers and more

Posted by on Jan 10, 2015 in Blog Posts, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Free-to-use, high quality photography for ebook covers and more

It’s been a busy start to the new year, which I appreciate but means that blogging has taken a backseat to writing, editing, etc. When I get really busy, I often find that lists are a simple way to keep me in the blogging groove.  Writers, especially self-published writers, often need to find excellent images for their covers and websites–but on a budget. Luckily, the Internet (and some stunningly talented artists!) provides. Here are 8 websites offering images that are public...

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Living With Imposter Syndrome–Guest Post Live on Fictionvale!

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Blog Posts, Editing, Uncategorized, Work and Career, Writing, Writing Advice | 0 comments

The first mercy of impostor syndrome, in my experience at least, is that it isn’t constant. Instead it attacks at intervals, at moments of either my deepest despair or highest success. Of course success attracts this psychological beastie’s attention: in the grips of impostor syndrome, my jerky brain is happy to dismiss any achievement as a fluke or a fraud. I’ve either tricked people into thinking I can write, or they’ve reviewed my manuscript favorably from pity for someone so pathetically...

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All the Grammar Knowledge You Need for NaNo

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Blog Posts, Editing, Uncategorized, Writing | 0 comments

All the Grammar Knowledge You Need for NaNo

National Novel Writing Month is not the time to become a grammar expert. The entire idea of this challenge is to stop worrying and write, that is, to churn out 1600+ words of prose each day, prose whose main glory is that it exists, not that it is perfect. Stopping to study capitalizing, punctuation, and sentence structure can only be a distraction, and probably a dispiriting one. That said, NaNoWriMo is also not a great time to be slowed down by worrying whether you’ve punctuated this...

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