The Exhilaration of Creativity

"Putting a book together is interesting and exhilarating. It is sufficiently difficult and complex that it engages all of your intelligence. It is life at its most free." --Annie Dillard, THE WRITING LIFE If only I could write as well as Annie Dillard.  Right now, I'm writing on my balcony, in a not dissimilar way to a moment she describes in her book THE WRITING LIFE. Her balcony overlooks deciduous trees; mine a multi-laned San Diego road. But there are birds here, too. Like women peering through a shop window at a fabulous pair of shoes,…

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Writing Wednesday, July 22, 2020

✍ Historical Fiction: Escaping into the past through literature. Photo by Shelley Burbank How's your Wednesday going? Today's the day I try to write about writing...so why do I have a picture of John Jakes's 1993 historical novel, HOMELAND, posted up there? Simple. Because I haven't left my desk all day, so my world is pretty much limited to my screens, my shelves, and my imagination. And as of yet, I can't take a photo of my imagination, although it might be a tad more bizarre than this book cover. I recently learned that my Wattpad novel Rosalie…

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Writing Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Good Writing Wednesday, friends. I am resisting the urge to put an exclamation point up there after the word “Wednesday.” My natural instinct compels me to do it, but I’m in editing mode these days and more aware than usual about things like punctuation. I’m also trying to get away from using the word “peeps” in an effort to sound more mature, i.e. my age. What’s next? I actually start using moisturizer on a regular basis?

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✍ Writing Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Serenity on a Wednesday with lavender chamomile tea, new age music, and a book on my e-reader. Photo by Shelley Burbank Happy Writing Wednesday, friends!How was your day today? I started out analyzing this website to find out why subscribers weren’t getting blog post notifications. Which led me to my plug-ins. Which led me to my email marketing program. All before coffee. Yes. You read that right. All. Before. Coffee. Here’s the thing. When you are trying to be a professional, published author, writing becomes much more than sentence structure, character development, cool new plotting techniques, and everything…

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✍️Writing Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Two resources I've been consulting this week as I prepare to rewrite my current project: LOVE & EAST MERCY Happy Writing Wednesday, Peeps! Now that DISGUISED is published and ROSALIE is completed and posted, I am beginning to work on my next project. In 2005 I wrote a novel as part of Harlequin’s Book In A Year (BIAY) program. I met a few really great aspiring writers in this “class,” and for many years following we joined together in a Yahoo group to talk shop and share a bit. We even started a group story, which I…

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✍️Writing Wednesday: Adapt!

Focus on your goals. Adapt to circumstances beyond your control. Take pleasure in your work. All is not lost! After ranting a bit yesterday about how my idea for a cozy mystery series ran into the cold, harsh reality that someone beat me to it, I spent the rest of the day researching the market. By the time I was done, I’d come to the conclusion that I am probably not a cozy mystery writer anyway, and maybe I should take my idea and turn it into a chick lit series! As far as I can tell, this…

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👓 Doggone It: All The Best Ideas Are Taken

Is it true that all the best ideas are already taken? In a world where everyone is writing and self-publishing and traditionally publishing genre series, is there anything left unexplored?See, I have a hankering to write a cozy mystery series, one with a character I absolutely adore and want to spend many hours with as she solves puzzling crimes. Every cozy mystery series needs a hook: the main character’s a witch or owns a cat or runs a bookshop or is a member of a knitting club. I wanted to set my series in a milieu…

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☕️ Writing Wednesday: 3 Cool Ways to Work Around Procrastination

For the past couple of years, I’ve worked on creating a so-called “author platform” using several engagement tools. I built a website. I constructed a blog. I deleted my old personal Facebook account and started another one specifically for my author “persona.” I began writing female-empowerment flash fictions and posting them on my FB page and in a certain fan group to which I belong.  With great trepidation, I persevered on Twitter despite my feeling that it crackles with more negative energy than a circle of hell. I gained a few more followers and followed some…

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📚 Writing Wednesday: Simplicity, Luxury, Refinement

This morning, I grabbed my usual cup of coffee (blueberry flavored with flax milk) and my current read (Wilkie Collins’s 1860s thriller, THE WOMAN IN WHITE), and headed out to my still-sparsely decorated balcony. This is how I start my days, with coffee and books and music. Today I cued up opera arias on YouTube  and settled in to the English countryside with Collins’s character, “Walter Hartwright, of Clement’s Inn, Teacher of Drawing.”  Listening to the classical music while reading paragraphs like the following sent me into a pleasurable swoon:  “I must have been hard to…

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👓 Writing Wednesday: Big Bookstack

Bookstack for the AutodidactAn autodidact is a self-taught person. That’s what the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online edition tells me when I look it up just to make sure I'm not missing any valuable nuances of meaning. The word comes from the Greek autodidaktos, didaktos in turn from the word didaskein which means, to teach.Looking up histories and etymologies of words has me asking myself if I shouldn’t, maybe, teach myself Greek. Words are so interesting! I could give up writing and instead lose myself in the intricacies of language itself. Hmmmm. Tempting. However, I’m having enough trouble scheduling in…

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