How to avoid talking to someone you do not want to talk to

fear

 

1. The first and best choice is to hide. A potted plant is a good choice. Use the plant as coverage while you sneak to a secure area. If the person looks at you, freeze. This tactic has been proven successful by many cartoons.

2. If the person has already spotted you, make loud noises and wave your arms. This will make you appear threatening. This will also work if the person is a bobcat.

3. If the person does not run away and instead asks you annoying questions like, “Why are you yelling and waving your arms,” then play dead. Cover your head to protect against annoying questions about why you are on the floor. This will also work if the person is a bear.

4. Should the person continue speaking to you, grab your nearest emergency pole vault and leap over them. Make sure your emergency pole vault is always handy. That point cannot be stressed enough.

5. If you have irresponsibly left your pole vault at home, stay silent as they talk to you but do not break eye contact. DO NOT BREAK EYE CONTACT. This will unnerve them to the point of leaving.

 

When performed correctly, the above tactics will free you of everyone you have never wanted to talk to. Best of luck, fellow hermits!

The INSTA-LOVE trope – just add water! (repost in honor of Valentine’s Day)

love5
There are few things more grating to me than the insta-love trope seen so often in fiction. This device essentially involves shoving two characters in the same room, then poking them with a stick until they have nowhere else to go but each other’s arms.

The development of their relationship usually looks like this:

Continue reading

How to write what you know (even when you don’t know)

typewriter08

It’s as ubiquitous as “Show, don’t tell.” You probably can’t even remember the first time you heard it, it’s touted so widely – in advice books, in classrooms, in movies about writers. Even the most non-writiest nonwriter who hasn’t held a pen since high school knows to write what we know.

But what does that actually mean?

Continue reading

Show up, have faith, let go – writing wisdom from Julia Cameron

Two years ago I read an amazing book called “The Right to Write” by Julia Cameron, full of warm-hearted wisdom about the creative process, self-doubt, self-criticism, and motivation. I’ve recommended this book to a number of writers since then, and decided today I would share the notes I took while reading, in hopes that you find them as encouraging as I did.

(These are part quotes, part summaries, typed here exactly as I penned them in my notebook. I’ve made bold the ones that most resonated with me.)

Continue reading

Don’t just write stories. LIVE stories.

img_0650

Today’s post comes to you from French Polynesia! Well, sorta – I wrote it while we were there, but I’m publishing after we’ve returned. Does that count? When I wrote this, I was surfing on the back of a wild dolphin, and the dolphin was wearing sunglasses, and was probably TOTALLY my new best friend. Yes, that sounds factual. *nods*

Craig and I are relentless wanderers, ever thirsty for the faraway. So we decided to celebrate our five-year anniversary on the Polynesian island of Mo’orea. Travel not only nourishes my soul, it betters me as a writer by providing my mind a rest as well as material.

Continue reading

Tips on writing REAL real good! (Repost)

pen02

Okay, writers. Grab your electrolytes-infused sports drink, because we’re about to karate chop some GREATNESS into your manuscript! Right now your “story” may feel more like a BORE-y, am I right? But with these ten simple tips, your book can become the belle of the bookshop, guaranteed.

Continue reading

Next time, muse, I’ll need to see a doctor’s note. (Repost)

writers block

It’s one of those days again. You’ve sat down at your desk, all set to work, but… Groan. Your muse has called in sick. Last time it was a dead car battery, and before that, the dog ate its homework. Whatever the reason, your muse is gone and you’re left high and dry.

Yup, it’s that infamous writer’s block. Here is a list of handy solutions for the next time it happens to you.

You can…

Continue reading

To plot or to pants

writing22

Writers LOVE this question: are you a plotter or a pantser? They talk about it all the time. They talk about it more than they actually write! 😉

In case you don’t know, this question is in regards to how you go about creating your novel. Do you form the whole plot ahead of time, following an outline of pre-planned scenes from beginning to end? (That is, do you “plot?”) Or do you wing it, forging onward with maybe a loose idea of where to go but mostly improvising the journey? (That is, do you “write by the seat of your pants?” Shortened to “pantsing.”)

That great term “pantsing” has become pretty normalized among writers, but to the first-time hearer it’s probably not intuitive. The casual eavesdropper probably thinks “pantsers” just go around pulling down trousers. Fortunately that is not the case!

(Well, maybe some do. We’re a weird bunch.)

Continue reading

The INSTA-LOVE trope: just add water!

love5

There are few things more grating to me than the insta-love trope seen so often in fiction. This device essentially involves shoving two characters in the same room, then poking them with a stick until they have nowhere else to go but each other’s arms.

The development of their relationship usually looks like this:

Continue reading

More rules you can occasionally break

books34

Last week I talked about how you don’t have to write every day, and before that, how you can write slow if you want. Let’s rebel against some more rules! (Occasionally.)

Eugh… “Rules.” Just the word makes me think of similarly off-putting things, like peas or gym class or t-shirt armpits yellowed by old sweat stains. I prefer the more pleasing word “guidelines.” Ahh, that’s better – like a cheerful garden path leading you towards better writing. Or that wise old word “advice,” with its wizard beard and smell of vintage paper. And let’s not forget that perky lil word, “tips!”

Rules are smart, but no rule/guideline/advice/tip is an ironclad absolute.

Continue reading