Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

If you’re alive, you’re a creative person. You and I and everyone you know are descended from tens of thousands of years of makers. Decorators, tinkerers, storytellers, dancers, explorers, fiddlers, drummers, builders, growers, problem-solvers, and embellishers—these are our common ancestors. The guardians of high culture will try to convince you that the arts belong only to a chosen few, but they are wrong and they are also annoying. We are all the chosen few.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

A recent prompt asked for a “non-craft book that you would recommend to other writers”.

While Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing is not usually my thing, her book about creativity, 𝐁𝐢𝐠 𝐌𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐜, made a huge impact on me. It is a kind, motherly kick in the ass to stop making excuses to put your creativity to use.

This isn’t just for writers, it is for literally anybody, because the premise is that we are all creative in some way and owe it to ourselves (and the universe, sort of) to use our creativity without holding back.

I read this after listening to a few episodes of her short-lived podcast “Magic Lessons” (which is incredible, listen to it – each episode is a one-on-one discussion with a creative person from dancers to writers to photographers to comedians who need a push). She is wholeheartedly encouraging and does not accept excuses such as “I’m not ready”, “nobody will like this”, “my ideas aren’t original”, etc.

Probably not the recommendation you would expect from this oft-surly horror writer, but give it a whirl!



I posted about the Remarkable 2 tablet in my stories, back whenI wasn’t sure if I was going to keep it.

Ultimately, I decided that it wasn’t for me, through no fault of the tablet’s. It solved what I thought was my core problem with writing longhand: being able to manipulate and rearrange lines of handwritten text. You can actually do that on the Remarkable 2, which is awesome!

Alas, it seems that I’ve learned to think best while typing. I type much faster than I write, and because I’m not thinking about how my writing looks (my handwriting ranges from Catholic school perfection to “who gave that rabid squirrel a pen?!”), the words are all that matter. The words don’t always flow when I’m typing, but they NEVER flow when I’m writing longhand.

The tablet is a total one-trick pony. There are no apps, the file formats are limited, you can’t read Kindle books on it.

You can write and you can sketch. You can write and sketch on blank pages, on PDFs, on both preset and custom templates, but you can only write and sketch. If you want an alternative to managing multiple notebooks, if you write by longhand most of the time, if you have US $300 to blow (plus the cost of a stylus), this could be a useful tool for you. The handwriting-to-text conversion really delighted me, and that could make life easier if you hand write your first drafts and don’t want to manually type the entire thing from scratch later.

TL;DR – it’s not you, Remarkable 2; it’s me.

I’ve been participating in the June 2022 #writerfriendschallenge on Instagram, which has been a fun series of prompts about all things writerly. Today’s prompt was “What traits make good writers?” My response was too long for an Instagram caption, so I’ve expanded upon it here.

Please take my opinions with a grain of salt. I am a professional technical writer, but I am not a professional creative writer. I have no formal education or impressive accomplishments in the realm of fiction.

Continue reading for my list! Continue reading “Five traits of good writers”

new website

A few months ago, I tried to improve my website. It seemed like a good idea at the time, since I’m publishing my short story collection this summer. However, I didn’t consider how rusty I am and how little time I actually have.  I managed to royally screw everything up in some extraordinary ways.

However, I’m pleased to report that after a lot of swearing (a lot) and exploring some options, I’ve finally got things mostly functional around here and a brand new look and feel. It’s far from perfect, but I’m happy with it and now I can go back to focusing on writing. 

And, oh, there is so much writing to do. So much. Can’t wait to share more about my projects.

If you do notice anything weird or broken here, please drop me a line. I cannot emphasize enough how rusty I am at this stuff.