Life is an Essay Contest…

Welcome to my blog Life is An Essay Contest. I hope you enjoy it and find it useful! I’ve chosen this title because whether you realize it or not, we are constantly winning (or losing!) things through our communication skills. With a few simple tips, you can really improve your odds.

Two Steps Back

  • On October 28, 2020
I had a setback this month. Not a major one, not something devastating I’ll never be able to recover from — but still, a setback nonetheless. For a writer, it’s the worst type of blow: rejection. Yes, I was rejected by an agent via a boilerplate email saying simply, ‘thanks, but no thanks.’ It hurts. […]
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What Can I Say?

  • On September 29, 2020
As of now, I’m putting the final touches on  The Vermicular File, and it feels great to have the finish line in sight. Over the past few days I’ve completed Chapter 13 — the one where the big climactic confrontation occurs — then penned a concluding chapter, tying up loose ends. This week I’m working […]
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Summarize This!

  • On August 28, 2020
This past month while I’ve been working on my book The Vermicular File, I’ve also been laying the groundwork for a new agent search. Finding professional representation can be difficult and time-consuming, but I know firsthand it makes a huge difference in a project’s success. Literary agents know the markets, have inside contacts among publishers, […]
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A Novel Concept

  • On July 30, 2020
I’m currently working on the biggest project I’ve done in years: penning a fact-inspired tale of ghosts and demons set in Charleston, South Carolina. I’ll be chronicling the process here on my blog, covering everything from trying to land an agent (mine retired in 2016!) to compiling the text to marketing the finished product once […]
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The Power of ‘Could’

  • On June 30, 2020
I live just outside Charleston, South Carolina — easily one of the most beautiful places on earth. There are several gorgeous beaches within a 15 minute drive, where emerald green waters splash against glistening golden sands. The shores are especially stunning at sunrise, when the sky changes from purple to rose to tangerine before settling […]
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Wordless

  • On May 28, 2020
This entire month the pandemic and its mandated lockdown have dragged on, and to be honest, it’s got me down. I really don’t feel like writing about writing. I don’t’ feel like writing AT ALL. Even getting up and dressed each morning is becoming a chore. Sure, there are some hopeful signs that this terrible […]
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The Healing Pen

  • On April 29, 2020
Another month is ending, and the whole world is still in lockdown. Many have been unable to return to their jobs and are wondering how they’ll pay the bills. Others have been confined to their house or apartment for weeks now with no end in sight. Some have had to say goodbye to loved ones […]
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A Comforting Routine

  • On March 29, 2020
I’m writing this as the world is in the midst of the Corona Virus pandemic. Life as we all knew it is on hold as we endure restrictions on what we can do, where we can go, who we can see. The economy is in meltdown and social interaction is frozen. And no one can […]
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Write Word / Wrong Word!

  • On February 27, 2020
I’ve recently started a new writing project, and am surprised at how often I find myself stumbling upon ‘unusable’ words. What do I mean by that? I’m referring to words that have the correct technical definition of what I need them to say, but still won’t work because they carry ‘residue’ that will distract my […]
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Limping Along with a Crutch

  • On January 29, 2020
Getting your point across in writing is challenging enough, so don’t muddy your message with words and phrases you don’t need. These expressions, aptly called ‘crutch,’ ‘filler,’ or ‘clutter’ terms, not only water down your point, they can actually work against you by making your thoughts sound weak or indecisive. Examples of these culprits include: […]
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