Here you will find everything to do with writing, whether it is my writing or what I'm learning from reading books on writing.  Reading, vocabulary, and grammar are the tools of the trade. The very best people to learn from are the ones who are seasoned writers who teach writing. You would be wise to enlist them as your mentors, as I have.

I just found a wonderful book at my favorite book store - our local swap shop that is part of our transfer station. I can't believe the fabulous books I have found here over the years, all free! And this book is just one more of the many that I've added to my extensive and forever growing book collection.

Although I've often been a bit confused when I've read Carver's stories, I have decided to keep going until something clicks for me. He has a reputation, well-deserved, of being known as one of the great short story writers and partly for bringing the short story out of magazines and into book form, able to stand on their own.

In every story your reader wants to know what, why, when, where, and how. They want to know how things look, sound, smell, taste, and feel.

Every story includes three ingredients: character, conflict, and resolution.

Start with a memory and then use your imagination to fill in the story.

Make sure your opening sentence grabs your reader right away to hold their attention to keep reading. Try a few beginning sentences - one will likely stand out over the others. That will be the path to follow.

Not my favorite part of writing but it is a necessary step in writing any book, whatever the subject. Of course, we all like to think that every word that we write is the perfect word the first time we write it. Who needs editing? But the truth is, sometimes we need to dig a little deeper before we find what we are looking for to get the story we want.

I'm currently reading an interesting book (one of several, as usual), "Reading Like a Writer" by Francine Prose. Under her chapter on 'Words' she dissects a paragraph from Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find."

One of the books I'm currently writing, "A Madness Most Discreet" is a big step away from the Children's and Juvenile Fiction (JFic) books I've been writing. It is definitely a novel written for adults since there are a few love scenes and more adult issues that are not appropriate for children. So, since I have so many stories in me and want to write and publish not only my children's books but also whatever inspiration I get to write adult books, the question I've had to ask myself is, should I be writing my adult novels under a different name?

I've been looking at some of the books I own where the author writes not only adult books but children's books as well. Apparently, for most, there is no issue with writing both. After all, why limit your creativity if you happen to write stories that appeal to children and stories that appeal to adults, also?

In this chapter, Priscilla Long noted how when a panel of authors with differing backgrounds and genres were brought together they all stressed the same habits that every writer should adopt - write 1000 words a day and write using a structure. Now, personally, I would suggest, if you are a writer and this is your profession, not a hobby, you must write far more than 1000 words a day. I recently wrote a short story to see just how long 1000 words were and how long it took me to write. If I had continued writing it at one sitting, it wouldn't have taken more than 20-30 minutes or so. I think we can spend a little more time than that. Again, I'm talking to the professionals out there.

The second suggestion, using a structure, was something that I'm sure I do, and we probably all do, but not something we are consciously thinking about. She outlines 4 structures - Theme, Collage, Two or Three Strand, and Dramatic Story. How you choose your structure depends on the kind of story you will be telling.

When I sit down at my computer or my notebook to write, I'm not thinking 'what structure am I using?' But I'm sure, instinctively, I'm using one of the structures as outlined in Priscilla Long's book. Ms Long suggests you figure out structures by reading for structure. The only problem is, once you start reading for structure, it might be hard to go back to reading for pleasure!