MyWANA Category Archive

Warm Fuzzies Blogfest!

Welcome to the Warm Fuzzies Blogfest! I’ve been looking forward to this for a few weeks now, and I really can’t wait to get started.

For the next four weeks we’ll celebrate being writers and revel in the amazing community surrounding us. Sign up below and hop on over to the other blogs. Build your platform and most importantly, make some new friends 🙂

To start off the fest, we’re going to tackle the issue of those who aren’t in our community. How do you broach the subject of being a writer to other people who aren’t authors?

99.9% of the time, I don’t.

Why? Because, being a writer isn’t easy. Part of what makes it hard are the stereotypes against the profession and the way people respond. I don’t often tell people I’m a writer.

Why? Mostly, because I don’t know how they’ll respond. I still haven’t told any of the people I work with that I’m a writer, which is hilarious to me because most of them are musicians (I do live in Nashville after all ;)) and being a musician is pretty on par with being a writer.

There are a variety of responses I’ve heard: Disbelief. Judgment. Excitement. Doubt. Interest. I never know which one I’ll get.

This week, be it good or bad, funny or sad, share with us the best response you’ve heard when you’ve told someone you’re a writer. Also, tell us, do you tell other people that you’re a writer?

Here’s mine!

A while back, I had a conversation with a friend that went something like this…

“I wrote a book….”
“Oh, how cool.”
“I’d love you to read it sometime, if you’d like. I know you’re good at writing and editing.”
“I have lots of ideas for books. I should write one sometime.”
“Yeah, that’d be good.”
“I just have to sit down and write one.”
“I mean, it won’t be that hard once I decide to write it.”

And the conversation continued. *Sigh* I guess I can’t expect everyone to understand that writing a book definitely isn’t easy.

This week, I have an absolutely incredible, amazing prize lined up for you! Editor Susan Buie is offering a 30 page edit, valued at $300-400. Susan Buie is a professional freelance copywriter with 20+ years experience in advertising, marketing, creative writing and also copyediting. The winner will get a professional perspective with insights on both the big picture (overall story, plot/structure, themes) and the nitty gritty (grammar, spelling, etc.). We’re lucky to have Susan here with us for the blogfest; she is very good at what she does (yes, I know this from experience!)

She requests a minimum two week window to turn the editing around.

You can find her at her website,
her blog,
and on twitter @buiecreative

I also have some other fun prizes for you all! This week, I am offering one of my hand-made journals as a prize and Saba of is donating the book below, it’s a “Do It Yourself Autobiography!” Also, be sure to check out her blog as she is offering some fun prizes for those who comment on her posts 🙂

I will pick all winners throughout the next four weeks using

Please make sure to have all posts up by Friday. 🙂


Sentence Sunday! Punctuating Dialogue

I’ve learned over the past months that I do not punctuate dialogue correctly and I’ve noticed it’s an easy thing for people to mix up.  So, today’s lesson is on punctuating dialogue.  Aren’t you excited?!

The main source of confusion is comma versus period and when to capitalize letters.

Capitalize vs Not Capitalize

“Piglet! Stop chewing on that book!” yelled Juliana.

Here, the y on yelled is not capitalized because yelled is a continuation of the sentence ‘Stop chewing on that book.’ A good way to look at it is to read it as a whole sentence, Stop chewing on that book, yelled Cale.

“Piglet! Stop chewing on that book!” The binding on the book frayed as Piglet sunk her teeth into the thick paper.

In this example, the T on The is capitalized because a new sentence is beginning. ‘Stop chewing on that book’ is separate from ‘The binding on the book…’

The book frayed as Piglet sunk her teeth into the thick paper. “Piglet! Stop chewing on that book!” Running toward her dog, Juliana curled her fingers over the soggy, torn cover of Nevada Barr’s book, Blind Descent, and realized she would have to buy a new copy.

Each of these sentences are complete on their own and so all start with a capitalized letter.

Juliana yelled, “Stop chewing on that book!”

And here, the letter S on Stop is capitalized even though it is a continuation of the sentence ‘Juliana yelled’ because it is the start of dialogue.  The beginning word in dialogue is always capitalized.

Comma vs Period

“Piglet! Stop chewing on that book,” yelled Juliana.

The first time I used this example I had an exclamation point, but here I’ve changed it to a comma.  I would not use a period because ‘yelled Juliana’ is not a sentence of its own, as I said before, it’s a continuation of ‘Stop chewing on that book.’ The comma is used to connect the tag to the dialogue.

The book frayed as Piglet sunk her teeth into the thick paper. “Piglet! Stop chewing on that book.” Running toward her dog, Juliana curled her fingers over the soggy, torn cover of Nevada Barr’s, Blind Descent, and realized she would have to buy a new copy.

Just as before, all of these are new sentences and so use periods and not commas.

“I hope,” said Juliana, “that my book tasted good, Piglet.”

‘Said Juliana’ is set off by commas because it interrupts the dialogue and is not a separate sentence of its own.

Alright, there are a few examples and explainations for you.  If you think of any I’ve missed, add them in the comments section 🙂

Sentence Sundays!

I will be the first to admit, I am not the best writer.  Now, I may not be a great writer but I am dedicated, I work hard, I study and learn, and I want to be the best writer I can be.  And the first place to look to improve my writing is starting at the beginning: the sentence.  Thus, Sentence Sundays!  From here on out (or until I decide either I have nothing else to learn…right…or everybody votes Sentence Sundays stink), I will be posting what I learn about sentences.

As there are usually four Sundays per month, each Sunday will be designated to a different aspect of sentences.

  1. Sentence Variation
  2. Respect to the Greats
  3. Punctuation
  4. Word Choice

Since this technically is the second Sunday of the month, I’m going to leave you with one of my very favorite suspensive sentences:

“He drove the car carefully, his shaggy hair whipped by the wind, his eyes hidden behind wraparound mirror shades, his mouth set in a grim smile, a .38 Police Special on the seat beside him, the corpse stuffed in the trunk.”

(If any of you know who wrote this, let me know because I can’t find it anywhere. ) Now that is a great sentence.

Keep in mind, I will be learning as I post things here.  If you see any mistakes, please let me know!

So, I’ll see you all next Sunday for a lesson on punctuation!

As a side note, I’ve had three of you take me up on my offer (for a critique partner or just to have a new set of eyes read your WIP) and a few of you say you were interested.  If you’re still interested, or are anytime in the next couple months, let me know!  The offer is still standing 🙂

Note: in light of Kristen Lamb’s, (who wrote We Are Not Alone (#MyWANA on Twitter)), post on why writers blogging about writing is bad, Sentence Sundays will be the days of the week I blog on writing.  Tuesdays and Fridays will be my other blogging days, for other fun things. 🙂