3 Things You Can Learn From Jack LaLane

“The only way you can hurt the body is not use it. Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it’s never too late.” Jack LaLane, an American fitness guru, died Sunday afternoon at 96 years old and left behind a legacy, motivating millions of people since his first gym in 1936. This is a man whoContinue reading “3 Things You Can Learn From Jack LaLane”

Tips for Freelancers: How to Write a Great Query Letter

For the last two years, I’ve been Senior Editor at WOW! Women On Writing, an online magazine written by, for, and about women in the publishing industry. During my editorship, WOW! was selected for the Writer’s Digest list of “101 Best Websites for Writers” in 2008 and 2009. This month, I announced I’m stepping downContinue reading “Tips for Freelancers: How to Write a Great Query Letter”

Mashable: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media

Writers, if you haven’t yet taken the head-first plunge into networking and promoting yourself and your writing through social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and blogging via WordPress or Blogger, it’s time for you to join the online revolution. For a great go-to place for social media news and information to get you upContinue reading “Mashable: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media”


I’ve always been a fan of writer’s conferences. It’s a great way to gather new information to improve your craft, and stay connected to the creative pulse by networking with other writers. A few weeks ago, I spoke at the 94th annual Missouri Writer’s Guild Conference in Cape Girardeau, MO. It was a wonderful eventContinue reading “BACK TO SCHOOL FOR WRITERS”

Book Award Contests Take the Money and Run

I was emailing back and forth with a new writer friend who passed on a link to me for an upcoming awards contest for self-published books. She loved my book, The Break-Up Diet: A Memoir, and thought I should enter the contest. Now, she’s fairly new to the publishing game, so I tried to putContinue reading “Book Award Contests Take the Money and Run”

Media Training Will Help You Teach Ellen A New Dance

Oprah is great, but my goal is to get the opportunity to teach Ellen a new dance. I’m not famous and my book isn’t a bestseller (yet), but in preparation for that eventuality, I figured it was time to kick my media game up a notch and learn what it takes to get booked andContinue reading “Media Training Will Help You Teach Ellen A New Dance”

Write and Give a Voice to Poverty – Blog Action Day ’08

Today, I’m dedicating this post to Blog Action Day. One of the things we have to remember is that, as writers, we have the ability to draw attention to important causes, inspire action, and demand change. Our words add to the collective voices, speaking out and raising awareness, calling for something be done to endContinue reading “Write and Give a Voice to Poverty – Blog Action Day ’08”

Hand-sell Your Book Successfully

When it comes to promoting your book at a festival (or a bookstore event), the most important thing you can do is reach out to readers. Your personality is what sells your book. The more approachable and engaging you are, the more likely you are to attract readers to your table. Your goal should beContinue reading “Hand-sell Your Book Successfully”

Establish Effective Writing Goals

One of the biggest struggles freelance writers and aspiring novelists face is establishing a daily writing schedule. In the the workforce, an employer assigns a time that the workday begins and ends, as well as the time and length of lunch and breaks. Work-at-home writers have the luxury and curse of defining their own schedules.Continue reading “Establish Effective Writing Goals”

Random Bits & Bytes of Book Promotion Advice

Recently, I attended a panel discussion about book marketing and promotion because it’s always good to consider tips from other authors and marketing professionals. You never know when someone might share an idea you haven’t thought of, or will say something that resonates with you in a new way. Here are some of the suggestionsContinue reading “Random Bits & Bytes of Book Promotion Advice”

Write Now!

It’s not often that inspiration shows up on my mental doorstep, insisting I stop whatever I’m doing and indulge the urge to spill creative juice all over the page. As a matter of fact, I haven’t had a creative writing burst in years. Sure, I’ve penned articles, interviewed authors, and blathered about one thing orContinue reading “Write Now!”

Are You On Twitter?

The question of the day: What are you doing? It’s simple enough to answer–but you can only use 140 characters to do it. That’s the premise behind a growing social networking phenomenon at Twitter.com. The posts are called “tweets” and they allow you to let friends and colleagues know what you are doing at timesContinue reading “Are You On Twitter?”

A Change of Perspective

Now that I decided to get back on the workout wagon, I set aside time in the morning to go to the gym. And the other day, I was huffing and puffing my way through a step aerobics class, and I looked at the woman beside me. She was older, yet moving deliberately through theContinue reading “A Change of Perspective”

Grammar: Slips, Trips, and Falls

When it comes to grammar, word usage, and the finer points of writing (or speaking) the English language, there are so many rules to remember—and so many opportunities to make mistakes. Here are a few basic tips to help you understand the more frequent causes of slips, trips, and face-plant falls in your writing. Lie/Lay/LainContinue reading “Grammar: Slips, Trips, and Falls”

Pushing All the Right Emotional Buttons

As a woman, I already have a corner on the emo market. Actually, if you are anything like me, you can pretty much set a clock (or at least a calendar) by exactly when your mood swings are about to reach E-ticket carnival ride proportions. Something someone says, something you read, something you see, canContinue reading “Pushing All the Right Emotional Buttons”

Fill Your Writing Well

As writers, we internalize the sights and sounds around us and use them to create the images that move our readers. But, when the crispness of these images fade in our own minds, it’s time to leave our quiet, secluded writing room and venture out to collect more sensory detail to fill our depleted well.Continue reading “Fill Your Writing Well”

Podcasting: Lend Me Your Ears

I know I missed the technology boat quite a while back, but I’ve recently discovered PODCASTS! (Yeah, and that round thing called a *wheel*.) Now, I’m hooked! I’ve enjoyed listening to interviews with authors, experts speaking on every conceivable topic of interest, authors reading excerpts of their books, and even took a slight detour toContinue reading “Podcasting: Lend Me Your Ears”

Sex Sold Here

Sex sells. You see it portrayed everywhere—magazines, television, and billboard advertisements for clothing, perfume, and items like cars and hamburgers. Movies, television shows, and even children’s cartoons and video games are full of sexual images and allusions. American society has more sexual references than any other country in the world, and nowhere else will youContinue reading “Sex Sold Here”

20 Ways to Get Traffic to Your Website

Today I’m sharing more great online marketing tips from Penny Sansevieri. I swear, I’m going to ask her to adopt me. I’m going to show up on her cyber porch, stuff my big ass into a basket, don a frilly bonnet, pin a note to my shirt, and then ring the doorbell. She’s definitely myContinue reading “20 Ways to Get Traffic to Your Website”

Writing Through Summer Distractions

Summer is here and there are a million reasons not to work on your novel. There are tide pools to explore, trails to hike, sprinklers to run through, lounge chairs to recline in, and picnics to pack. This is definitely the most difficult season to stay focused on your computer screen while the sun andContinue reading “Writing Through Summer Distractions”


Today, I want to share a great resource with you. Some of you may be familiar with Profnet, a service reporters use to post their calls for expert sources and a service that sources pay for to receive these calls. As an author, you are the expert they want to connect with. It gives youContinue reading “HARO – A GREAT PR RESOURCE”

41 Blog Success Tips You Can Learn Today

Blog days. They are great opportunities to put your voice and your thoughts out into cyberspace. Some writers are so excited to connect to their readers that they blog daily and sometimes more than once a day. For others of us who haven’t yet hit our blog stride, blogging seems more like a pesky morningContinue reading “41 Blog Success Tips You Can Learn Today”

Titles: A Rose by Any Other Name

For some writers, when it comes to choosing a title, the perfect title either rings out loud and true like a single gunshot, or the various possibilities give off faint snaps, crackles, and pops like a bowlful of milk-wet Rice Krispies. No matter how the idea comes to you, you can never underestimate the powerContinue reading “Titles: A Rose by Any Other Name”

Riding the Book Review Roller Coaster

No matter how serene and unaffected you think you’ll be, when the reviews of your debut book start rolling in, you need to be ready for a wild emotional ride. I don’t think there’s a roller coaster theme park in the world that can match the highs and lows. My memoir, The Break-Up Diet launchedContinue reading “Riding the Book Review Roller Coaster”

Start a Stampede to Your Blog

I’ll be the first one to admit that I didn’t have the faintest idea how to really use my blog effectively to promote my book. I knew my key mistake were: not blogging as often as I should and not having a theme or a solid idea of what direction I wanted to go withContinue reading “Start a Stampede to Your Blog”

Breaking Down Writer’s Block

Let’s face it…some days, it’s just not happening. There you sit, staring at your computer screen with the blinding white of a completely empty page and that blinking cursor mocking you, but nothing comes out. Sometimes, all it takes is a little skip down a creative path to get your muse back on track withContinue reading “Breaking Down Writer’s Block”

21 Keys to Best-Selling Fiction

There are certain things readers want when they invest their precious time reading a novel. So many things compete for their leisure time and attention: family and friends, other activities like watching television and movies, participating in sports, tending hobbies, and traveling. It takes something special to make a novel stand out and propel itContinue reading “21 Keys to Best-Selling Fiction”

Excuses For Not Writing

There is a difference between reasons and excuses. It’s a fine line, but when you apply the concept to writing for a living, it becomes clear which is which. Do you write every day? Are you doing everything possible to seriously pursue a career as an author or freelance writer? Do you invest time, effort,Continue reading “Excuses For Not Writing”

Guest Blogging Etiquette

Writing in Someone Else’s Space Guest blogging can be a great way to get your name out to a new audience. It allows you to promote your product or service, and helps build your platform as an expert in your field. Hosting a guest blogger can add variety and interest to your blog, provide newContinue reading “Guest Blogging Etiquette”

What He Said/She Said About Attributive Clauses

I’ll be the first to admit that when I was a newbie writer, I was guilty of using (read: overusing) busy attributives, and I had a bad case of the wrylies. When I look back at some of my early prose, it’s completely embarrassing. You know your dialogue is infected with wrylies if your novelContinue reading “What He Said/She Said About Attributive Clauses”

12 Tips for Attending Book Expo America

If you are an author and you haven’t heard of Book Expo America, it’s time to crawl out from behind your computer and attend the largest international publishing trade show this side of Frankfurt. Most years, the show is held in NY (as it was last year), but this year, it will be in LosContinue reading “12 Tips for Attending Book Expo America”