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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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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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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Finding the Soul of your Story | Lani Forbes

Finding the Soul of your Story | Lani Forbes

Much to my husband’s dismay, I could watch the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha” over and over again for the rest of my life. Like a good wife, I tricked him into watching it with me by promising it was about World War II. I conveniently forgot to mention that it was a Cinderella story

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5 Autumn Staples for the Weary Writer

5 Autumn Staples for the Weary Writer

It’s that time of year again, the season of colorful leaves and walks in crisp fall air and bleary-eyed writers stabbing wearily at keyboards in a mad attempt to pound out a novel in a month. The struggle is real, my friends. The struggle is real. If you’re the unfortunate friend or family member of

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The Cookie of Fortune

The Cookie of Fortune

The salty odor of frying noodles added depth to the tang of chargrilled pork and hoisin sauce. Sweet enough to cling to the back of Jim’s throat and just earthy enough to make his stomach rumble in anticipation. Gaijin had the best Asian cuisine in San Francisco. No contest. Jim’s stomach gnawed on his spine

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Realm Makers 2016: A New Trope

Realm Makers 2016: A New Trope

Note: This was supposed to be about 700 words. There is no way, my friends. No way that’s happening. In fact, this will probably my closest attempt to publishing a full-length novel. I hope you enjoy. (Feat. photo credit: Gretchen Kuykendall Engel) When I mention Realm Makers to folks, they always ask me what it

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Flash Fiction: Dragon Fire

Flash Fiction: Dragon Fire

Grandfather said dragons are like the sun. Constant. Brilliantly shining. Bringing heat and life where their clawed feet tread. Holding back the cold night of space. If occasionally a spark escaped and set a building ablaze, well, it’s a small price to pay. I remember waking in my grandparent’s one-room cabin, shivering beneath my blankets.

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