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The One Star Club

Posted October 9th, 2016 by in Blog, This Writing Life

Today I’ve been thinking about reviews. Specifically, reviews of my books, but that led to thinking about the freedom we take for granted here in the USA — the freedom to say what we think without fear of being thrown in jail or worse. Basically, we can give our opinion anywhere, any time, about any […]


Work Work Work

Posted June 11th, 2015 by in Blog, Pat Tales

I started working for money in 1950 when I was thirteen years old. I was hired to work as a “page” in our small town public library. Pages shelved books, checked books in and out using a stamp with a pencil attached, filed index cards, “backed” magazines for checkout, and did whatever else needed doing. […]


I’ve Always Been a Writer

Posted May 23rd, 2015 by in Blog, This Writing Life

A little while ago I was reading a Facebook post by a former writing student of mine (she’s now a successful and wonderful romance author) and something she said made me start thinking about when I knew I wanted to be a writer. It’s a question I’ve often been asked, right up there with “where […]


Let’s Talk About Your Opening . . .

Posted March 2nd, 2015 by in Writing Tips

Not long ago a student asked me if I would mind providing more definition about the inciting incident and core conflict. He said they sounded the same to him. Also, he was confused about what I meant when I said the best openings begin slightly before the beginning. I had been explaining how it was […]


One Dozen Rules for Writing Effective Love Scenes

Posted November 21st, 2014 by in Writing Tips

• Love scenes should have a slow buildup of sexual tension. Anticipation, a slow seduction of the reader, is what to strive for. • The key ingredient to a good love scene is emotion. The scene must involve the reader emotionally. The reader should care what happens to these people. • Love scenes should not […]


A day to remember

Posted June 5th, 2014 by in Blog

I don’t remember the house we lived in when I was born. My earliest recollections happened here, in the building pictured, where we lived in an apartment over the store housed below. And my most vivid memory took place when I was about six years old. It was a crisp fall morning. I woke up […]


Deliver on Your Promises

Posted June 3rd, 2014 by in Writing Tips

“The reader has certain rights. He bought your story. Think of this as an implicit contract. He’s entitled to be entertained, instructed, amused; maybe all three. If he quits in the middle, or puts the book down feeling his time has been wasted, you’re in violation.” ~ Larry Niven If you’re writing a mystery, you […]


Patricia Kay’s Sequel Checklist

Posted May 31st, 2014 by in Writing Tips

Patricia Kay’s Sequel Checklist Questions to ask yourself about your sequels: Is a sequel really needed here?  Would a simple transition to the next scene do the job better? Is the sequel written in the right point of view?  Would it be more effective if it were written from the point of view of another […]


Trick or treat

Posted May 3rd, 2014 by in Blog, Cat Tales

I love my cats. Even when they’re causing me to tear my hair out, I still love them. They are like my babies. No matter what they do or don’t do, I can’t stay mad at them for long. But there’s one behavior that is driving me bananas: they are obsessed with treats. Jack, especially, […]



Posted April 16th, 2014 by in Blog, Students Write

By Janis Wilson — My word of the day is pretty much my life’s motto – strive. It means give your best effort, even when all indicates point to future failure. It means don’t take things for granted because, if you do, you fail to strive. Strivers are winners. Strivers have a sense of urgency […]