Monster University. Credit and courtesy to Disney, Inc.

Monsters, especially cartoon monsters are a great way to capture emotions in still images. I’ve always been enthralled by them. I liken it to a simpler time when the rules were easy to follow. There was good and there was bad. Then along came the sophisticated author capable of spinning yarns that required complicated plots. But even with characters capable of carrying a role and plots that twist and turn and confuse even the most experienced detectives, nothing happens in a story without conflict. There must be an overriding central conflict in order for any story to move from start…

Look, I’m not going to mince words in this article. I’ve seen more stories ruined because of poor characterizations than I care to remember. Hollywood casting calls have ruined more stories because they hired the wrong actors to play someone and you’ll do the same if you don’t take the time to get to know your characters intimately. How do you go about accomplishing this?

Courtesy of

Interview Your Characters

That’s right! You wouldn’t cast any old actors without learning something about them first, right? Then why on earth would you put a character into your novel without first interviewing them? The same rules apply…

My bride and I have always strived to instil a sense of wonder into our children. We didn’t have a lot of means to provide them with everything we wanted them to have, but we managed and we scrimped and saved, and occasionally, we would travel. This is the story of an adventure we took with our youngest son who was about to turn ten years old.

The trip began the day after Christmas in 2013. The saving and planning had begun months earlier. When we arrived at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, it would be my wife, our youngest child…

One written by a Pantser and the other by a Plotter. Do you know which is which?

Before I take this in a direction you weren’t expecting, it’s important to understand very few successful Pansters exist. Oh, don’t get me wrong. They are out there, but Plotters still outnumber them. Well, semi-plotters do since most Plotters tend to stray from their outlines, even the most successful ones, and aren’t considered true-blue Plotters. Whew! That ought to get some hecklers riled!

Okay, yes I’ve heard of Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Pierce Brown, and who hasn’t heard of George R. R. Martin? I, like everyone else, know they claim to be Pansters and we definitely know they are very…

Ms. Saunders, I found this through our mutual membership in a Facebook group and I although I commented there, I wanted to leave you a brief thank you for saying what I believe needed to be said here too!

Thank you!!

You have your protagonist and antagonist all worked out. You’ve spent weeks working on your plot. You’ve got your setting outlined and now you’re fluffing out your piece and about halfway through the first chapter, you stop writing and tell yourself, “Why am I even bothering with this? No one is going to read this much less buy it. I’m even boring myself. I should just stop right now and put this one away and maybe come back again when I have a better angle.”

Photo by pixpoetry on Unsplash

Admit it! If you’re an experienced writer defined as someone who has written anything, you’ve…

Judey, you truly are my sister from another mother. I read your story and it's almost like reading pages from my life. Thank you for the trip down memory lane.

This is part 2 in a multipart murder mystery written for older children and teenagers. You may find part 1 at the following URL:

When Spongy touched me on the head, it reminded me of when I was a kid. He used to do that all the time. I had forgotten. Now there was a vague familiarity to it. He opened my eyes to a world of things I had no idea existed. That’s not entirely true. He jarred my memory to the things I remembered seeing as a child. My mom always said I had a vivid imagination…

Quarantine Pods Emerge as a Solution to Social Isolation for Families

September is here and for many families in Texas, that means kids are returning to school, and with that comes a sense of worry and concern about the spread of disease and germs, especially the spread of Covid-19. Kids are notoriously social creatures and while at school, they will meet old friends and make new friends. Once they leave school and come home, for the younger children, it may be difficult to make them understand why they can’t have friends over to play or why they can’t spend the night over at a friend’s house. …

Just an old disabled dude living the life on a ranch in NE Texas. I used to think I could change the world. Now I write about things.

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