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Blog 2017-04-25T12:17:24+00:00

 

Latest Blog Posts

 All the posts, including the random ones that don’t fit anywhere else.

Scotland’s People Centre

During my recent trip to Scotland, I got to spend 3 1/2 days researching at the Scotland's People Centre/Register House. For those of us researching Scottish roots, this

Falkland

Falkland is one of my favourite places in Fife. It's a gorgeous little village, for one thing, and the people in it are lovely. Every single local Ive

Hello from Scotland

By this time of night, my body still reminds me that it started the wake-up process at 4am thanks to minor lingering jet lag, so this will just

#SiWC17

So much going on in my life these days, not least of which is planning for this year's Surrey International Writers' Conference. 2017 marks the 25th annual SiWC.

Scotland Research Trip

This Friday, I depart for a research trip in Scotland. Much of it will be family-history related, but not all, and I'm excited about the other parts, too.

Ancestry DNA Experience

A few weeks ago, I received the results of my Ancestry DNA test. The experience of using the test and sending it in was pretty straightforward. Prepare to

On Writer’s Block

I'll let you in on a secret: I haven't written a word in two months. This is a highly unusual state of affairs for me. Even when the

Mastering Writing Craft?

I was skimming through a bunch of blog posts recently, and came across one that said an unnamed "famous" writer had mastered his craft and no longer needed

Three Things on a Friday Afternoon

This topic came up in a random conversation the other day, and I thought it was a fun one to put on the blog, mostly because I'd really

Catching up on Links

Today is one of those rare days when I'm taking an hour to catch up on reading all the cool links I've clicked through to and left sitting

Women's Fiction: Your Favourite Quiet Reads

I write what are typically called "quiet books", women's fiction with character-driven stories about relationships and the choices we make and human emotions and all that good stuff.

SiWC 2015

As anyone reading this likely already knows, I have just wrapped up a full year of work that culminated, as it always does, in the gathering of hundreds

Scotland Photos

A few people have been asking me to see photos of my trip to Scotland in May. I flew to Edinburgh, and from there worked my way up

Stopping to Listen

I’m not writing today. I’m tempted. I have a story that’s been talking to me for a couple of weeks now, asserting itself with scene ideas when I’m

Query Tips From My Inbox

I don't claim to be an expert on query letters, and I'm not a literary agent. But in my day job as a conference coordinator, I get a

Help My Husband Make a Movie

Hello, all! Probably easiest to let my husband speak for himself here, since he knows the details. His note is below. If you're able to help with a

Writing Inspiration

Happy new year! I took a couple of weeks off over the holidays. I started out the month by accepting Nephele Tempest's December writing challenge, in which you

Happy Holidays

I'm deep into the last-minute preparations - baking, cleaning, wrapping presents - for our family's Christmas celebrations. But today, I took a couple of hours off to have

Reflections on This Week

This is going to be a long post, because it’s been a full week in the news already, and it’s only Thursday, and I’ve got a lot on

Day Job Gratitude

Around this time every year, after a couple of months of having every waking minute – and lots of sleeping ones – taken up with my work for

Bodies at the Pool

The changing room at my local pool is a busy place. Mums scrub toddlers dry with faded, worn towels, the sort we all hesitate to throw away because

Sunday afternoon Twitter talk

I don't purport to be an expert on social media. But I do pay attention, and I think I've learned a few things along the way, one of

The Weight of Disorganization

Awhile back, I had great intentions of writing a blog post about the weight of disorganization. The irony of the fact that I still haven't posted it hasn't

Perspective and Inspiration

I've been sick this week, with the sort of chesty, sinus-y, feverish bug that knocks you flat and makes simply breathing enough of a challenge that working is