Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Question for You

What reward do you get from writing?

I know my own answer to this, but I’d like to hear yours. Why do you write? What benefit do you derive from writing? And also, if no one ever read a word you wrote, would you keep writing?

I’m eager to hear your thoughts on this.

Zeus has a Blog

Now how did that happen?

Writing Dialogue

Here’s the scene: Janice likes to talk to her plants. She is convinced that it makes them thrive. Her husband, Stan, not only thinks this is a crazy idea, but he also finds it extremely annoying. It’s Saturday morning, and Janice has the watering can in hand. Bring us into this scene by showing their interaction. Make it entertaining rather than just a lot of bickering.

Can You Tell a Story Using Only Verbs?

Walking, talking, sharing. 

Interrupted!  Burbling, burbling, burbling. Gesturing. 

Walking, talking, sharing. 

Interrupted! Giggling.  Nodding.  Laughing.  Burbling.

Stopped.  Scowled.  Reversed.  Strode.  Relieved.  Freed!

Confused.  Blinking.  Watching.  Considering.  Running.  Catching.  Apologizing.

Pausing.  Grabbing.  Sneering.  Inhaling.  Exhaling.  Growling.  Crowing!

Stopping.  Scowling.  Re-examining.  Departing!

Galumphs Away!

In an effort to provide a helpful headslap, I offer you this setup:


Smelly old socks

A crack in the sidewalk

Rowboat oars

The countdown

Your job, should you choose to accept, is to make a story out of these elements and to delight us all.

Action Needed

Here’s some boring, banal “telling” that needs work.

Eloise drank too much. She loved the tinkle of ice cubes in her rocks glass filled with bourbon. She knew she was alienating the one daughter who still lived at home, but Eloise needed the pleasure that drinking brought. Her life hadn’t turned out the way she’d hoped. It made her mad.

Show us what’s going on here instead of telling us.

The Hardest Part

What is the hardest thing you have to face when you sit down to write?

Once I know some of your answers, I will happily give you some challenges that guide you right into the belly of your particular beast.

Good News for Past “Beginning Writers Workshop” Participants

As of today, the content of the Ed2Go online course I taught between 2004 -2017 is now available–and a bit upgraded–in paperback form. You can find it at with the title, “Beginning Writer’s Workbook.”

When I stopped teaching the course online, I kept the rights to the curriculum I had written. This workbook has taken the place of the course. I enjoyed teaching you all for many years, but in the end, the sessions got too big for me, and finding really good help was difficult.

I’m very excited to have the lessons available once more. I hope you’ll take a look!

Night Ride

The two-lane highway is dark at 11:30 p.m. on a Sunday in November.  Low piles of snow line the dry road, shining in the headlights, still clean though two days old.  They still have 70 miles to go, and only a few cars and pickups appear at random intervals.  The driver puts in a CD, chosen blindly in the dark, turning out to be a compilation made by a friend over 20 years past.  Only 60 miles to go.  Diet coke barely holds off numbing fatigue. 

Your challenge: Who’s driving?

I Pressed My Nose Up Against the Window

Inside. That’s exactly where I wanted to be. If I could have dissolved the glass and stepped inside, I would have made a dream come true. Here’s what I saw….