My revival of the blog didn't last long, but I intend to be back in the fall, with a new look for the site and revived blogging energy. I won't be idle over the summer, though. As well as working on my own writing, I will be revamping all my websites ...
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Taking a Break — Site Updates are On Their Way! and more...

Taking a Break — Site Updates are On Their Way!

My revival of the blog didn’t last long, but I intend to be back in the fall, with a new look for the site and revived blogging energy.

I won’t be idle over the summer, though. As well as working on my own writing, I will be revamping all my websites with a new look. I’m looking forward to the new look.

Also, FLUBS2FIXES will remain open for editing and proofreading throughout the summer. If you have a need for copy editing or proofreading, either before starting the querying process, before finalizing a manuscript for submission, or before self-publishing, I’m here. Check out my services, procedures and rates. I’m here for you.

Otherwise, see you in the fall!


Sources for webinars — a boon for writers

In the first half of this year (can we be halfway through the year already?) I benefited from several webinars about different aspects of writing. A few were free, a few had a fee, but all were worthwhile.

Among them were an Agents Day hosted by SCBWI Wisconsin, a webinar about writing first pages in middle grade and YA novels hosted by SCBWI-SouthWest Texas, one on writing the middle of novels entitled (Un)Stuck in the Middle presented by Lorin Oberweger and hosted by SCBWI Nebraska, a couple of webinars about revision from the Children’s Book Insider, and a couple from KidLit Nation. It was a rich time of learning.

How did I find out about such fabulous webinars, you ask? Here’s the scoop:

SCBWI-Nevada does all SCBWI members (and others) a huge favor by keeping track of SCBWI webinars that are happening all over the United States. You can access the list at their site, Nevada SCBWI (you’ll see webinar in the sidebar if you’re on their homepage). Their listing of webinars is kept current and there are always gems to be found. Usually there’s a charge for non-members, as well as a lower charge for SCBWI members. For someone like me, who lives out of easy traveling range to my SCBWI chapter, this gives me an opportunity to make use of my membership in a tangible way. And my writing has definitely benefited!

Children’s Book Insider is a fantastic resource for anyone who writes children’s books, from board books on up through YA. There’s a membership fee involved, but the tons of resources, monthly ‘magazine’, and frequent learning opportunities make the fee worthwhile. Some of the webinars I’ve participated in have been free, others have had a fee, but all have been excellent.

KidLit Nation is a fabulous source of webinars and of great discussion on Own Voices writing, and on ensuring that diverse books are available to all, and that our writing is sensitive to the needs of all. In their own words: Our mission is to help educate and provide opportunities for diverse children’s writers and illustrators of color and connect them to resources and opportunities from around the publishing industry.

Emma Walton Hamilton and Julie Foster Hedlund offer great webinars from time to time, as well as the fantastic one-day online conference, Picture Book Summit, coming up this year on Saturday, October 6. For the Summit, they are joined by Laura Backes and Jon Bard of Children’s Book Insider and Katie Davis of the Institute for Children’s Literature. Watch for the Mini-Summit coming up at some point before the full one!

There are many other sources of great webinars. This should get you started.


Housekeeping 2 — Subscriptions and Privacy/Cookie Policies

The good news: my subscription provider, FeedBlitz, has confirmed that all my blog subscriptions were obtained through double opt-in. This constitutes permission to add your email to the mailing list and send email “newsletters.” This means I will NOT have to delete all subscriptions and start again. You can relax and just continue to receive my blog posts as you always have. This is good for us all.

You still can unsubscribe at any time. There is always an “unsubscribe” option at the bottom of any “newsletter” email you receive from my blog.

I have updated my privacy policy and added a cookies policy to comply with GDPR regulations. You can view them at any time by clicking the pertinent button in the footer on my website.

As you can see, I now have a banner across the top of my site to indicate that the site uses cookies. I may change it to dark print on a light background to make it easier to read. If you accept the cookies, you may continue to use the site as you always have done.

Bottom line? You can just relax, and continue to read my blog posts through your subscription if you so choose, or unsubscribe if you so choose. (My feelings will not be hurt if you unsubscribe. There are only so many blog post reading hours in a day.)

Thank you for your patience. I now return you to your regularly scheduled lives. (This post will be repeated on my other sites, as well.)


Note: You’ll soon be seeing changes to my website. I’ve decided to simplify the appearance of my site. You’ll still receive the same sort of blog content in the same way.


Housekeeping – Privacy Policy, Cookies, and other such goodies

Thank you in advance for reading this post. It’s important that I give you this information.

You may or may not be aware that updates to the European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) are going into effect on May 25, 2018. These regulations affect any website or business that interacts with people in the EU.

To ensure that I am complying with these regulations on my websites, I am updating my privacy and cookie policy, adding a banner to let visitors to my sites know that cookies are used to make the website visit helpful to them, and ensuring that all these things are as clear and transparent as possible.

I use email as my method of communicating with my editing and proofreading clients. I will not use your contact information in any way except to fulfill the requirements of the editing process, nor will I make your contact information available to anyone or any other entity. You will not be added to any mailing list. Although I rarely have EU clients for my editing and proofreading services, I am also updating my contract forms to ensure that they are compliant.

If you subscribe to my blog via email, please continue reading:

Note that email “newsletters” are sent if you have signed up for an email subscription to my site. This is done through FeedBlitz, which has a double opt-in feature as a key element in its subscription process. The link to access this subscription feature is in the blog sidebar on my website. You may unsubscribe at any time. There is a link to unsubscribe at the bottom of every email newsletter I send (when I send a new blog post, for example.) You may see FeedBlitz’s privacy policy here.

Since I am not able to tell which subscribers are from the EU, I regret to say I will have to delete all email subscriptions, so that we can all start over on the same footing with the double opt-in process through FeedBlitz. I apologize for this, but think that it’s necessary to ensure full compliance. I will be deleting the subscriptions as of 1:00 p.m. EDT (Eastern Daylight Time), Wednesday, May 23, 2018 by which time all the GDPR compliancy information will be live on my websites.

If you currently subscribe to this blog via email, and you wish to continue to receive my blog posts, please resubscribe any time AFTER 3 p.m. EDT, May 23, 2018 using the email subscription form in the sidebar of this blog on the website.


Thank you. I apologize for the extra steps this requires you to take, but it is necessary.


A note about the comments feature on my blog posts – I will no longer ask for your email information when you post a comment, but I will be adding comment moderation.



Sleuth: Gail Bowen on Writing Mysteries — Writing Craft Book Recommendation

Title: Sleuth: Gail Bowen on Writing Mysteries

Author: Gail Bowen

Publisher: Regina, SK, Canada: University of Regina Press, 2018

Genre: Adult non-fiction

Topics: Writing craft, writing advice, a writer’s first-hand experiences

Opening Sentences: (I love this!) I began writing when I was forty-three. I mention this because a surprising number of people believe that, if they haven’t written something significant by the time they’re forty, it’s game over. … By the time you’re forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, or ninety plus, the well is primed. … If you have always longed to write this is the time to get started because this is the time you have.

Synopsis: The publisher’s website says this of Sleuth: “A smart, practical, and often funny guide for those who aspire to write mysteries, Sleuth reveals the secrets behind the curtain from a bestselling and award-winning master of the genre.”

Although the title suggests this book is primarily for those who want to write mysteries, and, indeed, the author is one of the top mystery-writers in Canada, I believe the book has a great deal of value for writers of all sorts of novels.

With chapters on prewriting (including researching and mapping where you intend to go with your novel), point of view/narrative perspective, setting, characterization, plot, and style, among other topics, this makes a great handbook that will coach the reader through the writing of a first novel – or a tenth.

The book is written in a warm, accessible, understandable style, and Bowen’s teaching methods, as evidenced through the way she explains each segment that goes to build a complete novel, make the process clear. She was a university English professor for years, and reading this book made me wish that I’d been fortunate enough to take one or more classes from her in university.

Bowen gives examples from her own writing (if you haven’t read all her mystery novels, you will find spoilers) and from other writers. She also provides many helpful writing exercises at each stage of the process.

I highly recommend this book.

For Further Enrichment: If you like reading mysteries, may I suggest you read Gail’s excellent Joanne Kilbourn series? Read them in order, and be aware that the series is still growing.

Here’s Gail’s website.

Publishers Weekly had good things to say about this book.

Here’s an excellent interview with Gail about the book on CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter.

Availability: Hot off the press! Should be available, or your local (or online) indie bookstore will be able to order it.