A Look Back on My Growth as a Blogger (#MyFirstPostRevisited Blog Hop)

Recently I was nominated by the wonderfully bookish and insightful Nandini @ Pages That Rustle for the #MyFirstPostRevisited Blog Hop. (Thanks for nominating me, Nandini!) And having celebrated my eighth blogoversary last month, now seemed like a good time to look back on how I’ve grown as a blogger since the day I launched this site.

First things first, though. The #MyFirstPostRevisited Blog Hop was created by Sarah Brentyn @ Lemon Shark. And since every blog tag has rules, let’s go over them now: Continue reading

New Grub Street Article on Music and Writing


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.”

Farewell to Sonic Cathedral

Dear friends and fellow fans of female-fronted rock and metal bands,

After over 5½ years of writing for the Sonic Cathedral WebZine, I have decided that my next CD review for the Zine will be my last. My review of Die So Fluid’s The Opposites Of Light will be online in late April / early May, just before the album’s May 5th release date.

Why stop now? Creatively speaking, my priorities have shifted, so I’m changing my activities to reflect that shift. Some of you may know I’m working on a novel. I’m super-excited about it, and I truly believe it deserves to be published once it’s ready. My goals are to finish the first draft before the end of 2014, then revise it and have it critiqued during the first half of 2015. I’d also like to pursue other freelance writing avenues where I can share lessons and techniques on the writing craft. To do all of this, I need to start clearing from my plate the things I’m not as passionate about. I still enjoy female-fronted rock and metal music – but I’ve lost the passion to write about it.

While I did have that passion, though, writing for SC was an absolute blast! In addition to writing CD reviews, I also interviewed bands, corresponded with PR and label representatives, attended fantastic live shows. In short, I got to live out my original college dream of becoming a journalist. I also met some awesome people and made friends I hope to have for the rest of my life. As for the milestones… So many I could list, but then this note would turn into a book! Although I will say that interviewing Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) and Tommy Karevik (Kamelot) are two of the coolest events EVER in my life! Last but not least, I loved that I had a “professional” excuse to further immerse myself in some of the most beautiful, powerful, and life-changing music I’ve ever heard. I don’t even want to think about how many bands I might never have discovered had I not written for Sonic Cathedral. *lol* So, I have many reasons to be grateful for writing to “Big Boss” John on a whim almost 6 summers ago.

Now, for the thank-yous…

To the entire Zine staff – Robin, Terry, Max, Justin, Christiana, Allyson, John T., Chris, Mark, Ron, Angie, Lindsay, Emilie, Ton, and most importantly John W. and webmastress Becky: Thank you for your friendship, your enthusiasm for the music we love most, and the support and encouragement you offer one another with each assignment, milestone, and new idea. It’s been so much fun being a part of the team, and I hope you know how many people around the world appreciate your work and promotion. Let’s keep in touch!

To all the bands and artists I covered and corresponded with since August 2008: Thank you for having the guts and passion to do what you love. We need more people in this world who aren’t afraid to pursue music and other forms of creativity! So believe me when I say you’re an inspiration. A select few of you (you know who you are!) have also gone out of your way to keep me posted on your band activities and ask for my feedback between and after reviews. Your thoughtfulness blows me away every time. I wish you nothing but the best – and you know where to find me if you’d like to touch base.

To the friends and other fellow “femme metal” fans I’ve met over the past 5 ½ years: Thanks for sharing your passion for the music and your feedback on SC’s work. I’ve always appreciated your thoughts and opinions (even when they differed from mine), and it has made the work all the more worthwhile. And I’m willing to bet the rest of the Zine staff feels the same way.

If you’d like updates on my writing endeavors, feel free to continue following here at my blog or at my social media sites:



Lots of love, light, and \m/,


Coming Soon: Reached 50,000 words on the novel today! Stay tuned for a new installment of Chronicling The Craft next week.

New Writing Article at Grub Street’s Blog!


Great news to share with you today: Grub Street, a creative writing organization based in Boston, Massachusetts, has published an article I’ve written for their blog! “Hello, My Name Is…: Using Journal-Writing for Character Development” explores one possible method for getting to know your protagonist (or any character for your story). I discovered this method during a one-day workshop on character development at – where else? – Grub Street last summer, and I’ve enjoyed the journal-writing experience for my novel-in-progress’s protagonist so much that I wanted to share what I’ve learned with other aspiring writers.

Click here to read “Hello, My Name Is….”

Coming Soon: Apart from next Monday’s Mini-Review on Elysion’s Someplace Better, I might have a new Chronicling The Craft article online within the next couple weeks! I’m already 1,600 words away from the 45,000-mark on my novel-in-progress. Yippee!

Published! (Sort Of…)

The latest anthology by my writers' group is now available!

Good news! The Walpole Writers Group (the writing group I belong to) has just finished its latest anthology, cleverly titled “More Great Writing by People You’ve Never Heard Of.” (The title is a play on the title of the first WWG anthology, “Great Writing by People You’ve Never Heard Of.” 😉 )

This anthology features a wide variety of literary genres: fiction, fantasy/science fiction, essays, poetry, creative nonfiction, etc.  The topics range from the love of writing and the history of storytelling to legends, relationships, life, and science experiments gone wrong.  I have four pieces that appear in this book: three poems (“Solstice,” “Respite,” and “An Unexpected Life Lesson on a Busy Street”) and a longer creative piece called “Lifeblood.”

This anthology is available for purchase at Lulu.com, an easy-to-use and highly reputable self-publishing site.  It’s inexpensive, but it’s certainly not short on quality.  😀

Click here to check out (or even buy) “More Great Writing by People You’ve Never Heard Of.”

“Light” Update: Write, Rewrite,… and the Quest to “Get It Right”

I finally started working on Chapter 5 of “Light” a couple weeks ago.  When I opened up the Word doc and read what was then the first couple paragraphs of that chapter, … well, I didn’t like them very much.  *lol*  So I started rewriting the beginning of Chapter 5.

Yes, I said “rewrite.”  Younger writers consider this a “dirty” word sometimes, but – in all honesty – if you are serious about your writing and want your work to improve to the point that it’s ready for publication consideration, then it’s a necessary evil. Continue reading

Field Trip: 1st Annual Boston Book Festival!

So I braved the wind and the rain on Saturday to go to the first annual Boston Book Festival.  It was an all-day event held at and around Copley Square, with exhibits, lectures, readings, free food, and interactive events for people who write or enjoy poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.  Oh, and there were plenty for kids to do, too.

So below is a report of my “field trip,” complete with photos.  Pardon my photography – I’m not the best, but I try!

Continue reading