Category Archives: writing

Writing Tools Wednesday: Hemingway App

Hello all! Today I’m here to tell you about a nifty website I’ve discovered called Hemingway. Basically you paste in some writing and it not only gives you an idea as to the reading level of your piece, but it also points out where you may want to change passive voice or turn adverbs into a more descriptive verb. (For example, it will let you know if you want to turn “She slowly walked towards the door” into “She tip-toed towards the door”.) It’s rather handy!

Do note that, of course, none of this is supposed to be a Bible or a set of unbreakable rules – rather, it’s a very neat and easy to follow way to get some ideas on how to spice up your writing a bit.

Check it out! I’m liking it quite a lot so far.

A Super Cool Opportunity for US-based Twitter Writers!

If you are in the US, a writer, and on Twitter, then here’s a deal for you.

Amtrak is offering up to 24 lucky writers a special writers’ retreat where you get your own private room on a passenger train and get to write whatever you want while the scenery zips by your window.

Sound awesome? Sound especially comfy?

That’s because it is awesome. And probably incredibly comfy.

I recommend you take a moment and fill out the form if you are interested. The worst that could happen is that your life continues as is, and the best that could happen is that you’re writing on a train holy fork how awesome is that?

200 Words a Day. It Works.

Recently, I have been writing. Every day.

I know, right? It’s not even NaNoWriMo and I’m writing!

The trick is to write just a little bit. Myself, I’m going for 200 words a day. That’s nothing. I can pound it out in ten minutes and have it over with.

But what happens if you write 200 words in one year?

Thanks, DuckDuckGo!
Thanks, DuckDuckGo!

73,000 words.

That’s a lot. That’s more than a NaNo novel. For like ten minutes of work a day. And that’s not counting all the times you’re going to go 50 words over so you can finish out your thoughts.

If you go with this plan you will have a nifty novel at the end of the year. Awesome, no?


“Cricket Song” is available as a paperback!

Can’t read an e-book (or don’t want to?) No problem – the official Cricket Song paperback is now available from Amazon!

All college freshman Cadence Dillford wants on school break is to be left alone with her art, her thoughts, and her diminutive and wisecracking imaginary friend. Unfortunately this isn’t to be, because her mother has decided that it’s time to introduce her painfully shy daughter to the talkative seven-year-old girl next door. This wouldn’t be the best combination to begin with, but as it turns out there is much, much more lurking in the nearby forest– and in the corners of Cadence’s own imagination– than anyone could have guessed.

I’m rather fond of this little “bedtime story” and I’d love if you read it and shared it with your favorite artist (or artist-in-training). Chuck a review up on Amazon or GoodReads too!

Cricket Song: Paperback

10 Did you write today? 20 GOTO 10

Do you consider yourself to be a good writer? Great! Keep writing.

Do you consider yourself to be a poor writer? Hey, me too! Keep writing.


If you can write more than that, that’s AMAZING, but if you hit your goal then you’ve hit your goal and you’re on the right track and deserve accolades for simply opening your word processor.

Don’t believe in yourself? Believe in me, who believes in you!


Sometimes all it takes is the right place to inspire your writing. For example, I had the general idea for my latest book, Cricket Song, in my head for a good few months already when something interesting happened in my life and I found myself back in Washington State, the land of my childhood. While I now consider Montana my home, I spent the first ten years of my life in Washington among the seagulls, the overcast skies and the biggest trees in the world, and it was as I was traveling over Deception Pass that I suddenly realized that this was where I needed to set the book. I wanted it to have a magical, childlike quality and what better way would there be to evoke that than to attach my own emotions and childhood to the project?

Giving the book a special location really helped to cement its themes and ideas and give it a unique flavor.

Is this something that should be applied to all of your writing projects? Not necessarily. But give it a try the next time you’re stuck or even just trying to think of a way to add to your current project. You may be surprised how much life a specific and memorable location will give to a story.

Writing Tools Wednesday: Songza

We all have our preferred writing soundtrack, but what if you need something appropriate to your scene on the fly? That’s where Songza comes in. Head over, click on Film Scores, pick the appropriate mood for your scene, and off you go. If you’re feeling fancy go ahead and take a look around the other playlists as well.

The only real downside is that the soundtracks aren’t quite as varied as I’d like and you’ll wind up with a lot of music from the same movie. Still, it’s good at grouping moods and themes together, so if you’re writing a tense standoff you’ll have some tense standoff music ready to go. Same with a major epic battle or some ominous plot twist.

Check it out!

P.S. I know this is terrible to say since I’ve just recently started blogging again, but I may not be around quite so much for the next few weeks since I am hosting a very special visitor. We’ll see how things go, however!

The Most Important Part of Being a Writer is Writing

Did you know that if you write, then you are a writer? Pretty great, isn’t it?

On the flipside, though, if you do not write then you are not a writer.

Don’t be an “aspiring writer”. Just be a writer. Yes yes, I know, writing is a pain. It never stops being a bit of a pain. But I’m certain that you can manage a few sentences today. Even if no one else believes in you, I totally do!

So does this cat.
So does this cat.

If you need a boost today, here’s WrittenKitten. It generates a kitten image when you hit a target word count. You’re welcome.

How to Trick Yourself Into Writing More

Writing is a pain in the butt. No, really, it is. And it never stops being a pain in the butt. No wonder we put off doing it so much.

I have a way to trick yourself into it, though. Ready?

Your goal today is to write one sentence in your current project.

That’s it. One sentence. That’s easy, right? It takes ten seconds, right? Heck, it takes longer to open up Scrivener/OpenOffice than to actually write one sentence.

So go do it. Done? CONGRATS! You’ve hit your goal for the day! Great work!

…but notice now that your brain sort of doesn’t want to stop writing now that you’ve started. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Go try this method. No, seriously. Then report back to me with results.