Sharing My Personal IWR Experience at Iceland Writers Retreat’s Blog

I’ve written one last article about my time at the 2017 Iceland Writers Retreat. Yes, three articles on the same event may sound like a lot, but I specifically tailored each one to have its own angle. And for this article, which you’ll find on the Iceland Writers Retreats’ official blog, I took the personal route. I shared what inspired me to attend the retreat, why the experience was more meaningful than I’d ever expected, and two moments from the retreat that sparked a turnaround in my confidence. You might find some more photos from the trip, too. 😉

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One Fantasy Writer’s Secret Weapon: Archery Lessons

Here’s one thing I didn’t expect as a result of the 2016 Writer’s Digest Conference: Be a guest blogger for one of this year’s presenters! I connected with Ben Sobieck after his fantastic presentation on writing weapons in fiction, then told him how I had taken archery lessons as research for my WIP. And as the saying goes, the rest is history. 😉 Check out my guest post “One Fantasy Writer’s Secret Weapon: Archery Lessons” now at Ben’s site, The Writer’s Guide to Weapons.

NOTE: If you read my 5 on the 5th earlier this year about five things I learned from archery lessons, much of the content will look familiar. This guest post is a “re-purposing” of that original article for Ben’s audience, done with my permission.

The Writer's Guide to Weapons

bow and arrow lessons for writers of fiction The best way to write about weapons in fiction is to get your hands on some. If you can swing it, one-on-one instruction in a controlled environment is best. (Jamie Woods image via sxc.hu) Today’s guest post comes from fantasy writer SaraLetourneau, someone I came in touch with via the 2016 Writer’s Digest Conference. When she mentioned she took a 10-week archery lesson to better understand the weapons in her stories, I couldn’t help but ask for a post for this site. Be sure to check out her website here for more of her terrific work. Enjoy!

-Ben

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Guest-Posting at Fantasy Cafe for Women In SF&F Month

 

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I’m honored that Kristen at Fantasy Cafe has invited me to take part in her annual Women In SF&F Month! Today I’m guest-posting about some of my favorite female characters in fantasy who don’t fall into the “strong female protagonist” stereotype. Because while I love reading about women who wield swords, cast spells, and fight alongside (or against) men, I also love reading about women who exhibit other kinds of strength – and they deserve just as much attention. Continue reading

Geeking Out About Fantasy (Er, I Mean, Guest Posting) at WriteOnSisters Today

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Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh I’m SO EXCITED about this!!! 😀

Today I’m over at WriteOnSisters, one of my favorite writing craft blogs, to talk about the literary genre I love most: FANTASY. (Bet that doesn’t surprise you, right?) This isn’t an episode of me fangirling, though. Instead, I explain the differences between high fantasy and epic fantasy, as well as the common ground they share in some stories.

Click here to read “When Wands and Swords Collide: Distinguishing High Fantasy from Epic Fantasy.”

Feel free to comment directly on the post at WriteOnSisters. I’ll be over there periodically to respond! 😉

Guest Post: Sara Letourneau – Seven Keys to Maintaining Your Writerly Well-Being

I stopped by The Sprint Shack earlier today for a guest post on “writerly” health and well-being. Read on to learn how to balance creativity with self-care so you can be at the top of your game as a writer and as a happy, healthy human being. 🙂

The Sprint Shack

Our healGuest Post Template(1)th and wellness are two of the most important “possessions” we have. Yet as writers, sometimes we take them for granted. If we’re too engrossed in our work and lose track of time, or a crucial deadline on a blog post or a round of rewrites is looming, we might feel tempted to ignore sleep, hunger, and other needs.

Here’s what I can tell you from personal experience: It’s not worth it. In fact, it’s essential for us to step away from our craft now and then so we can take care of ourselves. And by remembering to balance creativity with self-care, we can be productive, happy, and healthy.

So, how can you maintain your well-being without sacrificing too much of your writing? Here are seven keys that focus on all-around areas of physical, emotional, and mental wellness.

Key #1: Hydration

Staying hydrated isn’t limited to physical exercise…

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Guest Post: Sara Letourneau, on Soccer Coach Dads and Passion Pursuits

Today I’m at Eli Pacheco’s blog Coach Daddy for a different kind of guest post. It’s less about writing (although the subject does sneak in) and more about one of the most important people in my life. It’s about a father, his love of soccer, and his (non-soccer player) daughter. It’s about the similarities in how people pursue their unique passions, and the little things we have in common with our loved ones that we might now realize right away. And, it’s the first guest post I’ve ever written that made me cry.

You can read the entire article now over at Coach Daddy. And while you’re at it, check out some of Eli’s posts about his own experiences (both enlightening and humorous) with fatherhood. 🙂

Coach Daddy

Stormtrooper-2 Courtesy of Tamara Bowman

You guys have shared stories of your fathers with me, and it often leaves me with a hope – a hope that someday, someone will think of me this way as a dad, too.

guest postSara Letourneau managed to meld tales of her father the soccer coach with her own realizations as a writer. In molecular science, experts refer to this type of phenomenon as … well, they don’t have a term for it as yet. I love her insight, though.

Sara’s closing in on completion of a YA novel, The Keeper’s Curse (not a tale of Elise’s travails in goal, although that could happen someday.)

Sara writes a remarkable feature called 5 on the Fifth that you just have to check out.

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Official Kickoff to Summer, in 6 Words

Happy Windjammer Day! Eli at Coach Daddy invited me and 60 other bloggers to celebrate the start of the summer tourist season with his monthly 6 Words post, where we answer a question in only six words. This month’s question: What would you like to do and where this summer? Check out the reblog for everyone’s answers. (I’m #19.)

How about you? What would you like to do and where this summer – in six words? 😉

Coach Daddy

Photo and illustration by Grace! Photo and illustration by Grace!

It’s been hot in Carolina, y’all.

6 words graphicTriple-digit hot. It hardly gets like this here. Blame global warming, the Tea Party or World Cup officiating if you’d like. Truth is, summer’s hitting us like T-Swift on the music streaming universe. There has to be more to summer than humidity fierce as Julie Johnston’s defense. Right?

Well, there are also tweetable nuggets of wisdom when it comes to the baseball teams we – and when I say we, I mean I – love:

Every month, I compile a post called 6 Words. Ernest Hemingway inspired it when he said any story can be told in a six-word sentence. I ask bloggers, friends, strangers, and a few strange blogger friends to respond to a prompt.

June 24 is…

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Guest Blogging Today at Wendy Lu Writes

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Today I’m visiting Wendy Lu Writes to offer words of encouragement for slow writers. Inspired by my own personal frustrations with my writing “speed,” this article talks about boosting your productivity as a writer as well as embracing your unique writing process. Why both? Because as much as we want to write faster or be more efficient, we can’t criticize ourselves. Think of it as “self-compassion” for the writer. 😉

Click here to read “A Pep Talk for Slow Writers.”

By the way, Wendy is one of my colleagues at DIY MFA, and a fantastic writer. She covers a wide range of interests at her own site, from writing and current events, to food and makeup. If any of those topics pique your interest, make sure to check out her other articles.

New Grub Street Article on Music and Writing

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Grub Street has published my article “Using Music to Enhance Your Writing” at their Grub Daily blog! This piece shares examples of how writers have used music to help with concentration, mood, setting, and character development. It also offers tips on how to practice “music immersion” with your writing, from letting your piece choose the music to tuning out lyrics.

Click here to read “Using Music to Enhance Your Writing.”

Freelance Article Round-Up: September 2014

FARU Logo

Welcome to this month’s Freelance Article Round-Up! If you read last month’s, you might have noticed something different about today’s. See the logo above? 😀 What do you think?

Freelance Article Round-Up is a monthly series (or bimonthly, depending on my freelancing schedule) to keep you abreast of the articles I’ve written outside of this blog. I’ll also offer a glimpse into the coming month’s assignments and other exciting happenings.

Here’s what I’ve been up to since the July / August Round-Up. Continue reading