• The Path to Writing Novel Number 5

    *** At almost 17,000 words in, I can’t hold in my excitement for the challenge I have ahead of me. Writing this next novel is going to require some thought and some time to get it all in order. There are so many moving parts to this story that I grabbed a notebook and am connecting and dissecting each character in detailed character sketches. I’ve researched what a true empath is, as the character who is an empath is the main thread within the novel. I’ve used sticky notes and pencils, diagrams and plot point outlines. My initial board that I began a couple of months ago has now been…

  • The Water Wheel: A Short Story

    I promised myself I’d write ONE thing during this year’s 2019 NaNoWriMo, and today I hunkered down and did it. It’s not a novel or the 50,000 words required to “win” at NaNoWriMo, or even the 43,000 words of Little Milestones I wrote during last year’s NaNoWriMo. It’s just a short story about grief with a little bit of a twist. I’m not sure what, if anything, I will do with this piece of writing, but for some reason, I needed to write it. Today was the day, and here is the story. The Water Wheel by Stephanie Verni There were many ways he could show his appreciation for her.…

  • Finding Inspiration

    As someone who writes fiction as my side job, I seek inspiration, either from other people or from places. Additionally, as a writer who is about to publish my 4th novel, I use places almost as I use characters in my novel—they must have a personality and purpose.  Setting is very important to me, and getting a handle on that place requires me to do some digging and exploring. Next month, I will launch my newest novel, LITTLE MILESTONES, set in St. Michaels, Maryland, a place I love visit when I need to get away from the rat race of life. It’s only a little over an hour away from…

  • The Wonderful, Wacky World of Writers

    I’m just gonna put this out there because it makes me sad: too many people are not reading. They are spending their time on other things, which is great, but I would like to see the average books people read a year climb (see a piece I wrote last year about average number of books people read each year by clicking here.) I am, however, encouraged on Instagram by all the READERS and WRITERS I’ve become connected with over the last six months. People post books, book art, and their favorite stories in beautiful pictures. It’s been a whirlwind of likes and follows, but the people I’m connected with are…

  • Friday Fiction : I Hate You (a flash fiction story)

    On Fridays we write. Answering a prompt is a good way to stay in touch with your writing, storytelling, and creativity. In this flash fiction piece, the goal was to “write a story with the word ‘hate’ in it.” Simple parameter. I write a lot about relationships, mostly happy ones, and sometimes ones that are on their way back from devastation. This is one of those. Here’s what I came up with for this week’s FICTION FRIDAY. *** I HATE YOU | Flash Fiction There was nothing left to say. The words hung in the night air as the sound of the sea pounced against the rocks. The breeze caught…

  • The Downside of Being A Writer

    While there are so many pluses to being a writer—namely that we have the privilege of passionately telling stories through our own lenses—there is a downside, at least from my perspective. The downside has become increasingly more clear to me the older I get. It makes me pause more than I used to. It leaves me with notebooks full of scribblings. The downside that I am talking about this morning, as this blog post came to me all at once (you know, with the lightbulb going off and all that jazz), is that when we are writers and intent on telling stories, we are also part psychologist, as we try…

  • 10 Factors That Influence My Storytelling

    *** Do you ever hop on a treadmill or drive your car and realize you have a lot of time to think? That happened to me over the weekend, and I was thinking about National Novel Writing Month and how different aspects of my life influence my storytelling. I’m sure the same is true for many of you fellow writers out there, but today I thought I’d share the Top 10 Factors That Influence My Storytelling. 1] PEOPLE No matter where I go, live, work, play, or visit, the people I know, love, or meet for the first time influence my stories. As writers, we take qualities from people we…

  • Kicking Off National Novel Writing Month with an Exercise for You

    W e l c o m e ! If you haven’t stopped by and visited my blog before, I’m so glad to see you here. I’m a professor, author, and blogger, and I have a passion for all things writing. Today is exciting, because on my campus, the Library and I have teamed up to launch National Novel Writing Month, with a kick-off today at 2 p.m. in the School of Business Library. We’ll be getting you ready to write at our event entitled STEVENSON WRITE NOW. I’ve written three novels that I’ve self-published, mostly because I like to have a hand in every aspect of the process. I publish…

  • Fictography #16 – Little French Market

        /FICTOGRAPHY/ def. — The intersection of photography (submitted by readers) and fiction (written by me!). Truthfully, this week I’m on a little bit of a hiatus. On campus, we are down to the last two weeks, and I’ve been inundated with work and grading and attending events, not to mention that it’s Easter weekend. Therefore, I had little time for creativity this week, so for this week’s Fictography, I pulled one out of the archives and dusted it off. I actually took this photograph myself. This cute little coffee shop is situated in Historic Ellicott City, and I used to frequent it all the time when I lived…

  • Fictography #12 — Self-Preservation

    /FICTOGRAPHY/ def. — The intersection of photography (submitted by readers) and fiction (written by me!). This week’s selected photograph comes from a former student of mine and current Assistant Editor at the Severna Park Voice, Meredith Thompson. Meredith was a business communication major, and I got to know her well from all the classes she took with me. Meredith is a fantastic writer as well as a beautiful photographer, and many of her photographs are used in the Severna Park Voice. In fact, it was Meredith and her talents with the camera who helped me decide to purchase the Nikon I currently own. She has a way of looking at…