Monday, August 14, 2017

Saturday, August 5, 2017

6 Inspiring Quotes to Help Develop Your Story Idea

Today, I'm teaching a writing workshop at the Nampa, Idaho, Public Library. We're talking about ways to develop a story idea into a well-rounded concept. Here are some the major ideas we'll be addressing (as usual, you're welcome to copy and share these images as long as you give proper credit and link back to this site):

If you'd like me to come and present this one-hour, hands-on workshop for your school, writers' group, or conference, email me for more information at margokelly1 @ outlook . com (without the spaces, and using the number one after my name).

Happy writing!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

#IWSG: Pet Peeves

The first Wednesday of the month is Insecure Writer's Support Group!

"The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support."

For more information about the group, visit:

IWSG Question of the Month: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?


My pet peeves - - -

When reading, my pet peeves are being interrupted or accidentally falling asleep.
When writing, my pet peeves are struggling to find the perfect word or being distracted by noises.
When editing, my pet peeves are discovering I overused certain words and running out of chocolate.


What are your pet peeves when it comes to reading/writing/editing?
(Dog hair is not a valid answer to this question.)

Monday, July 17, 2017

4 More Inspirational Writing Quotes (and Pretty Pictures)

Photo credit goes to David Purse. He was very generous to let me use his beautiful pictures to create these graphics. As usual, if you copy any of these for any reason, please give proper credit back to this site. Thank you.

Do you have a favorite writing quote to share?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Book Review: BIG MAGIC: CREATIVE LIVING BEYOND FEAR by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond FearBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you are a creative person, I highly recommend this book! I found it so inspiring that when I finished the last page, I wanted to turn back to page one and start reading all it over again.

Prior to this book, I had never read anything written by Elizabeth Gilbert. After attending multiple writing conferences where agents and editors recommended this book, I had to buy it and read it. My expectations were high, and Gilbert did not disappoint.

BIG MAGIC, by far, is one of the best books I've read in years.

Some of my favorite passages:

"Pure creativity is something better than a necessity; it's a gift. It's the frosting. Our creativity is a wild and unexpected bonus from the universe. It's as if all our gods and angels gathered together and said, 'It's tough down there as a human being, we know. Here--have some delights.'" (Page 127)

"Over the years ... I found that if I just stayed with the process and didn't panic, I could pass safely through each stage of anxiety and on to the next level. I heartened myself with reminders that these fears were completely natural human reactions to interaction with the unknown." (page 145)

"A good-enough novel violently written now is better than a perfect novel meticulously written never." (page 176)

"You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you passed your entire existence in devotion to the noble human virtue of inquisitiveness. And that should be more than enough for anyone to say that they lived a rich and splendid life." (page 239)

Oh, I could quote many more passages, but instead, I encourage you to read the book.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

#IWSG: Valuable Writing Lessons 

The first Wednesday of the month is the Insecure Writer's Support Group! 

The question posed this month: What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

Well, if you'd like to read my "formal" answer to this question, hop on over to Writer's Digest where I wrote an article titled "7 Things I've Learned So Far."

Or for a quicker answer, here are three tips I've learned from experts in the writing field:

What about you?

What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Book Review: FREEFALL by Joshua David Bellin

Releasing September 26, 2017, from Simon & Schuster, you can pre-order Freefall from Amazon and other major booksellers now.

Freefall is another engaging novel from master world-builder and storyteller, Joshua David Bellin.

I thoroughly enjoyed this space adventure!

Description from the publisher:
When the 1% and the 99% clash, the fate of the human race hangs on the actions of two teens from very different backgrounds in this thrilling sci-fi adventure.

In the Upperworld, the privileged 1% are getting ready to abandon a devastated planet Earth. And Cam can’t wait to leave. After sleeping through a 1,000-year journey, he and his friends will have a pristine new planet to colonize. And no more worries about the Lowerworld and its 99% of rejects.
Then Cam sees a banned video feed of protesters in the Lowerworld who also want a chance at a new life. And he sees a girl with golden eyes who seems to be gazing straight through the feed at him. A girl he has to find. Sofie.

When Cam finds Sofie, she opens his eyes to the unfairness of what’s happening in their world, and Cam joins her cause for Lowerworld rights. He also falls hard for Sofie. But Sofie has her own battles to fight, and when it’s time to board the spaceships, Cam is alone.

Waking up 1,000 years in the future, Cam discovers that he and his shipmates are far off-course, trapped on an unknown and hostile planet. Who has sabotaged their ship? And does it have anything to do with Sofie, and the choices—and the enemies—he made in the past?

My review:

Freefall is Joshua David Bellin's third novel published through Simon & Schuster, and this book does not disappoint. Often times, I struggle to follow a non-linear narration, but Bellin handled the narrative skillfully and I actually found myself highly engaged when jumping back and forth in the story's timeline.

With the story set in space in the future, Bellin utilizes fun word plays such as "corponations" and "MexSanto" to help build the world of the novel. The words I did not enjoy as much were the cuss words, which included taking the Lord's name in vain quite a bit. But those are my personal preferences.

While it is necessary for teenagers to solve their own problems in a young adult novel, I did wish that Cam's parents had been more involved. I wanted to see more interaction with them at the beginning and in the middle to help justify their involvement at the end of the story.

Those were the only two minor details that bothered me. EVERYTHING else I loved! 

I'm telling you . . . if you enjoy Sci-fi and/or young adult novels and/or adventures and/or monsters . . . this story is a must read, because Freefall is an engaging novel from the master world-builder and storyteller, Joshua David Bellin.

Bellin amazes me with his ability to develop characters, settings, and monsters, allowing readers to envision every aspect of the story.

I am a fan for life, and I look forward to reading his next story.

My favorite line from the book:

Pre-order your copy from Amazon today!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Book Review: THE SILENT CORNER by Dean Koontz

Oh . . . I was so excited to read this newest book from one of my all-time favorite authors! I read it while on a camping trip and finished it in one day. I'm excited for this new series from Koontz.

My review:

The Silent CornerThe Silent Corner by Dean Koontz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz features a strong-willed, strong-armed, and strong-minded female character who does not need to be saved by a knight in shining armor.

This is the start of a new series by Koontz, and I'm looking forward to reading the next installment! Since this is book one, not all of the story lines are completely resolved; however, The Silent Corner had a satisfying end.

My favorite line from the story:
"Life is complicated, but if it wasn't complicated, it would be a roller coaster on a flat track. Wouldn't be a ride worth taking."

If you're a fan of the Jason Bourne novels, you'll enjoy this engaging read by Koontz.

The Silent Corner is psychological suspense at its finest from start to finish.

[I received an advance copy of The Silent Copy from Random House, which in no way influenced my opinion of the book.]

View all my reviews

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#IWSG: Should You Quit Writing?

The first Wednesday of the month is Insecure Writer's Support Group!

The question posed this month by IWSG: "Did you ever say 'I quit'? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?"

I have not said, "I quit" to writing. I don't think I could, because writing lives deep within my bones. However, I have certainly stepped away from writing for various reasons and for various lengths of time. For me, if I feel the need to step away I will turn either to another creative activity (such as quilting) or a physical activity (such as gardening) or an escapist activity (such as reading). Usually, the time away lifts the fog that was hindering my writing insight, and I return feeling rejuvenated.

So . . . should YOU quit writing? I've heard many long-time writers say, IF you can quit, then quit, because a writer's life can be challenging. However, if writing is in your bones, my guess is that quitting is not an option. There's a compulsion to write. My advice? Step away when you need to clear the fog. Try a different creative outlet, a physical activity, or read something inspiring. Then get back to work.

Happy writing.