Summer Reading for Writers

You can start or add to your private library of writing books. These are great choices. I’ve purchased many books through Writer’s Digest Books over the years and find them a great resource.  Here are four great summer reads from Writer’s Digest Books:


Write Like the Masters: Emulating the Best of Hemingway, Faulkner, Salinger, and Others, by William Cane. This book analyzes the writing styles of 21 great novelists and then provides practical advice on how to imitate to help writers improve their own writing style.


102 Ways to Earn Money Writing 1,500 Words or Less, by I.J. Schecter. Schecter is one of my personal favorite freelancers, and he’s always a wealth of freelancing information that writers can put into use immediately.


Showing & Telling: Learn How to Show & When to Tell for Powerful and Balanced Writing, by Laurie Alberts. Maybe one of the most difficult tightropes to walk in fiction and narrative nonfiction is balancing between telling readers what happened and showing them.


Writing & Selling Your Memoir, by Paula Balzer. Do you have an amazing story to tell? If so, your first step is to write it. Then, you need to sell the manuscript. Balzer explains how to do both.

Summer Writing Conferences

These are from the Writer’s Digest newsletter:

5 SUMMER WRITING CONFERENCES lists hundreds of writing conferences for writers. Here are five scheduled for the summer months (which begins on June 21):


Harriette Austin Writers Conference takes place July 22-23. In addition to WD’s Chuck Sambuchino, this conference will feature agents, editors and writers in Athens, Georgia.


July 26-August 7, The University of the South will hold the Sewanee Writers’ Conference in Sewanee, Tennessee. Many agents, editors, and writers will be present at this event as well.


The Taos Summer Writers Conference will be in Taos, New Mexico, July 10-17. This week-long conference offers workshops, classes and publishing consultations.


Green Mountain Writers Conference will be in Tinmouth, Vermont, August 1-5. This week-long event is more of a writers conference for writers by writers—focusing especially on craft.


Willamette Writers Conference, August 5-7, will be in Portland, Oregon (near the airport). This conference includes a dizzying number of panels throughout the conference.


New Book Releases

In Texas it’s too hot to spend much time outside. This is the hottest summer I can remember. So many days in a row with temperatures 100 or more make me want to sit in the air conditioning, drink iced tea, and read a good book. Here are some new ones you may not have heard about yet or eagerly anticipated:

Smokin’ Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel, Janet Evanovich

V is for Vengeance (Kinsey Millhone Myster), Sue Grafton

Learning (Bailey Flanigan Series), Karen Kingsbury

Cart Blanche (latest James Bond), Jeffery Deaver

Sisterhood Everlasting: A Novel (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), Ann Brashares

joshua tree {LA} (via )

I just had to share this post with you all. Everyone who writes needs recharging and inspiration from time to time. These pictures of Joshua Tree National Park are amazing. We may not be able to go there today, but we can definitely get inspiration from what we see.

Have a great day!

joshua tree {LA} {joshua tree} for me seemed to be a place of mystery and intrigue, and upon hearing the name memories of time spent listening to the U2 album as a teenager popped into my head.  in actuality, this national park is a fascinating desert land located in twenty-nine palms, california.  just east of palm springs, and a short two-hour drive from my home in pasadena . . . we recently made a day trip to hike and explore this vast area. during our visit t … Read More


Mystery Writers Conferences

Many of you enjoy a good mystery. I know I do. I found out about these opportunities and wanted to share them with you.

Mystery writers & fans:

The SW chapter of Mystery Writers of America is sponsoring a wonderful workshop with top writers as instructors.

MWA University – New Orleans – Saturday, October 1, 2011

Location: Hotel Monteleone
Vieux Carre Room
214 Royal St
New Orleans, LA 70130

Class/Instructor: After the Idea – Jess Lourey
Dramatic Structure & Plot – Hallie Ephron
Setting & Description – David Morrell
Character & Dialogue – Julie Smith
Writing as Re-Writing – Reed Farrel Coleman
The Writing Life – Hank Phillippi Ryan

A rate of $159/per night at the hotel (includes a continental breakfast). The rate will cover the following date range: September 29 – October 2, 2011. Reservations must be made by September 23, 2011. Details and registration forms –


For information about other events and workshops around the country go to  Mystery Writers . If one of these is near you, then mark your calendar and enjoy.

Christian Writers Article Bank

I know there are a lot of article banks that you’re probably familiar. Many writers publish on them frequently. They are great resources in many cases.


You’ll find a great selection of articles to read and be sure to read the submission guidelines. Best of luck!

June is Audio Book Month

If you’ve never listened to a book, then I recommend you try one. I listen when I travel in the car or even on a plane. You can download books onto your MP3 or iPod. Most of you probably don’t have a CD walkman any more, but books on CD are still on the market and in book stores. It is great when your eyes are tired from all day on a computer. Actually, it can be like when you were a child and your mother or father read to you when you went to be.

I want to share the following announcement with you:

Audiobook Month just keeps getting better and better.  Check this out: Our friends over at Macmillan Audio are running a sweepstakes as part ofJune Is Audiobook Month — and the lucky prize winner gets a year’s supply of free audiobooks.  To enter — and, let’s be honest, you’d be a fool not to try — CLICK HERE.

Have a great weekend!


Comedian and Author Anita Renfroe

Anita Renfroe is a well-known comedian who appears on the program for Women of Faith conferences. If you’ve never seen her or heard her she is hilarious. I found one of her books at the local library and checked it out. Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You: Kids, Carbs, and the Coming Hormonal Apocalypse. She is famous for the “Mom Song” which can be found on YouTube. Renfroe sings all the things a mom says to her kids in one day set to the tune of the “William Tell Overture.”

Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You will keep you laughing as she goes through experiences women go through including weddings, child birth, and mammograms. I recommend this one for some light reading. It will make you chuckle and make you laugh out loud. Enjoy!