Tag Archives: writing

Story structure sketch note

Story structure

Act 1:

  • Hook
  • Backstory
  • Trigger

Act 2:

  • Crisis
  • Struggle
  • Epiphany

Act 3:

  • Plan
  • Climax
  • Ending

Should be able to write at least 9 scenes with this in mind. Yay!


Crossing the finish line

Today is day 100 of #The100DayProject . I finished. Yay. 

*cue partially inflated helium balloons and off key band.

I feel characteristically underwhelmed. It’s always the way— reaching the end of a project when I should be jumping up and down or popping a champagne cork, but instead I’m shrugging, going, “Eh, it’s over, okay, what next?”

There are 109 days left until NaNoWriMo starts November 1. I think I will do 100 days of illustrated poetry bits (thanks to everyone who commented!), but maybe I won’t start tomorrow. I’ve got nine more days to decide. And some laundry to fold. 

The good news is this time (unlike when I finished my novel OVER A YEAR AGO, ahem) I actually DO have something lined up. I signed on to do a Gale course, Writing Fiction Like a Pro. It starts tomorrow, lasts six weeks, and sounds like a good way to organize my outline for the NaNo novel I have in mind. Best part: several friends from my local writer’s critique group are taking it, too! I will enjoy the camaraderie, and probably need the accountability. 

Do you have some short term goals, writing or otherwise? What are your creative plans?

Blue Magic

We are moving.

So instead of writing, or blogging, or even just being, I have been decluttering, packing, and donating many carloads of memorabilia.

Mom probably thought she was doing me a favor by giving me boxes upon boxes of old photos, notebooks, report cards and train stubs. But it’s been an emotional few weeks going through closets full of who I used to be.

Today I found a couple of old stories. One was written at the tender age of 8, in which I imagined (a tad over-enthusiastically) that my sister had been eaten by a tiger at the zoo.

Another, written at age 10, had me envisioning a poor helpless witch who discovers a blue potion and snoops around to find out how its creator activated it. She says the magic words and finds her home transformed into a cute, clean cottage, and transported to a much nicer village “where everyone knows each other and says hello to one another.”

It’s good to know I am still that 10 year old girl. Loves blue. Loves magic. Dreams of a cute, clean, small home in a friendly neighborhood.

This was in my drafts folder from May 2014. Not sure why I never hit publish then! But it makes me happy that I was a writer even way back when I didn’t know it yet.

FYI, we ended up not moving. How’s that for an anticlimactic ending? =)

How to write the world’s worst LinkedIn profile summary


After 14 years on the bench, I’m considering it might be time to get back in the game of working for pay. (Crap. Did anyone else hear horror movie music just now?)

Back in the day I had some cool jobs. Daycare teacher, hand model, bus driver, chair aerobics instructor. I moved to New York in the 90s— who didn’t, right?— where I found my inner Joan Harris in advertising, talent management and “administrative assistance.”

That was the 90s, people. The last job I held in NY, I did things with Excel spreadsheets that would explode your shoulder pads. But do those even exist any more? No idea.

I’ve had more recent freelance jobs, made some cash here and there writing, designing, even taking pictures of cars. But putting together my LinkedIn profile over the past week, it feels like what I have to offer isn’t really marketable. The things I do, I don’t have formal training for. No years of professional experience. Most of my connections are stay at home moms.

And then there’s the summary, LinkedIn’s version of a bio.


You know why I hardly ever submit stories anywhere? Because everybody wants a bio. And I hate talking about myself. People who talk about themselves are arrogant, annoying a-holes. Why would anyone want to hire an arrogant, annoying a-hole?

Not only are you supposed to brag about yourself, you should do it using as many words as possible. Experts say a long winded diatribe fully fleshed out summary makes potential clients and employers take notice. The more you talk up your abilities and attributes the more people will want to know you.

A fool is known by his multitude of words, I say. (Oh wait, King Solomon said that. I’ll just go add “plagiarism” to my skill set.)

These same experts also say to be yourself. MY self? There is no long version of me. Brevity excites and challenges me. I love chopping work up into tiny bits almost as much as I enjoy getting it all on paper in the first place.

I thought I’d read some other people’s summaries for ideas. It’d be funny if it weren’t so boring. Every man and his dog is “ambitious” and “detail oriented,” a “team player” “recognized in his field” for “outstanding achievement.”

Snooze. Él Snoozerino, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing. If I were looking to hire, I’d bench all these guys. Maybe hire their dogs.

All I really want to say is:

I write my brains out, work my butt off and pour my heart into everything I do. How may I serve you?