Road to Realm Makers 2017: A Recap

Road to Realm Makers 2017: A Recap

Each year I’ve gone to Realm Makers, I’ve had major expectations. I expect to hear excellent instruction on writing. I expect to make new connections and to see people dressed up and having fun at the annual costume-optional banquet. And I definitely expect to be inspired to take on my dreams and plans and… Sometimes

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6 Practical Ways to Inspire Creativity | J.J. Johnson

6 Practical Ways to Inspire Creativity  |  J.J. Johnson

I have been staring at a blinking cursor for fifteen minutes, working on a blog post that I waited until the last second to write.  And the truth is… I’m drained. Whether I’m wrestling with two crazy boys, or conquering mountains of laundry, sweeping up the crumbs that magically appear on a hardwood floor, emptying

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The Ministry of Words | Sheri Yutzy

The Ministry of Words | Sheri Yutzy

Writers are the word-shapers of the world. We are quirky, creative, and sometimes solitary, but above all, we use words to invite the light of Christ. As a writer, I can minister to the hurting, confused, and downcast of the world through stories and articles. Including myself. When we as writers put words on the

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How to use games for world building

How to use games for world building

World building. There are tons of places to find inspiration for your fictional landscapes, cultures, and conflicts in your story. New writers are told to read what you want to write, not to copy, but to emulate. Books, movies, current events — they’re all fair game. But some of the most influential slices of entertainment

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5 Ways to Know if You’re Ready for a Book Editor

5 Ways to Know if You’re Ready for a Book Editor

Congratulations! You’ve finished your book manuscript! My green plaid newsie cap goes off to you. I know firsthand how difficult it is to persevere through all the stages of writing and finally complete a manuscript. It’s an accomplishment worth celebrating. Now it’s time for the key question. What’s next? Publication? Fame and fortune? A beautiful

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Getting romance right

Getting romance right

It’s Valentine’s Day, so bring forth the obligatory love-centric posts, right? I don’t know about you, but I’m in the camp where when I’m reading or watching a movie and I see good things happening, birds singing, and especially main characters falling in love, I get suspicious. I sense something’s coming. Usually it’s something bad. Like a dinosaur,

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My Word for 2017

My Word for 2017

There is so much buzz going around about the year 2016, how terrible/surprising/tragic/ridiculous it was. While I felt a few personal blows last year, something more overshadowed my experience in the past ~365 days. A foul cloud of discouragement and cynicism hovered over 2016. And yet I’m not sure that this year was really worse than any other. I joined

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6 Books You Should Be Reading for Unique Worldbuilding

6 Books You Should Be Reading for Unique Worldbuilding

I’ll admit it. I like the funky mash-ups. I love the cross-genre novels that feature worldbuilding with cultures and elements that have never touched each other before. I think it’s fascinating when authors create fantasy and magic cultures as diverse as our world (which, let’s face it, is not solely medieval Europe). Unfortunately, well-written stories

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We All Start Somewhere

We All Start Somewhere

“Mommy! I just drawed a letter!” My three-year-old sang from behind a coloring book, wielding a crayon with a flourish. “Nice job,” I replied distractedly, as many parents do in response to the thousandth summons by a toddler for attention. “Which one did you draw?” She lifted the page, full of multicolored scribbles. “C.” And

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Pitching to impress an agent or editor in 15 minutes or less

Pitching to impress an agent or editor in 15 minutes or less

They say public speaking is people’s most common fear, even more than dying. So I suppose it’s not surprising that most writers fear pitching to agents and editors more than any other aspect of the writing and publishing process. Oh. And then there’s the bit where a disproportionate number of writers are shy introverts. That

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Adventures in Audiobooks

Adventures in Audiobooks

As a busy mom who works best with some background noise, I used to listen to podcasts constantly. I’d never been able to listen to audiobooks, since I’m a very visual person. I’m the one who likes to have the subtitles on the TV screen, even when it’s loud enough to hear. It’s like a

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PENCON Recap

PENCON Recap

Crosshair Press founders Amy Williams and Katie Morford Phillips were invited to PENCON 2017 to teach about editing! So they drove 2400 miles round trip.

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