New DIY MFA Article on Love as a Literary Theme

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When I noticed my next DIY MFA post was scheduled for the week of Valentine’s Day, I decided it was time for a case study on an appropriate and timeless theme: Love. If you think about it, though, love is one of the most frequently discussed and deeply profound themes in literature. Plus, the most compelling thematic explorations of love touch on romantic love as well as love of other forms (kindness, compassion) and in other types of relationships (friendship, family). This is the case with the two example novels in today’s Theme: A Story’s Soul post, and I hope you *love* the end result (or, at least find it informative). 😉

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Chronicling The Craft: Six Writing Lessons I Learned While Working On My WIP

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Chronicling The Craft is a series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE. These articles alternate between a) progress updates and fun “TKC-related” content, and b) revising / editing tips. Today we finish our celebration of the end of Draft #3 with a tips-oriented post.

Working on a novel is a learning experience in and of itself. You’ll make right and wrong decisions, figure things out, and find ways of improving the story. You’ll also absorb tips away from the WIP via blog articles, workshops, and literary conferences. That “self-teaching” can double – or even triple – your knowledge about writing between Day 1 of Draft #1 and The End of Draft #3. And after wrapping up my WIP’s third draft, I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned about the craft of writing and about myself as a writer.

So, the last Chronicle for Draft #3 isn’t exactly a tips-oriented post. Instead, it’s a retrospect of discoveries I’ve made since I started working on The Keeper’s Curse (or TKC). Perhaps these lessons might help you on your own writing journey (or maybe you’ve already embraced them). Then, at the end, I’d love to know what you have learned about yourself or your process from any of your writing projects. 🙂
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#1000Speak: We Are All Paris, Because We Are All Human

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The 1000 Voices for Compassion Movement (also known as #1000Speak) began in January 2015 as a way for bloggers to spread messages of compassion. Participants may join in on the 20th of each month or as time allows, and either write about the month’s prompt or a related topic of their choice. Regardless, these Voices write with one unified purpose: To remind others that, despite the lack of compassion that rocks our world at times, compassion for ourselves and others does exist.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to do #1000Speak this month. Life offline has been hectic lately; and when your attention is pulled in so many different directions, it’s hard to put in the time and thought that a post like this deserves. However, I can’t get last week’s terrorist shootings in Paris out of my head… which means I need to write about it, one way or another.

This may be shorter and more stream-of-conscious (i.e., “rambling”) than past #1000Speak posts. So, please bear with me as I sort out my thoughts here. Continue reading

Beautiful People, Vol. 4: More About Eva

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Beautiful People is a monthly blog meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Every month they pose 10 questions for writers to answer about their writing and give readers the opportunity to learn more about the writer’s characters.

After focusing on supporting characters from The Keeper’s Curse for the past two Beautiful People posts, it’s time to return to the protagonist, Eva. In case you haven’t “met” her before, Eva is a 17-year-old Faerie and the chief navigator and translator for the Council of Selanaan (a group of commoner Faeries selected to be diplomats working on their king’s behalf).

So, here are the 10 questions Eva needs to answer this month. Or, rather, the questions I need to answer so you can get to know Eva better. 😉

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Beautiful People, Vol. 1: Valentine Edition

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Beautiful People is a monthly blog meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Every month they pose 10 questions for writers to answer about – what else? – their writing. 

I discovered Beautiful People last week through fellow writer-bloggers Grace & Steele. As soon as I realized this was a writing-related meme, I knew I should join in. 🙂

And since it’s a Valentine’s edition, guess what this month’s topic is? Yup – fictional couples from our stories! Here are my answers to Cait and Sky’s questions, focusing on my WIP’s protagonist Eva and her love interest Aurek. Continue reading

Gratitude and Grandparents: Choosing How to Remember Our Loved Ones

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Back in June, my maternal grandmother passed away. I’ve had plenty of time and space to mourn her loss and celebrate her life since then. My mind, however, has refused to stay in one place. It’s been wandering from one memory to another, and not just memories of my grandmother. It’s probably because, for the first time in my life, I no longer have any living grandparents. Continue reading