Inspiration Category Archive

I Was Not Born A Writer

I have heard it said, “I was a writer from the start,” but that was not me. I was not born knowing how to put words to my thoughts or how to take those words from my mouth and place them on the page. I was not born understanding the characters dancing in my head or the worlds that needed building. I was not born knowing how to cultivate a storyteller’s touch or with the drive to wade through the world of publishing.

I was not born with the knowledge of the Hero’s Journey or the necessity of a


and End.

I was not born knowing how to bring a character to life, how to give them emotion, how to make a reader feel what my characters experience, or how to make them seem just as three-dimensional as a true-living-breathing person.

I was not born knowing how to understand my five senses and use words to describe them. I was not born knowing the dynamic simple sentence or how to string a complex sentence together. I did not know the difference between the word “red” and “amaranth”, “sad” and “doleful”, “smell” and “reek”, or “hug” and “cradle”. I was not born knowing there are words that carry power, that stick in a reader’s memory like tacky glue or molasses or silly putty or sweat.

I was not born knowing the importance of a comma, the necessity of a period, the gift of quotation marks, or the beauty of an em dash. Punctuation can carry as much power as a word. I was not born knowing that truth.

I was not born knowing that readers need to laugh and cry (often at the same time). Or that readers need to root for their characters. Or that readers need characters with flaws. Need characters full of flaws. Characters that have flaws and yet, they still rise. They rise and conquer. They conquer, despite those flaws. I was not born knowing that characters need to save themselves or save others or are saved because of their flaws.

I was not born knowing how to create rhythm or prose that speaks. I was not born knowing how to draft and edit or knowing the difference between pantsing and plotting. I was not born with thick skin.

I was not born a writer.


But I was born a creature of industry. I was born with the ability to establish habits, particularly the habit of working hard and steadily. I was born with the desire to practice and read, practice and read, practice and read. I was born with an internal need to experience the world fully, to know the stories of fellow men, to understand the lives of the people who have come before me. I was born with the need to interact with others intimately and with the beautiful world around us—to make connections, to research and learn and learn and learn.

I was born with an imagination. I was born with a powerful brain. I was born with a subconscious that works overtime when I sleep and dream.

I was born with each of the tools needed to place the stories I brainstorm on paper.

I was born with the capacity to become.

Four years ago today, I was in a car accident that changed my life and set me on the path to write my first book, which led to the second, the third, the fourth, fifth, sixth and on.

I was not born a writer.

But it is what I am.

I’m Back…But Not Really (Plus a Dragon)

I’m not really back from my blogging break, I still have about 9k to write in my WIP and I’m hoping to do it before NaNo starts. I’d love to have my editing shoes on during NaNo so I can edit while you all write!

I’m popping in for two reasons, the first is that the lovely Cat Scully will be guest-posting in the coming week and it’s going to be a recipe post! (Yum!) I’m so excited. The girl is a cooking genius. Be sure you stop by.

Second, is to say I’m sorry for not posting the winner from the birthday giveaway! chose Talynn Lynn! (Your birthday memory was also pretty hilarious 🙂 Shoot me an email to get your copy of The Night Circus!

And third, is to pass along this month’s theme (and next months for you NaNo-ers): Killing the Doubt-Monster

(Yes those are laser guns. Us writers are fierce.)

If you’re about to start NaNo, keep in mind that yes, it may be hard, but also yes, you can do it!! This past month has been full of writers-block for me, but I keep remembering that yes, I can finish this WIP in a month! (Umm…only 3 days left before my month ends, haha!)

I’m still over on Twitter, checking out people’s blogs through links you shoot my way.


Give Until I Ain’t Got Nothin’ Left

There’s something about summertime that brings big life change. I know of several other good writer friends who are amidst change too and I’m wishing all of us the best of luck. The most difficult part about planning the coming months, for me, is struggling for life balance and finding the time and motivation to write.

I’m flummoxed on what piece of writing to work on (do I fully commit myself to Rupert, my MG novel, or do I begin writing Book #2 in my Water series, or do I go back and edit CD a bit more??) and as a result, I have almost completely postponed any sort of writing at all. The only good news here, is that I’ve gotten some great reading done lately– I’ll post a list of some of the books I’ve read at the end of the month.

Yes, I’m under a fair amount of stress (moving to southern TN, job searching and house searching), and yes, I’m a bit stuck in the writing department.

But in the spirit of #DirtyWriters everywhere, I’ve adopted a new anthem and I’m diving right back into writing, right back into getting the job done.

I use what I got / take what I get / give until I ain’t got nothin’ left / then I give it some more…

If you’re in the middle of life change, too, take heart! there are others right there along with you 🙂



W is for Wilderness

The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness to be exact. Back in ’08 my dad took me backpacking in Montana. I honestly can’t say I’ve ever been to a more beautiful, inspiring place.

We hiked up to the old Independence mining site and climbed Monument Peak, which I’m standing on in the picture below. This area is just north of Yellowstone Park. From the top of Monument we had a clear sight line all the way to the Tetons, 120 miles South. We camped at the base of Monument beside Blue Lake. The icy water was delicious on our sore feet and knees after a day of backpacking.

I highly suggest this area to any hikers/backpackers out there.

I grew up going to Colorado to visit my grandparents which probably accounts for my undying love of the mountains and probably explains why so many of my book ideas are set in the mountains. I always say my muse likes to hang out in state parks. This trip to Montana only strengthened my mountain obsession 🙂

S is for Snodgrass

Jack Snodgrass, that is.

Have you ever heard a name that, when you heard it, felt like you’d been hit over the head by its awesomeness? Jack Snodgrass did that to me. It still does even after knowing his name for a year. There’s something about the normalcy of the first name, Jack, combined with the peculiarity of Snodgrass that gets my imagination all sorts of inspired. I dearly wish I could use his name for a character in a book.

What real world names have left you inspired?

(Jack Snodgrass is a former pitcher for Austin Peay who is in the Minors now. I first watched him pitch during the Atlanta regional, last year).

((I do apologize for my absence from the internet-waves. I will be home on vacation for my sister’s wedding until Tuesday.))