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Digging deep

Did you know that Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) have built sophisticated tunnels running under the border between Mexico and the US? The tunnels are reinforced or bored into rock, and often have electricity, phone service, and fresh air ventilation systems! An article about a tunnel discovered in 2006 sparked the idea for the opening

Interview without a vampire

I don’t have vampires in my books, but I do interview my characters these days. I haven’t been consistent about it, and I sometimes go back and change the answers when I get a better idea, bit I’m starting to really like the outcome. I recently reviewed an old interview with Steve Reyes (from my

Passive aggressive: the grammar post

Before I launch into a grammar diatribe, I have to announce that I passed the halfway point in my current WIP! Okay, back to the blog… The confusion over passive voice, the use of “was” and -“ing”, and the definition of showing versus telling has been bothering me for a while now. Yes, I’m a

The pirate and the pack rat

Today’s blog is also showing at: http://romancemagicians.blogspot.com/2009/12/pirate-and-pack-rat.html. In my non-writing life, I’m not a pack rat, I’m a purger. I have a Goodwill donations bag going at all times, and I relentlessly thin the morass on a regular basis. I will admit that moving frequently helps. No place for that thingamabob in the new house?

Knocking down blocks

Yesterday I hit a block. I tried repeatedly to start a scene, and just couldn’t make it happen. My people (characters) thought the scene was boring and they wanted nothing to do with it. They were right. What finally pulled me out of my state of stumped was Shirley Jump‘s Rule of Six. I’m taking

Emotional intelligence

My CP is constantly harping and nagging…ahem, I mean gently reminding me about the need to infuse my writing with more emotion. And, she’s right. In my head, the characters are going through such turmoil and angst, but I often forget to pour that emotion onto the page for the reader to see. Some of

Off the hook

A writer’s life is filled with hooks. The first scene, page, paragraph–heck, the first sentence–must grab the reader/editor if you want them to keep reading. But, don’t forget the hook at the end of each chapter or scene, the hook in your query letter, synopsis, website blurb, back cover copy… Well, I’m apparently hook-challenged. (I