“Where do you get your ideas?” may be the most frequently asked question writers get asked, while the follow-up is often, “Do you base your characters on anyone you know?” When I get asked that, I have to say the answer is both “no” and “yes.”  No, I’ve never created a character that’s a…

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As I write this, I’m recovering from inhaling way too many helpings of the delicious Thanksgiving dinner my husband made for us. My waistline may never be the same, but it was worth it. Feeling very grateful for his food and most especially, for his love. I don’t know how I lucked out to marry…

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During my years as a dancer, we never went on stage for a performance before we’d had at least one technical rehearsal followed by a final dress. I was really missing those days on Thursday when my IG Live presentation for Page Street in celebration of NaNo (National Writing Novel Month) didn’t occur at its…

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Just when I was about to slide into one of my “My life has been cancelled and I miss my grandkids” breakdowns, some lovely things happened this week. First off, I typed “THE END” on the first draft of my fifth novel, tentatively called Missed Clue. It needs tons of work. But, as I learned…

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Like all fiction writers, I strive to create characters readers will care about. But  that only works if I care about the life experiences that have shaped them. To do that, I’ve found it essential to delve deeply into their backgrounds. Much of what I learn will never appear in my novels, but my characters’…

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It all started after I finished my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill back in 2016. Despondent over the demise of my local SCBWI critique group, a  former member told me about her other writer’s group. “These women are serious,” she said. “They’re all multi-published, and they take turns critiquing each other’s work…

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Since 2001, I’ve been a member of a terrific organization for writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). While I’ve attended wonderful regional conferences, I’ve never attended the international conference. Not this year. Unable to hold their usual in-person summer conference in Los Angeles, SCBWI decided to hold an on-line conference. Instead…

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When I look back at my years as a professional dancer, I remember so much joy, and a lot of struggle. I was never the most talented, the most flexible, or the quickest learner. And yet, I was known as a strong performer—musical and expressive. You’d think that years of being referred to as “that…

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Unable to sleep last night, I got up and watched a rerun of an old Murder She Wrote episode. After six best-sellers, the protagonist Jessica is being heralded as the new “Queen of Mystery,” and the old mystery-writing queen doesn’t like it. She travels to Cabot Cove, Maine to steal Jessica’s latest work-in-progress and attempt…

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