Journaling after Covid

Dear Fellow Journalers,

When I look back at the journaling posts I wrote during the last two years, I see a pattern – one where I forged ahead during some of the same times you had. I wrote about food shortages, where to get masks, how to cope without going out anymore, fears at being near people. The craziest thing was how to wash a UPS package?!

I coped, like a lot of you, by reading, writing and crafting. I set lofty organizing goals but often did not follow through. I learned to stretch my food storage supplies. I remember moaning over the fact that there was no rice or paper plates for days! I discovered new meals I dug out from old cookbooks. I even started this blog!

When I was finally “set free” after my two shots, I felt a gigantic weight lift off my back. Feeling relatively safe, I could venture out into my community. Ah, life!

As life begins again, I hope I don’t loose the resilient spirit I gained. I only read about the Great Depression, World War I & II food shortages. Now I can say, I lived during Covid and I hope so became a stronger, better person for it.



Should you change?

Dear Fellow Writers,

So, as I was reading through some recent reviews, I saw a person’s question that made me stop and think. She wondered if danger was lurking in the foreseeable future for one of my characters. I began to wonder, should I change my writing style or theme for a reader?

I’ve been writing fan fiction for about two years now and have a whopping (!) 7 stories published. I’ve learned a lot in the short space of time – how to turn a phrase, accept criticism, develop a character or theme. I’ve discovered why I liked writing in the first place so long ago and lament the lost years when I didn’t write anything except for a “thank you note”.

One thing that has begun to plague me is when I get an email or comment from a guest who wants me to change my focus or theme. For instance, the story I am writing now, focuses on a family time when one character is “baby sitting” the younger one. It’s a nice, cozy read and the commentator wants me to put one or more characters in danger. I thought about that and wondered if I should introduce an element of danger into the story but decided that the theme would be shattered if I did.

Advice from a trusted friend confirmed my thoughts when they wrote me:


It’s a good thing to get feedback, comments and constructive criticism from loyal readers. However, you the writer, must write what you like and feel comfortable with. Once in awhile you may take a reader’s comment/suggestion and use it in your story, but don’t get caught up in writing too much or make changes according to your readers because that will be a detour from you writing what you want and it does cause writer’s block, frustration, and a blocking of those creative juices.  I’m speaking from experience. 


Blogging tips for beginners

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

So many people are writing blogs these days. So many need guidance on what to write and how to share so here’s my take:

° Tell the truth – never, ever lie to your readers. If you don’t know the answer, say so.

°. Don’t jump on the bandwagon of trending topics. Share your views with honest thoughts.

° Don’t waste your time trying to pick the right SEO’s. Readers will find you.

°. Make it easy for the readers to find you like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.

°. Try to write 300 words per blog post and no more than 1000.

° Expect criticism, but don’t take it personally.

°. Build an email list

° Have fun!





How to create a story?

Dear Fellow Writers,

Read and write!

How to create a story – guiding you through the story process.

Don’t know how to create a story?  This exercise will take you through the process step by step.

Before we start you need to know exactly what a story is.

In the interests of keeping it simple a story is what happens to a character. Think about it…


By way of example, this is the story of what happened to a character I just made up.

I called her Sadie. Sadie is unfairly treated by her boss and comes home from work to a row with her boyfriend.

She wakes up the next morning after a really bad dream and decides to leave everything and go on a one-woman boat trip around the world.

She discovers hidden talents along the way before returning home and starting a brand new career as a wilderness survival guru.


A plot is how it happens:  Sadie sneaks along to the local harbor, and steals a boat. The boat’s owner chases her. She escapes from him and is attacked by pirates.

She survives by shooting them with a harpoon gun left by the owner. She loses all her food which falls overboard during a hurricane and she has to learn to catch fish using her old tights etc. etc.


Remember – an idea not written is worth the paper it was written on. We all have ideas but not everyone can turn them into a story.

So the exercise below is designed to help you get your story started. Think of the exercises as the warm up routines you might do before you play a sport.  Ready?


Before you create your story you are going to create ten characters. It sounds a lot but it is not difficult if you simply relax and follow the process I outline on this and the other pages. You will find out how to create your characters here.


Next you are going to invent your plot. Remember that as I said above, a plot is how the story happens. Plot provides the mechanics of the story. You can find out how to create a plot here.

Good luck and remember…

 ‘You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.’

Jack London

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