Flash Fiction Tips



Some reminders before you put pen to paper:

1. Flash fiction shouldn’t be more than 1,000 words.

2.  It is NOT easy to get a whole short story into so few words. It requires a lot of PLANNING and EDITING.

3.  Writing Flash Fiction often takes MORE time than longer works.

4.  Focus on the small moments that shape bigger ideas, rather than on the big ideas.

5.  A good idea is to base Flash Fiction stories on things readers already know, such as myths and fairy tales, for example.

6.  To get your word count down, leave out dialogue attributions and in-depth descriptions.

7.  Focus on one central idea.  

Next week, we’ll finish off the series on Flash Fiction by sharing where you can go to read some good examples of Flash Fiction.


Christmas Letter




On my “To-Do” list this week, is writing my yearly Christmas letter to friends and family. I am making a list of trips, health updates, and accomplishments I’d like to include.

That got me to thinking about YOU and what I’d like to share as the Christmas season fast approaches.

First of all, I’d like you to know how much I appreciate your encouragement and support by reading/commenting on my blogs each week. I hope they have been both helpful and encouraging to you as we walk this “writing road” together.

To catch you up on what I am doing, currently, I can say that my Beta Readers are doing their work right now, critiquing Simon Says. I look forward to hearing from them over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, I am busy writing back cover copy, revising my “About the Author” page, looking at a myriad possibilities for the front cover, and jotting down ideas for the second book in the series.

Finally, I am finishing up the manuscript for my second interactive Alzheimer’s book, I Remember Bible Stories,” as well as interviewing illustrators.

On a more personal level, I continue to be more involved in my parents’ lives at their care center and am taking on some of my mother’s previous roles, such as the big family gathering on Christmas Day. I am fortunate to live near a Honey Baked Ham store, as I am planning the meal around a nice spiral-cut ham.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years as you move ahead toward both your personal and writing goals.


Is There Still Such A Thing as Reading for Pleasure?

I still read for an hour or so before I go to bed. It’s been a life long habit.

Reading for pleasure…reading to relax…reading to satisfy a craving for adventure, romance, intrigue…

But, sometimes in the middle of a chapter, I find that I’ve absentmindedly switched into edit mode, dissecting plot, sentence structure—well, you get the idea.

Why,” I ask myself, “can’t you just enjoy a book and try not to play editor and critic?”

I’m a relative newbie myself, and I certainly have a lot to learn. I promise I don’t do it because I want to be critical of another writer.

Why do I do it, then?     7167049958_be9ac9e47d

I’m not 100% sure, but a lady I was talking to in the salon where I get my hair cut said something worth repeating.

I was telling her that I was editing my book —yet, again—and she divulged that she is an avid reader, who often reads right over typos and other mistakes because she is sooooo engrossed in the story.

That caught my attention. 

Perhaps the reason I sometimes shift into edit mode is that the story is not engaging me. So, instead of reading on, my mind tries to fix it….

The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think there is a golden nugget of truth there:

The most important aspect of writing just may be story. 

If we give our readers a well-written story, they may be able to forgive us an incomplete sentence or the use of an adverb here and there.

I suggest we do strive for excellence in all of our writing


our readers can be a very forgiving bunch


we will give them what they want most:

a great story!