I'm fifteen minutes and thirty seconds into Jumanji (1995, with Kirsten Dunst as a little girl in it and Robin Williams as a hyperactively awesome adult) and someone mentioned turning Allan Parrish's old, empty house into a Bed & Breakfast. Does this sort of happen often? How embarrassing.... No, I will not attempt to change … Continue reading Jumanji


Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

I really enjoyed reading this post by Evelyn Krieger, author of One is Not a Lonely Number, about formulating ideas in writing. 🙂


ideas2 One of the most common questions I’m asked when people hear I write fiction is: Where do you get your ideas?  The answer is simple: ideas are never the problem. I have too many ideas .

While smack in the midst of  the draft of my second novel, I got an idea of another book. I was really excited about the idea, but I forced myself to put it on hold.

Where do I get my ideas?  In snippets of conversation overheard in a coffee shop. Newspapers stories. Obituaries. Historical events. Dreams. Childhood experiences. Traveling. Imagination. Art. Issues I care about.

When my writing workshop students get stuck, here are some ways I help them generate  ideas.

l.  Ask What if?  What if you find out your best friend was living a double life? What if you discovered you suddenly could speak a language you were never taught? 


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Allison – Guest Post

Check out my guest post on Michael Gunter’s Tales of Today and Yesterday!

Michael Gunter's Tales of Today and of Yesterday

Good morning, guys!  I recently asked a friend if she’d like to do a guest post on my blog.  Surprisingly, she said ‘sure’, and here we are.  For those of you who’ve never read her blog, check it out:  Allison the Writer

I especially recommend her comments on “Grammar Nazis“.

Hi, everyone!  My name’s Allison.  Before I get started, I’d like to thank this blog’s owner, Michael Gunter, for giving me this guest writing opportunity here. 🙂  (I’ve never done a guest post before, so if I’m an absolute fail at this, you know why….)  Instead of writing about Doctor Who or evil hamsters, today, I’ll my topic is portraying “different” characters in story-writing.

Be forewarned, there are a lot of long sentences in here. 😛

In my work-in-progress novelette, Secrets in Seaport, my protagonist, Abby, happens a homeschooled girl (well, RV-schooled, but you know what…

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From Michael Gunter: Author’s Curse

This is from my fellow writer Michael Gunter; I couldn’t have expressed this thought better myself. As a longtime sufferer of the Sandpaper Curse, I’ve gone through plenty of my old writings and cringed enough times – reading this was such a comfort!

Michael Gunter's Tales of Today and of Yesterday

One of the nastier afflictions that haunts writers (and I mean ALL types of writers, not just writers of fiction) is the Sandpaper Curse.  I call it that because woodworkers (of which I am one) know this same curse, in regards to polishing.

Now, all sanding is a form of polishing, the use of grit to grind down a surface smoother than it was before.  A woodworker starts out with a sandpaper a little smoother than the surface of the wood.  When the wood is as smooth as the sandpaper, the artisan chooses a slightly finer grade of paper, moving on down until the wood is as smooth as he wishes it to be.

For a man building a yard-chair or a garden cart or a rustic chest, the final smoothness may be just enough that there are no rough surfaces or splinters.  If he is building an item of…

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