My Blog


Can You Put Song Lyrics in Your Book?

Can You Put Song Lyrics in Your Book?

Music has captivated over the airwaves for almost a century, with every decade defined by its trends. Like me, you may feel that some incidents or time periods in your life have a soundtrack. Music describes a feeling and an era like little else can. (Bing Crosby is the ‘40s,

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The Power Is In the Details

The Power Is In the Details

We live in a world of specifics. Specifics define people and places. Specifics point to the moments that make up the bigger picture. They are the details that give writing a feeling of immediacy. They take your readers along with you. Well-chosen details bring the world of the story to life.

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The Virtues of Vulnerability

The Virtues of Vulnerability

When is a writer vulnerable? How about every day. In her still-popular Ted Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” a research professor who has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, and the best-selling author of several books on related topics, Brene Brown says that part of

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Including a Disclaimer in Your Book

Including a Disclaimer in Your Book

  Whether you are self-publishing or using a traditional publisher for your memoir or other nonfiction book, you may want to include a disclaimer on your copyright page. Disclaimers serve to protect the author and publisher against liability when their book’s topic might invade someone’s privacy or result in a

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Easy Ways to Enliven Your Writing

Easy Ways to Enliven Your Writing

You’re at the movies and the lights dim. A camera pans a cityscape. This is called a long shot. There’s no action but you get a sense of a location. Next, the camera moves in, focusing on something specific, maybe a particular building in that cityscape. The camera moves in

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You’re Writing “Just for Family”?!

You're Writing "Just for Family"?!

When I started teaching memoir in 1996, twenty-two people came to my class eager to write their life stories. Some of those stories kept them awake at night, and they got up and wrote into the wee hours. A few followed my suggestion and kept a notepad by their bed

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Get Help on the Memoir Writing Journey

Get Help on the Memoir Writing Journey

To give you an idea of what I do as a memoir consultant and developmental editor, I’ll share some about the path I helped this author take to complete his memoir and have it successfully published.

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Rejections That Didn’t Matter

Rejections That Didn't Matter

The stories of famous authors being rejected before their rise — and sometimes to legendary status — are so eye-opening I have to share two lists with you. This first list tells you not only the writer’s name and book rejected but how many times it was rejected. Missing on

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There’s a Seat for You At the Writer’s Table

There's a Seat for You At the Writer's Table

As writers, some of your best mentors are successful writers in your genre. But you have to read them! Stephen King says, “If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

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