A Love Letter to Coffee

By De Elizabeth

Over half of my life has revolved around coffee.

Since I was a teenager, I started my day the exact same way: with a cup of coffee, usually in a cute mug, with a splash of something. That “something” has evolved over time; first, it was skim milk and sugar, then just skim milk, then soy milk, then nothing at all, then almond milk, and now, a blend of almond and coconut milk. But coffee has arguably been more than just a beverage, more than just a staple in my morning routine. For every significant chapter, every significant event in my life, coffee has somehow been involved. It’s more than a drink; it’s a moment, a marker in time, an olive branch, a vice, a grain of a memory.

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Writers, Get Ready: Five Steps Toward NaNoPrep Success

Writers, Get Ready Five Steps Toward NaNoPrep Success

By Eliza David

October is here – Halloween, Indigenous People Day, and pumpkin spice everything happens during this month. What rings most important to writers everywhere is one word: NaNoPrep!

This month is the time to gear up for NaNoWriMo, which can be both refreshing and excruciating! All writers know about the stressfest NaNo in November tends to be.  Crossing the 50K word finish line is enough to send even the most seasoned scribe running for the hills. I won my first NaNo in 2014.  It launched my indie romance writing career with the release of my debut novel, The Cougarette. In subsequent years, I’ve come to learn that what you do in October can make your November a little easier. Continue reading

7 Things That Were Worth My Time Last Month…And 3 Things That Weren’t

Times

By Kate Kole

I know that yes, technically I have as many hours in the day as Beyoncé. But even if that is true, I still don’t always feel like I have enough hours to do all the things I want and need to do. It inevitably seems like certain items on my TDL go left unchecked, and if I’m being completely honest, other tasks that didn’t even make the original list (ahem, a Modern Family rerun and a “quick” Target stop) manage to get crossed off.

For the sake of time management and better utilizing those same 24 hours in the day that Queen Bey and I share, I’m taking a closer look at what’s been worth my time lately, and what hasn’t. Continue reading

Why Having a “Work in Progress” Isn’t a Bad Thing

Writer Stash

By Eliza David

Writers often have a love/hate relationship with finishing a manuscript. On one hand, there’s nothing quite like the sweet relief that comes with writing ‘The End’ when finishing a work in progress (or WIP). I recently had this gratifying experience with the first draft of my upcoming novel, The Follow. Over sixty-six thousand words of my life are saved and awaiting revision. This is usually where the flip-side of the joy of finishing a project begins. The fear that seeps in when you aren’t sure what to do next can be frustrating at best and unproductive at worst. Continue reading

Don’t Feed the Trolls: A Writer’s Advice on Dealing With Online Bullies

By De Elizabeth

I’ve been a writer all my life, I suppose. If you were to go back in time to my elementary school days, you’d find me creating picture books about cats and dinosaurs. My childhood best friend and I even invented a publishing company called Lollypop Lick (not a joke). In fact, I’m pretty sure those silly little laminated books are probably buried in my closet at my parents’ house, just waiting to be brought out at a future holiday dinner.

In high school, I wrote Lord of the Rings fanfiction (again, not a joke). One of my stories – a riffing on the entire plot of The Two Towers, where I gave Éomer a love interest (finally, right?) – gained some form of notoriety on FanFiction.net. I woke up every day to dozens of comments on each of my chapters, most of them positive, begging for the next segment. But among the high forms of praise from my fellow LOTR fans, there was always one or two negative comments that were downright mean. We, in the fanfiction world, referred to them as “flames.” Continue reading

10 Things I’ve Learned Since I Started Writing About My Feelings On The Internet

Writing

By Jillian Stacia

Exactly one year ago, I started writing about my feelings on the internet. And it’s been one of the best, hardest, weirdest, most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Pursuing your passion is always an intense process. But to do so on the internet, in front of- quite literally- millions of people, has been one of the bravest things I’ve ever done.

And I’ve learned a lot along the way. I’ve learned so much about myself, about writing, and about what it takes to go after your dreams. To help me reflect on my journey, here are some of the top lessons I’ve learned since hitting “send” on that very first submission: Continue reading

What Your Handwriting Says About You

art-1868727_640

By De Elizabeth

In an age of computers and smartphones, we’re willing to bet that most people don’t write a lot by hand anymore. Remember the days of elementary school when we were taught to write in cursive? Kids today don’t learn cursive (for the most part), and our lives happen pretty fast – it makes sense that we don’t always have time to write in a journal or compose a handwritten letterContinue reading

Why I Quit NaNoWriMo

nanowrimo

By Eliza David

My mother taught me a lot as a child. Even as a grown woman approaching forty, I continue to receive pearls from her – even from three hundred miles away where she resides in my hometown of Chicago. One thing she often reminded me to do was to finish what I start. ‘Don’t be a quitter’ was a common refrain whenever I was ready to be done with whatever hobby du jour I was invested in during the many phases of my upbringing: piano lessons, track and field, cheerleading, not judging others. Continue reading