Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing



I’ve been noticing lately how I am feeding the creative voice by simply doing something a little different from my normal schedule at times. I seem to have the most trouble in the winter because of the light and the rain. So winter I really need to mix things up some.

And regularly.

Now I have a life that compared to most is pretty mixed to start with. I am the CFO of WMG, I tend to help out picking for all three of our stores and working with the three managers, I am exercising some, and writing and publishing my challenge.

So busy I am, but even that can drop into a rut and a simple trip to the valley (an hour away) to pick and watch a movie and have a nice dinner breaks up the sameness.

And I see people I would never see otherwise. And as a writer, I love to just watch people and make up stories about them from the clues they are giving me.

Remember last year I spent five days in a hotel room writing a novel right at this time of year? Well, this year I am back, not writing because only going to be here a few days and I flew instead of drove. But I am in Las Vegas for a few days to do research on a ton of different stuff.

Now I know Las Vegas pretty well, considering that I have been here playing cards off-and-on since 1972. So I don’t need fact research, or what I could get from a picture or a map. I need the “doing something different” and “feeling the place” and “seeing the people” research.

Only for a few days. More than enough. And sure, I will play a few tournaments while here as well. Maybe pay for the research trip.

So my research isn’t what you would think of as a beginning writer’s idea of research. I go for the experience, to shake things up, to feel the air and feed the creative voice. I don’t come up with ideas since I don’t care and I write into the dark. So I am feeding that creative voice that allows me to write into the dark.

This adventure is a few days in Las Vegas after a two hour plane flight. Next week it will be an adventure to a different restaurant in the valley somewhere.

Adventure. Critical to feed the creative voice.

And a ton of fun I might add.


Weekender Pop-Up Online Workshops Are Now Up on Teachable.

A couple of these are about half full.

February 15-18, 2018

— Controlling Fear of Failure
— How to Study and Practice in Fiction (A Study Plan)

March 15-18th

— Adding Tension to Your Writing
— Making a Living in 2018/19 With Your Fiction
— Controlling Fear of Failure

April 12-15th

— The Indie Game. (Roll-play your way through ten years of decisions as an Indie Writer.)
— How to Study and Practice in Fiction (A Study Plan)
— Adding Tension to Your Writing
— (tba)

January and February Online Workshops Are Now Up on Teachable.

All January first and second week videos are now available. AND YOU CAN STILL SIGN UP AND JUMP INTO JANUARY. I will shut it down next Monday. March will be on Teachable shortly after that.

If you have credits from the Kickstarter, you need to write me to sign up. You can also sign up through me and use Paypal just like normal. Or you can go directly to Teachable and sign up there for any workshop using either Paypal or a credit card.

To see all the courses, just hit the link at the top of the Teachable page that says “All Courses” and it will show you all the lectures and workshops available.

Class #1… Jan 2nd … Depth #3: Research
Class #2… Jan 2nd … Author Voice
Class #3… Jan 2nd … Business
Class #4… Jan 2nd … Writing into the Dark
Class #5… Jan 2nd … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #6… Jan 2nd … Think Like a Publisher
Class #7… Jan 3rd … Depth in Writing
Class #8… Jan 3rd … Advanced Character and Dialog
Class #9… Jan 3rd … (empty)
Class #10… Jan 3rd … Pacing Your Novel
Class #11… Jan 3rd … Novel Structure
Class #12… Jan 3rd … Writing Fantasy

Class #13… Feb 6th … Think Like a Publisher
Class #14… Feb 6th … Endings
Class #15… Feb 6th … Point of View
Class #16… Feb 6th … Writing Mysteries
Class #17… Feb 6th … Speed
Class #18… Feb 6th … Teams in Fiction
Class #19… Feb 7th … Depth in Writing
Class #20… Feb 7th … How to Edit Your Own Work
Class #21… Feb 7th … Character Development
Class #22… Feb 7th … Writing Secondary Plot Lines
Class #23… Feb 7th … Advanced Depth
Class #24… Feb 7th … Novel Structure

Full information about any workshop or March and April schedule is under Online Workshops on the sidebar.



  • Lisa Nixon Richard


    I hope you have fun in Vegas. I get needing the adventure. Last weekend, I went to a skijoring race for the first time. My husband thinks I should add it to my writing. I may or may not. The fact is that it got me out of the writing room with my camera and I played. This weekend we are going to Anchorage. Let the adventure begin!!!


  • JM

    I work second shift and I think this might be one part of why I’ve been having such trouble writing. When I get out of work, it’s too late to do anything other than read, watch a vid, or write, but my writing has been pretty much the same old thing for a while – no excitement – nothing new for me. On the weekends, I’m too tired to do more than run an errand or two. I haven’t gone out to a movie or a museum or anything other than a science fiction convention (which have also become much of a muchness, unless there’s a really good guest of honor) in six months or more. I’ve stagnated.

    Thank you for putting in words the need for a little bit of adventure in my life. Not sure how to get there, yet, but at least I know what direction the target is.

  • Leah Cutter

    I have what I call the anti-stodgy campaign. My goal is to try something new at least once a month. In actuality, its probably more like once a week. Plus, I go on what I call artist’s dates. I visit museums, go see live theatre or shows, take my camera and go on a nature walk and just take pictures. I think it’s critical to refill the well regularly.

  • Jodi

    I like your idea of adventure. For someone who creates every day, it must be the equivalent of my new resolution to create something every week–a blog article or a home-made bookmark or anything. It’s hard for me to do much of anything but the bare minimum during winter, when my energy levels are down and I refuse to go outside to catch sunlight (I hate the cold). It’s hard for me to do when life or work stresses pile up, and lately when aren’t they? But I’m beginning to think creativity (or adventure) is as important as a healthy diet to keep everything going swimmingly.

    Interesting post.