• Writing A Novel – The Speech I Gave Today

    Today, I had the honor and privilege of being one of several faculty speakers sharing their passions at our Fall 2017 Faculty/Staff meeting at Stevenson University. Below you will find the speech I gave, which was about writing, being an author, and self-publishing. After all, it is one of my passions… ***  Writing A Novel  *** I consider myself pretty lucky that I get the opportunity to do two things I love on a daily basis: teach and write. I’m a proud professor here at Stevenson University and also an independent author. I’m an independent author and write novels for two main reasons: (1) because I believe it’s my duty…

  • Friday Fiction: Writing the Prologue & Baseball Girl

    There is much debate in the fictional writing world as to whether or not your story should begin with a prologue. The last three books I have read–all mainstream fictional novels–have started with a prologue. I found the prologue of Me Before You particularly effective. The discussion of the prologue is a relatively simple one: should you include a glimpse for the reader as to what will eventually come of the characters and plot of the story? Does the prologue have a somewhat different voice? Does it intrigue the reader and offer a bit of a backstory, which will, in turn, propel the story forward? It’s a challenging question to…

  • Springtime in Annapolis

    This morning I decided to do a little research for the novel I’m working on—yes, I’m writing again, and I’ve got two chapters under my belt thus far. However, despite the fact that I’ve lived in the Annapolis area for quite a while, I wanted to take a stroll along some of the streets I don’t normally walk around when my daughter and I shop down there. We typically hit Main Street and the Annapolis Dock, get an ice cream or coffee, and wander around the shops. Today, I stayed up by St. John’s College and Maryland Avenue, popping in and out of Prince George Street, King George Street, East…

  • That Magic Moment When It All Clicks—Writing A New Novel

    *** Here’s how this story goes… I published Beneath the Mimosa Tree in 2012. Baseball Girl followed three years later, and this week I am celebrating it’s one-year anniversary as it launched last March 6. At the time I began writing my first novel, I had simultaneously started writing another bit of fiction. When I had to make the choice between the two in which to fully invest my time, I picked Beneath the Mimosa Tree because it had been a story that had lodged itself in my brain for 20 years. I have no regrets about publishing it, and I always feel a sort of sentimental sweetness about that…

  • 10 Memorable Baseball Quotes

    Baseball’s back, the weather is getting brighter here in Baltimore, and I’m coming in from third to home with the writing of my baseball-themed novel. In baseball as in life, quotes can be inspirational, funny, or just tell it like it is. Quotes are a big part of my novel; each chapter’s lead quote ties into something that’s going on in the story, and I’ve had a lot of fun constructing them and their meanings. Here are some quotes from notable players, coaches, managers, and folks who love the game. I can’t call it my all-time favorite list, but it certainly includes some great ones. * * * If a…

  • Nerd Alert: I’m Getting Excited

    I can’t help it…I’m a writing nerd, and I’m a little excited. I see the finish line…it’s there. I’m nearing completion of novel #2. The ending is already written, and my characters have grown on me…in fact, so much so, that I’m toying with my love triangle. It’s funny how in the midst of writing, the creativity changes, and you see a different outcome, perhaps, than what you originally intended. The voices of the characters sort of take over, and you have to go with that…to see where they take you. I’ve done that for the last few chapters, and it’s evolved in a way that I didn’t expect. Like…

  • Sick of Talking About It: NaNoWriMo

    National Novel Writing Month. If March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, then November is going to come in like a cyclone and out like a…finished novel? That’s the hope of National Novel Writing Month. It takes place in November, where millions of us will be working diligently on our novels, desperately trying to complete them by the month’s end. I’m sick of talking about it. It’s time to hunker down and make some progress. It’s a lofty notion. It requires a lot of patience and diligence. At 35,000 words into my novel, I am wondering if I focus on it and work late into the…

  • For Writers & People Facing Change

    Sometimes I see something that makes me stop and pause. This saying did it for me today. As a writer, blogger, professor, and a believer in a positive vision for the future, I love the meaning of this quote. Too often, we hold on to the past, when sometimes, what we need to do, is just look to the future. We are all guilty of doing it at some point in our lives. * * * Photo credit: Tumblr.com, best of.