Blog on Writing

Mrs. K’s Rules of Comedy by Tracy Krauss

Laughing Girl

Break the Tension Humour goes a long way in writing and in life. There is nothing like it to break tension and make people feel comfortable. However, we’ve probably all been witness to a joke gone bad. Either the punch line wasn’t delivered correctly, the timing was wrong, or it was inappropriate for the setting. In any of these scenarios, instead of putting people at ease, the blundered attempt at humour created an awkward moment. Some people just seem to "have it" and some people don’t. (more…)

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Missing the Boat by Brenda J Wood


Call me what you will. I am a Johnny/Brenda Come Lately who missed the boat. I had a deadline on the Inscribe page and I missed it. I forgot to send in my blog entry. I am not a greenhorn, a novice or an upstart. That disqualifies me as a Johnny. I did, however, lose an opportunity, I guess that makes me a boat miss-er. I am shocked, mortified, and ashamed because I rarely (you can even say never!) ever miss deadlines. (more…)

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Take Time to Breathe


Is your To Do list anything like mine? So long you're always moving things from one day to the next to the next? How about your To Be Read pile? Can you never find enough time to read the stack of books that just keeps growing and growing and growing? And then there's you're writing. If you aren't a full-time writer (and even if you are), there are always so many other things clamouring for your attention. Maybe it's time to take Jonny Diaz's advice and "just breathe." https://youtu.be/hnjeMwxFuBA

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So You Want to Write Funny? Don’t We All? by Violet Nesdoly


Admit it, you’d like to write funnier. So would I. After all, who do we love most, next to the computer repairman, but the person who can make us laugh? My confession to you at the outset of this humour writing theme is, I’m not very funny. I did win a contest for a humorous poem once, but I suspect it was a fluke. Be that as it may, I love to read certain writers because they tickle my funny bone. (And I’m still over-the-moon when, the odd time at readings, something I’ve written gets a titter from the audience.) (more…)

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Read Any Good Books Lately? Steph Beth Nickel

Stack of Books Header

Most writers are also readers. Here are some of the books I am currently working my way through. A similar post appeared on Janet Sketchley's blog on January 29 and on my blog February 12. Some of the books are the same; some I've added since then. Do you like how-to books? Memoirs? Novels? Do you carve out regular time for reading or is it hit and miss? Do bookstores and libraries draw you in with an irresistible pull? As you know, I’m eclectically interested. The same holds true of what I like to read. Currently, I'm actively reading the following: A Fool and His Monet by Sandra Orchard In my opinion, this is Sandra's best novel to date. It is her first Serena Jones Mystery and I can see this series about a female FBI agent stretching well into the future. I've just gotten nicely started, but it's so much fun! My only complaint ... I wish I had more time to read it. (more…)

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It Doesn’t Feel Like Spring by Janice L Dick


I’m watching the snow fall heavily outside my office window on this early March day. It’s beautiful. We haven’t had much snow this year so it’s welcome, but it certainly doesn’t feel like spring. (more…)

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Honour Your Love in an Ode by Violet Nesdoly

Coffee Cup (cropped)

Please note that Violet sent this post to me quite some time ago. I (Steph) then promptly lost track of it and didn't post it when it was originally scheduled. My apologies! Regardless, it is always a wonderful time to express our love. Let's learn more about how we can do so by writing an ode . . .  In the month of February, our thoughts turn to love and poetry. Perhaps you’ve lately picked through racks of Valentine cards, browsed the books on your shelves, or asked Google for suggestions—all in search of words that expressed just right sentiments. Of maybe you even wrote an original sonnet—the poetry form most often associated with love. There is another type of love poem to write that’s every bit as old and perhaps even more versatile. It is the ode. Dictionary.com defines ode: “A lyric poem typically of elaborate metrical form and expressive of exalted or enthusiastic emotion.” “Expressive, exalted, enthusiastic emotion”? Sounds like love to me! (more…)

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A Nice Problem to Have But … by Jack Popjes


It happened again this past week. Not at all unpleasant, quite enjoyable, in fact, but still somewhat disconcerting since there was quite a bit of it. To explain, I need to back up a bit. Right back to the first chapter of Genesis. God’s Example We all want to do a good job. When any of us look back on something we accomplished we want to be able to say, “That’s a good job.” There’s something godly about doing that. Our Creator did the same thing. After six days of creating He looked back on all His work and “saw that it was good.” God did it and He wants us to. That’s why He gave us one day a week to stop working, rest, and look back to evaluate the work we did. (more…)

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A Month Early by Pamela Mytroen

abxtract violin and sheet music

I burrowed my cold hands deeper into my coat pockets and lowered my head against the icy blast blowing through the outdoor street mall. I just wanted to get home and sit down to warm chowder. Then the cheerful jig of a violin summoned my spirit. It's simple melody swirled around bone-dry fountains and bounced off glass-covered buildings. Spring's equinox hadn't yet come; a frigid month remained. I wondered at this busker's bravery. Walking farther, I spotted him. With swollen red knuckles, he deftly tuned the A string and tested its sound. Not quite. Tried again. Turned the peg a notch. And then purity. It sliced through the grey smudge of remaining winter. A bystander tossed a coin into the open violin case. It jingled as it slid across a grin of golds and silvers and came to rest on the well-worn red velvet. (more…)

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Sold Out by Brenda J Wood

Success Failure

That phrase is music to the author’s ears. Sold out! We whisper to ourselves, “Why that means they love me. They love my book. I am a success!” And when we don’t hear those words, do we hear these? “I'm a failure. I might as well quit writing. I’ll never make it in this business.” (more…)

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