Zombies, Beer, and the Key to Creativity

There’s an annoying thing that happens to writers, artists, and other creative types. Namely, that ideas rarely come at convenient times. They don’t like to show up for their appointment at 7:15 am when your freshly-scrubbed hands are poised on your keyboard, your coffee is still warm at your elbow, and your schedule for the day has not yet been hopelessly derailed. No, ideas like to show up just when you’ve laid down to go to sleep, or when you’re in the shower with no way to jot them down, or twenty minutes into a yoga class (far past the time when you could slink off to make a note without girls with OM tattoos giving you the stink eye). The reason for the terrible timing of epiphanies seems pretty clear, and I’m reminded of it every time I go...
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The Tyranny of “Just”

Writers have a real problem with “just,” and I don’t mean in the filler word sense. I mean more in the way we treat our dearest accomplishments as filler words. I’m not a real writer, this is just my first book. I write, but just children’s books. I’m published, but just small press. I’m a bestseller, kind of, but just USA Today, not NYT. Of course, writers aren’t the only artists guilty of this. I’m not an artist, I just like to take pictures. I scupt, but just in plain old clay, not marble or anything. Most of us have done it, and I wouldn’t be writing this blog if I weren’t one of the worst offenders. It’s a defense mechanism, this self-protective way we downplay our attachment to the things we actually care about the most. And okay, humility...
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How to Write STEAMY Sexual Tension

Okay, so you know how to write tension. But can you write it…sexually? If that sounded dirty to you, you’re on the right track. Sexual tension is all about getting your reader to long for your characters to do something. And it’s a whole lot more about what they’re NOT doing than what they are doing. Which makes it hard to write, yanno? Can’t write something that’s not happening. Or can you? Have a look at this. You just tilted your screen away from the rest of the coffee shop, didn’t you? But what does that picture really show? Knees. Knees aren’t that racy. For all you know, outside the frame that girl could be wearing a giraffe costume. But all you had to do to make that set of knees sexy was to add panties (which created an atmosphere...
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