Sharon L. Clark, Author

Tag: #writingcommunity Page 1 of 5

Have You Met…Sharon Clark, Author

Okay friends, you’ve signed up to follow me and maybe to receive my newsletter, too. The time has come for you to learn just what you’ve gotten yourselves into.

First of all, thank you for being here. It’s always so surprising to me that anyone would want to read what I write, whether it’s a silly blog post, a short story, or one of my novels. People not only liking something I’ve written but coming back for MORE, well…that’s kind of the dream, isn’t it?

Stay with me a little longer and I’ll tell you a bit about myself, about my writing, and about my upcoming novel. Then I want you to ask me the questions you’re burning to know.

So buckle up and let’s dive in.

Me, In a Nutshell

Image courtesy of www.maggiegphoto.com

I grew up smack-dab in the middle of five girls, two older and two younger, and we got along great. For the most part. As I’m sure you can imagine, things got loud, or eerily silent, and there was always some type of psychological warfare under way.

Report cards bore good grades coupled with phrases like, “Talks too much” or “Needs to apply herself” pretty much throughout my school career. I played the flute, was in show choir and in theater, was a cheerleader and a member of the dance team. What? I got bored easily.

College and I didn’t get along as famously as I’d hoped we would. Don’t get me wrong; I had a GREAT time. I just didn’t get a degree and left, chastened, after only four semesters. When I came home, I floundered a bit before meeting the man who has been my husband for the last thirty years and with whom I have raised three amazing humans. I’m just glad I remembered to feed them, and that they all turned out only slightly damaged.

My Writing Journey

Growing up, I always loved to write. I know that’s how most authors start their origin stories, but I was honestly spinning tales for my sisters and kids I babysat before I was in high school. Mine was a life lived vicariously through the characters in my favorite horror, romance, and adventure novels. An overactive imagination inside the mind of a major drama queen inevitably couldn’t just finish a story. What happens next? Do they really live happily ever after? Does the bad guy get punished? How would this end if I was the author?

Of course, the next logical step was to write out what I wanted to see happen. I took creative writing courses in high school and college, and loved every challenge thrown at me. But as so often happens, life takes precedence and writing became something I did only sporadically and just for fun. When my children were older and had their own lives, I joined a local writing group on a whim, and that changed the trajectory of my life.

It sounds dramatic, but I swear it’s the truth.

Every member of that group was welcoming, encouraging, and willing to share their knowledge freely. Through their friendship and generosity, I learned world building and plotting techniques, I read about and practiced writing, joined critique circles and took their comments to heart. I’m still constantly learning and I hope that my skill continues to grow and change with me, but I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be looking toward having my first novel published in the next year without the help I received along the way.

Three Things You’ll Find in My Book, Call You Mine

  1. Charming, small-town vibes
    The story takes place in a fictional city in central Iowa, full of tree-lined streets, a local pub where everyone knows your name, and a helping hand from your neighbors when you need it most.
  2. Steamy, butterflies-in-the-stomach romance
    Katie literally runs into charming Ben her first night back in town, and sparks fly instantly. Sure, it’s partially from the impact of butting heads, but the electrical charge Katie gets being near Ben proves to be hard to ignore.
  3. Terrifying, heart racing danger
    Katie came home for a reason: to escape a mysterious admirer who had evolved from love letters to desperate, delusional ravings. But her stalker won’t be thwarted by mere distance. He’s followed her to her hometown and comes after her harder than ever, putting everyone she cares about in the crosshairs.

Which Author Would I LOVE to Blurb My Book?

There are many options, of course: Jayne Ann Krentz, Sandra Brown, Simone St James, Jeneva Rose, Riley Sager. But for me, the ultimate dream would be the Queen of Romantic Suspense herself, Nora Roberts. I’ve always loved her writing, found it to be so rich and sensual. Having her read my work and like it enough to write a blurb for it would probably go along way toward making me spontaneously combust. No, seriously. Literal flames.

My Favorite Compliment

Hm, that’s kind of a tough one. I gobble up every kind word and adore them all, hoarding them like a dragon with its cache of jewels and gold. But the one review that sticks out in my mind came from an editor we submitted my manuscript to earlier this year. She confessed to her boss that she knew she was only supposed to read a couple of chapters, but couldn’t stop at the designated point because she needed to know what happened hext. I heard that and floated away on a dreamy cloud, feeding off that praise for weeks. Favorite compliment ever.

Still with me?

So there’s a little snapshot of who I am, how I got to this point, and what you can expect from me moving forward. The year ahead holds some exciting things for me and my writing career, and I hope you’ll stick around for the ride.

Now it’s your turn to ask me questions or to tell me what’s on your mind. Leave a comment below, send me an email, or find me on my social media channels.

Let’s chat!

Support Indie Authors This Holiday Season!

Black Friday is only a couple of days away and the holiday season is officially upon us! Are you struggling to find a gift for your coworker, neighbor, sister, nephew, random gift grab bag? Don’t panic!!

Give the gift of BOOKS and support your local and indie authors!

There are a ton of options out there and even looking through various best-seller lists or celebrity recommendations can be overwhelming. How on earth do you find something good by an author you’ve (likely) never heard of before?

You let me make some suggestions.

Following is a collection of books from different genres written by people I personally know who are self-published or independently published and don’t have the marketing clout of one of the major publishing houses. I have read almost all of the books listed – I haven’t finished all the series, unfortunately. Take a look!

Laura A. Barnes is a Des Moines area author I met by doing NaNoWriMo in 2017. (Turns out we were on the same United Nations trip when we were in high school but never met – small world, right?) Laura writes steamy period romances and currently has three series available for purchase. Whether you’re looking for pirates and spies, noble scoundrels, or matchmaking madness, Laura has got the goods to get your pulse racing.

Sarah Latchaw lives near me and is one of the most delightful people I know. Her Hydraulic Series is full of relatable characters, swoon-worthy romantic moments, humor, and a view of mental illness from a place of true love. Her writing style pulls you in and her characters are so real that you can’t help but laugh and cry right along with them. This trilogy isn’t the spicy type, but will get your heart racing.

I met Jethro Weyman through the writing platform Channillo and we became friends via the Twitter #WritingCommunity. I was struck by the amazing prose of his writing and the unique and wickedly clever ways he explores some dark and existential themesBang to Begin is a gorgeously written collection of stories that seem unconnected on the surface. Kind of mind-bendy deep stuff.

Taylor Hohulin is a local radio celebrity and all-around terrific human. the first time I read his writing, I was pulled in and have devoured pretty much everything of his since. I met him through NaNoWriMo, as well, and was lucky enough to get encouragement from him through a small critique group and I learned a lot from him.

  • The Marian Series follows a young man who gets unexpectedly transported to a pirate ship in another world where water is the ultimate prize. This trilogy is kind-of steampunk and has both human and supernatural dangers and lots of terrific science fiction gadgets.
  • TAR is probably my favorite, though. If you like cybernetic body modifications and a dangerous, living infection that ravages anyone it comes in contact with in horrific ways, set in a post-apocalyptic alternate future, you’ll dig this. It’s a tale of a traveling wizard with a shotgun but told through the exploits of a sometimes-likable survivor.
  • Your Best Apocalypse Now will have you chuckling almost immediately. In this humorous light fantasy novel, a struggling author jumps on the bandwagon of best-selling doomsday books, making it up as he goes along. Or so he thinks. When he correctly predicts the end of the world, a group of other-worldly beings take him on a journey that he could never have predicted.

Kelly Fumiko Weiss is another tremendous talent that I discovered through Channillo. I have read two of her books, from vastly different genres.

  • Her science-fiction-esque novel, The Cube, is set in an alternate near future where a mysterious cube has changed the way the world works. The main character and his best friend, Molly, start out on a fun treasure hunt for a series of mysterious symbols, but the fun turns to unexpected romance and danger for them and their friends.
  • Her other novel, The Stories We Choose Not to Tell, is a story of familial relationships and racial identity for a Japanese-American woman who learns about herself and the roots of her strained relationship with her mother by exploring the life story of her late Obachan (grandmother) who lived in a World War II Japanese internment camp on American soil. Well-written characters that had me crying along with them at the end of the book.

I am lucky enough to know many other talented authors with terrific books available, even if I haven’t read them all yet. Inspirational romance, memoir, poetry: If you don’t see something listed here that tickles your fancy, comment below or send me an email with the genre or type of story you’re looking for and I will give you a suggestion based on my own personal knowledge of the book and/or the author.

Do YOU have any recommendations of books written by indie-published or self-published authors? Share them below

Happy Holidays from my family to yours!

How to Build a Whole (Fictional) Human

Think about your favorite books, the stories you’ve read over and over again, that have stayed with you long after you’ve finished them. What is it about them that pulls you in? Why do you keep turning the pages?

Sure, sometimes it’s nothing more than morbid curiosity, a need to just get to the end at all costs. Maybe it’s the setting, somewhere exotic or fantastical that takes you to a different world. Any of those may play a part, but for me, it’s all about one thing:

The characters.

Creating imaginary people that the reader truly cares about is a challenge and a whole lot of fun. The reader has to want the good guys to win, to be happy, to get the thing they want most. The villain also has to have you rooting for them: either to get their comeuppance, or to defeat the protagonist. Building a villain is almost as much fun for me as writing the cinnamon-roll men and strong women in my stories. Plus, it’s a great way to exorcise any personal demons by living vicariously through the bad guy on the page.

Not that I do that.

Every author has their own system that works for them, and there is no right or wrong way to go about it. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something. My personal process is honestly far less organized and rational than it should be (think Jeremy Bearimy). It probably doesn’t even qualify as a ‘process’, but it works for me.

  • Not gonna lie – I usually start with an imaginary conversation I’ve had inside my head. Whether it’s from a real-life encounter or a ‘what-if’ scenario, what the people say to each other is my first step in building the lives I want to be part of. (And then ultimately destroy, before giving them a happily-ever-after.)
  • Once I have the basic, superficial idea, I dive deeper. Why do they do what they do, want what they want? What do they believe in? There are some fantastic templates out there that help build the backstory. I have the best of intentions when I start one of these character sheets, but I never finish them. Partially because I don’t know the characters very well before the story is written. But mostly because I’m just far too impatient.
  • Creating a villain is one of my favorite things and I frequently cackle maniacally while I breathe life into him or her. This is where my True Crime obsession finally pays off; I start with what the villain does and then work backwards, like a BAU team does. Are they villains because they use unreasonable tactics to do what they think is ‘the right thing’? Is it because they want revenge, love, money? Or are they just sociopaths?

    There are so many delicious possibilities.

Some authors will keep a diary from a character’s point of view, create a vision board, build a playlist, or design a wardrobe. I will search for the picture of an actor, musician, or model who most resembles how I see the character in my mind. ALL of these ways are valid, and brilliant, and useful, and will contribute to the creation of an entire sort-of person.

Don’t let anyone tell you that your process is wrong. Who decides that, anyway? I can pretty much guarantee that no two authors create their characters using the same tools. Find what works for you and stick with it!

What is your process? Do you know everything about your characters before you start or, like me, do you let them tell you about themselves along the way?

Comment below or send me an email and lets talk about it!

 

A humanoid robot artist paints a picture in an art workshop.

Artificial Intelligence in Creativity: Blessing or Curse?

Does anyone else miss the days when artificial intelligence was used strictly for goofing around? Those ridiculous scripts created by feeding 100 hours of romcoms into a system definitely cracked me up, and my son generated some serious fever-dream images by inputting weird phrases into a different program. It was all fun and games, right?

Then the programs started ‘learning’.

I do not claim to know much of anything about AI other than it’s an atomic topic. From my understanding, programs pull bits and pieces of existing works of art or literature or academia to create something ‘new’ and shiny. Do I use it? No. Do I think it can be helpful? Sure.

Do I think it’s a dangerous, slippery slope? One hundred percent yes.

On one hand, work created by other people is being copied and used without permission or acknowledgement in something cobbled together by another person who then takes credit and possibly gets paid for the result. Maybe the people using it don’t realize that’s what’s happening, or they have no idea how to find the author/artist to give credit. No matter what, it’s already a difficult world for artists of any kind, where talent isn’t appreciated or rewarded.

‘Starving artist’ is a well-known phrase for a reason.

On another hand, artificial intelligence can be a useful tool for lightning-fast research and putting a concept into visual form. Programs like ChatGPT will find the information you ask for quickly, and will even build something with the word count and topic emphasis you want. Or if you have a rough idea of the image you want for a book cover but can’t draw to save your life or feel like the artist may not understand what you want, an AI image generator can build your idea visually. People who need to output a lot of content would find this gadget to be a lifesaver.

With a few caveats, of course.

There are limits to what a computer can do, even when using the most advanced AI. Using ChatGPT as an example again, it is limited to only what is available through the internet and will never know everything that humans know. Because it has access to only what has been digitally catalogued, the information generated may be outdated and incorrect. AI doesn’t have common sense or emotional intelligence, and can’t decipher sarcasm or humor. It will draw in ‘facts’ from anything and everything available on the internet – and I mean EVERYTHING. We know how reliable that can be. It doesn’t have the capability to differentiate between an article from The Onion or NPR or some delusional manifesto-writing lunatic.

Is it that helpful if you still have to vet every source? You may as well do your own research from the start.

There are a lot of opinions about using AI, and this is only one, only mine, and only that: an opinion. I can’t say whether we are heading toward humanity’s future as depicted in Disney’s Wall-E or in the Terminator franchise; that remains to be seen. What I can say is that I am going to continue creating the best way I know how and hope that it continues to make me happy.

What do you think about Artificial Intelligence? Is it a god-send or a device from hell? Will it make creating easier or render humans obsolete? Share your thoughts in the comments!

NaNoWriMo, novel writing

Snippets and Stuff

My first novel is coming out this fall, and I am working toward finishing the next one – ‘finishing’ as in getting ready to send to editing – by the end of the summer. I’m learning a lot about myself through this endeavor.

Examples include:

  • I do my best writing in the morning, before my brain has a chance to be mushed up by the 1001 other things that will whirl like a cyclone through my mind the rest of the day.
  • My plots are very fluid and will change as I write, necessitating a lot of RE-writes before I even get to the end of the story. It’s frustrating and stressful and most likely the reason I do NOT have another book quite ready yet.
  • Writing snippets from daily prompts is both the BEST and the WORST. I love letting the word marinate for an hour or so before I try to write a 240-character scene around it. But then I have a scene with so much potential for a full novel that I get distracted by the new shiny thing.

It’s a sickness, I tell you.

While I am continuing to plug away on my next book, I wanted to share some of the snippets I’ve written in the past month or so. I created graphics – very rudimentary graphics that I’m sure actual artists will cringe at – for most of the prompts, so I’ve created a little gallery of some of my favorites.

Writing around these words is pretty challenging. And I find it really interesting to see what each one conjures in my mind, what connotation it holds for me, who I envision using it or being described by it. I use these exercises to stretch my brain and keep my creativity from becoming stagnant.

*If there are any that particularly pique your interest, leave a comment or send me an email and let me know; it just might be worked into a short story a future novel if enough people like it!
NaNoWriMo, writing recharge

TGIN: Thank Goodness It’s NaNo!

After a whole lot of upheaval that included my daughter’s wedding, my older son’s engagement, my youngest son’s move to Chicago, and my publishing agreement for my first novel, I’ve struggled to write.

Currently, I have three unfinished manuscripts languishing on my laptop. They are all very different, ranging from a fantasy novel to a ghost love story, a coming-home romance on a horse ranch to a suspense story where nothing is what it seems. Each one holds a special place in my heart, but every time I sat down to make edits or to finish the story, I floundered and only managed to make a mess.

But, thankfully, NOVEMBER APPROACHES!!

I have learned that, left to my own devices, I am a master procrastinator and a chaser of the new and shiny. When you throw in a foot injury that limited my mobility, lingering COVID concerns that kept my writing support group from meeting regularly, and a knee injury that further limited my ability to do almost anything, it’s no surprise I couldn’t focus on writing – or much else – or more than a fleeting moment.

Mama needs a little structure, a deadline, a goal to reach.

Just like a toddler who needs limits and a schedule so they don’t become overwhelmed, I need parameters to work within. So the impending bustle and demands of National Novel Writing Month provide a kind of solace for me.

  • A daily word count goal!
  • Regular Zoom writing events!
  • A 50,000-word finish line to reach!
  • And a definitive reason to sit down every day and prioritize writing!

Not only that, but I get to connect with my found family again – this crazy hodgepodge of creatives that I miss seeing IRL, hugging, eating, writing together. No matter what form NaNoWriMo takes, it’s still 30 days of fun, encouragement, creativity, and support and I’m so very grateful that it exists.

Are there other writers out there who can’t function properly under a loosey-goosey kind of atmosphere? Or do deadlines and benchmarks make you break out in a cold sweat? Drop your comment below!

Don’t forget to subscribe to get updates and for the chance to be on my Street Team!

Sharon L. Clark author, touchpoint press, book deal

On to the Next Adventure in Writing!

Guys. You guys. I have exciting news, and I’m having a hard time believing that this is real life.

I’m going to be a published author!

You read that right! My first novel, tentatively titled I’ll Call You Mine, is slated for release in the fall of 2022 through TouchPoint Press, thanks to my brilliant agent, Katie Salvo. I will hold a physical, printed copy of a story I wrote, where I can pet it and smell it and hug it, in less than 18 months. I’ve seen videos of other authors opening the box containing copies of their new book and choking up the first time they get to hold it.

I already know I will sob like a baby.

I’ve had some friends congratulate me with, ‘It’s been a long time coming!’ But, to be honest, in my case it really hasn’t. Yes, I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was probably twelve years old. But the idea of trying to get published didn’t take seed until 2018. I joined my local NaNoWriMo group the year before as a challenge to myself to meet people and maybe make some friends. I had no plans beyond reaching the 50,00-word goal. I kept my head down and had a hard time speaking out loud to give my word-count update when asked. I was shy and quiet.

The people who currently know me are probably scoffing at ‘shy’.

While I’m no wallflower now, that doesn’t mean I’m not nervous about what comes next. This is all uncharted territory for me. I have a rough idea: I’ll get an editor, we’ll make changes, a book cover will be designed, and BAM! We’ll have a book baby. Of course, I know a lot more goes into this process. There is so much I’ll have the opportunity to learn, and I am chomping at the bit to get started!

I want to share this new adventure with you all.

I was fortunate enough to be welcomed into a warm group of creatives who were more than generous with their knowledge about writing and querying, and I want to pay it forward. As we dive into next steps please don’t be shy about asking questions, and I will answer everything I can. I wouldn’t have this opportunity without the support and encouragement I’ve gotten from all of you.

Thank you.

Make sure you don’t miss any future posts! Subscribe HERE so you’ll be one of the first to read any new announcements, including everything about my upcoming novel release. And, as always, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send me an email!

waiting is fun

Waiting Is Fun

How has it been six months since my last post?

Where has the time gone? It seems that with every year I am on this spinning rock, the days fly past with increasing speed and decreasing recollection of what, exactly, I’ve been doing. But I have been doing stuff – I swear! Mostly waiting. It’s been difficult to move solidly forward with new things when the old things haven’t quite landed yet.

There’s a good chance I’m not the only one who’s still a bit anxious and uncertain about what comes next – what to DO next – after the unpredictability of last year. I’ve had a hard time fully re-engaging with life and plans and all of that. I think Crash Davis in the movie Bull Durham expressed this state of mind best:

I wouldn’t dig in there if I was you. Next one might be at your head. I don’t know where it’s gonna go. Swear to God!”

My little baby novel is still on the hunt for its perfect home. I knew when I started that this process would be a lengthy one, and that I would need to be patient. But doggone it I am not very good at being patient! If I’m honest, I don’t know which is worse: getting all the ‘no thank you’ replies or hearing nothing at all. Recently, I was convinced that this whole writing thing had been a silly little diversion; that it had been fun to play around and learn new things, but the time had come to walk away.

I think my agent would have been less than thrilled with that idea.

So, instead, I’m working on the third or fourth iteration of a romance novel that I’ve been toying with for what seems like forever. I’ve joined a small critique group and, once a month, we share part of what we’re working on and give each other feedback. This has been invaluable as the echo chamber inside my own head can get pretty ugly. On top of that, I’m in a book club that has led me to read some amazing novels that I wouldn’t have picked off the shelf on my own. The club leader spins a wheel to select that month’s genre and then another wheel for a title within that genre. Then we meet to share treats and to “talk about the book.”

Yes, the quotations are intentional. Don’t judge.

But I think my favorite thing is that my writing group has started to cautiously meet in person again. Over the past year, we kept in touch through weekly video conferencing, but there is nothing like being in the same room with some of your favorite creative people. I swear that when we’re all together, the air is different and we seem to gain strength from one another.

Coffee and muffins help, too.

All of these things have helped to fuel my creativity and push me to get back to what I love doing: creating stories. Although it may falter at times, I still believe this is the right path for me and, when everything falls into place with the right story, the right editor, the right publishing house, and the right planetary alignment (you think I’m kidding) my sweet little book baby will venture out into the world and into the hands of people who will love her like I do.

So, I wait.

How is 2021 is treating you? Drop a comment or send me an email and fill me in on your last six months, what’s different, how you’re feeling about, well, everything! I’d love the chance to start a conversation!

Happy New year 2021 large greeting card illustration

2020 in Review: What the Heck Just Happened?!

So. That was fun, right?

There is no way anyone filled a BINGO card this year. If they did, I would look askance at them as potentially masterminding some of this nonsense. Reviewing the things that happened in 2020, I find it difficult to believe that was all in the past twelve months. If you’ve been on TikTok, you’ve undoubtedly seen one of the many videos of a misunderstanding between God and an angel regarding a decade of disasters in one year. Watch it here – some language near the end.

I’m not so sure that isn’t what happened.

Here’s a quick rundown of the 2020 events I can recall:

  • Australia caught on fire.
  • Tiger King was everywhere.
  • COVID-19 made its debut, and refuses to leave.
  • Murder hornets crashed the party in the U.S. and a plague of locusts devastated East Africa.
  • Racial injustice was given a much-needed global stage.
  • California, Oregon, and Washington caught on fire.
  • Iowa endured a rare ‘land hurricane’ and now everyone knows what a derecho is.
  • We lost a multitude of actors, musicians, authors, politicians, athletes, scientists, and cultural icons including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Eddie Van Halen, Chadwick Bosemen, Kobe Bryant, Grant Imihara, John Lewis, and Alex Trebek.
  • Presidential Election. ‘Nuff said.

My family and I have been beyond fortunate, and we’ve even seen some shining lights in this year’s darkness. Our youngest moved to Chicago for college, our middle earned a prestigious academic opportunity, our oldest got engaged, and I signed with a literary agent. (Those last two events happened the same weekend in March, at the same time the world fell apart.) The summer was spent planning a small wedding and editing my first novel, and I can’t say there weren’t tears during both. In January, we’ll watch our daughter marry her best friend, then my novel will be sent into the world to find a publisher who will love it as much as I do.

Not such a boring start to the new year for the old Clark Clan.

Tomorrow is January 1, 2021. I hope against hope that the new year will be different. That it—and we—will be better. Perhaps all the trials we’ve been through were stepping stones or growing pains or lessons to be collectively learned. This year, I plan to take what the universe has to offer and make the best damn lemonade the world has ever seen.

My wish for you is that you’ll be able to take a deep breath, hold your loved ones close, and snuggle under a blanket of health, safety, and peace in 2021.

Happy New Year!

NaNoWriMo 2020 in the Face of Unfamiliar Territory

We’re heading into the last week of October of an insane year. Let’s take a look at just a few things we’re all dealing with: January tornadoes, earthquakes, civil unrest, a derecho, wildfires, hurricanes, 9 inches of October snow, COVID-19, and murder hornets.

It’s kind of a lot.

Everyone is having to learn a new reality and make adjustments. From finding creative ways to work, to teaching kids safely, to trying to salvage any form of live entertainment, we’ve had to spitball new procedures and change the way things are done – sometimes at the drop of a hat. It’s slow and tedious because not everyone is on the same page quite yet, but we will get there.

Growing pains, am I right?

October is one of my favorite months because of fall colors and cooler temperatures, Halloween, and my birthday. But this last week is leading into another favorite of mine:

National Novel Writing Month.

If you’re new to my website, you may not know that NaNoWriMo has changed my life and I will sing its virtues any chance I get. For the 30 days of November each year, anyone and everyone is challenged to write an original 50,000-word novel. It doesn’t have to be complete, beginning to end. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be good, as evidenced by a couple of my previous projects.

But we’re facing an unfamiliar landscape this year.

My NaNo experience has been colored by the wonderful people of the Central Iowa Authors group who welcomed me and encouraged me from day one. This year, due to COVID, we aren’t able to meet at our favorite restaurants and coffee shops to share our love of writing and – let’s be honest – brunch. I’m tearing up just writing this, thinking of all the things I’ll miss.

Then I take a deep breath and I get excited all over again.

No, NaNoWriMo 2020 isn’t going to look like anything we’ve seen before. But it’s still NaNo. And we live in a world where we can interact, face to face, in real time, from the safety and comfort of our own homes. Virtual hugs will have to do. We can still chat and share words of encouragement without having to brave frigid temps and slick roads. And I get to write, something that brings me so much joy.

So, what’s stopping you?

This whack-a-doo year is the perfect time to dip your toe in the NaNoWriMo pool! It’s a year of firsts – I mean, who the heck ever heard of a derecho?! – so why not write your first novel? Whether you hope to publish or just want to explore some wild ideas and see where they take you, NaNoWriMo is the perfect jumping-off point.

Drop a comment and ask anything you want to know about National Novel Writing Month! Check out the Website, take a look at the Virtual Write-in Calendar, visit Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, then come join me!

And if you like what you see, don’t forget to hit that subscribe button!

Page 1 of 5