Writing Is Easy–Until It’s Hard

Writing looks easy. We all learn to write essays about what I did this summer at an early age. And writing is easy–until it’s hard. The hard work comes when you desire to create a compelling story. This is the story of one way to learn to create a compelling story. Many people instruct wanna-be-writers to read-read-read and write-write-write. That’s good advice, but it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. One must also study-study-study the craft. Every writer starts at a different place in their skill levels. So it’s counterproductive to dictate that all writers must start here or there. All the steps are necessary. Only you can decide how deeply you must dive into the learning and in what order you need to learn these skills. This is the story of how I went about learning to write and publish my book. I share my story in the hopes that someone might find some guidance and inspiration in my story. As with most writers, I loved to read from the get-go. I don’t know when I started reading. Books and stories were as necessary to me as the air that we breathe. I wrote stories in a journal. I […]

Don’t Underestimate the Pain

Sadly suicide is in the public discourse right now. The suicides of public personalities Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have shocked many. Don’t underestimate the pain. They probably didn’t want to die. What they probably wanted was to escape the pain they felt inside. Sadder still is that they aren’t the only ones who thought about or committed suicide recently. If one has never suffered from depression or suicidal thoughts, it can be an incomprehensible foreign concept. It’s easy to underestimate the pain. Depression so great that your life is not worth living is worse than a dark cloud, it’s a thick, suffocating blanket of anguish with no end in sight. WHAT MAY BE HURTFUL The phrase ‘it’s lying to you’ is going around right now as a way to reassure someone who’s depressed. It’s too simple. Depression is insidious. It’s full of shaming, denigrating, harmful self-talk that is often cloaked in the truth. A chronic illness can be so painful you’d do anything to stop the pain. An addiction can be so overwhelming that it destroys the choices, the life he or she wanted to live. Don’t underestimate the pain that person feels inside. Telling a depressed person that depression […]

It’s Reading Season!

Mea Culpa! I’ve been nose to the grindstone and completely forgot to double-check that Thursday’s post went out as scheduled. And I was caught! It wasn’t scheduled. Totally my fault, but I did meet my deadline for completing my final revision. Yay! And I’ve been preparing for Reading Season.  It’s time to start practicing. A new season of readings approaches rapidly. That means I need to find scenes or chapters from my work that are relatively self-contained and appropriate lengths (usually 20-30 minutes), then start practicing, so I can read smoothly and clearly, and also build up my voice so it will last 20-30 minutes. In addition to the conventions I’ll attend (I already know I’ll be scheduled for a full hour of reading at DemiCon 29, and I’ve requested to do readings at other conventions through the summer), I’ll also be participating in a panel discussion about writers’ groups, and doing a short reading at a meeting of the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (KaCSFFS), April 21. That’s Saturday, April 21, 7:00 p.m., at The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111. At the KaCSFFS meeting, I’ll share the “reading chair” in the Library at The Writers Place with two friends who also are writers. Holly Messinger Holly Messinger One is Holly […]