The creative Kickstart. The jolt of caffeine your story needs.


 This past weekend my critique group met for an all-day work session. We spent the morning learning about how to use Word to create teaser images that include a punchy quote from your book. When I made my first teaser, I followed some directions on another author’s blog post that explained how to make your own cover, but I instead made a teaser (like this one).

An abundance of roses - date


If you’d like to follow those directions, the original post can be found here:

Once our training session was over, we were able to focus on the fun part– brainstorming future writing projects!


The fun part!!!

Brainstorming is like playing pretend, grownup style! Whoever is stuck or needs help will share the plot of her story and then explain where the problem or stumbling block lies. At that point, our critique partners become our brainstorming partners start tossing out possible solutions. The first ones don’t usually work because they don’t mesh well with the plot or because the solution is something the character wouldn’t do. But eventually the right solution comes along, and Pow! It’s awesome!

One of our members is nearly done with the first novel for a new series and we focused on a story line for her next one. When we first started talking she told us about a story she had planned for a standalone book, but after some talking, we suggested she use it as her second book in her series. It fits in beautifully and will only require a couple of very small changes in her current book. The great news is that she’s already excited about writing the book (in fact, she’s dying to start working on it). She’s thrilled with her concept. Yay!

We also worked on developing a story line I’m considering for a new series. It will be a while until I’ll be able to turn it into a reality, but I’m excited about it and can’t wait to start working on it.

Along those lines, my current book is coming along nicely. I’m working on my own last round of edits before I send it off to my beta readers for review.

Look for “Once Upon a Spy” to come out later this year.