Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I'm sure you're aware of the old adage "Write what you know." And that's so true. But how can you write about a world that doesn't exist because you made it up? Or about technology that's far into the future? Can someone who's never lost a loved one write about loss?

However, we have imaginations. We can do research. Back in the day, that meant visiting a library. Hopefully, a really good library. Now we have the wonder of the Internet. There's a caution there there though. Not everything is accurate, so be sure to look for collaboration from other sites.

When it's possible, we might be able to visit a location, when it's real. I was able to do that for Lewistown, Montana, a location that places an important role in both A Change of Plans and in Torn Canvas. I'm really glad we did because we found out that the information available online didn't account for some wrong assumptions I'd made. Perhaps it was nothing to the general reader, but when writing about a real place, I prefer to make it as authentic as possible. Or you'll hear about it.

I promise you. O_o

The following photos are from a lovely bed and breakfast that we stayed in and was the inspiration for the one Jori stays in while visiting the town in Torn Canvas.

The town:

Fergus County Courthouse (Lewistown is the county seat):

Beautiful view:

But we cannot always visit a place. So what are you favorite a place. I love Google Earth. I've used it to follow roads in American Samoa, northern Washington State, and the island of Kaua'i. Want a good look at a real location? Want to "walk" the streets, so the speak? It's about as good an option right now as is available.

What are your favorite research resources?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Call For Submissions

Spots are available for new (never published before) novellas to be a part of our next anthology Sweet & Sassy Anthology releasing September 2016. 

The theme is Extreme Weather (as a meaningful part of the story, not just a mention) and you must include a strong, clean romance element. (No erotica please.) 

To submit, you'll need 
•A full synopsis (tell all the plot points from beginning to end, including the ending) 
•The first chapter of your story. 
•Email to 2anthologies@gmail.com by March 1st.
The purpose of this anthology is to help provide more exposure for the authors included.

Those who are chosen for the anthology will need to pay $15.00 for cover and formatting and $25 for promotions, agree to adhere to the schedule and word counts, critique for all members of the group, and pay for their own story to be professionally line edited prior to final submission. All other deadlines will be emailed out to those who are chosen.

We are looking forward to reading your stories! 


March 1: Submission of application (full synopsis and first chapter)
April 1: Notification to successful applicants
On or before June 30: Draft (17,000-20,000 word limit) sent to group for critiques
On or before July 15: Critiques back to all other authors
On or before Aug 15: Professionally line edited final draft due

Feel free to email, FB or comment any questions you may have. :)

Other Upcoming Anthology Themes:
  • April 2016: Parks
  • Winter/Holiday/Christmas Stories
  • Europe
  • Historical 
Watch for future announcements!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


The spring retreat will be held

 April 14-17, 2016 in Heber, Utah

How to sign up for this retreat: 

FYI: All meals are included AND there will be mini-workshops, including classes on brainstorming and Save the Cat Beats. Also, there will be an intensive class to create ebook files out of a manuscript to upload to retail sites. This class will require attendees to have requisite computer skills to manage formatting directions. 

See pics of the awesome accommodations for the retreat here. Sign ups open on Saturday, November 14th at 8am MST. NO EARLIER.

1. Pick which bed type/price you would like (see below)

2. Send an email to iWriteNetwork@gmail.com with:
    a) your first and second choices for bed preferences
    b) the email address of the PayPal account you would like to have billed
    c) the name your PayPal account is under 
    d) your author name
    e) if you would like to make 1 full payment or split the cost into 3 payments.
    f) add a roommate name if you have made plans to share a queen bed with someone, OR a name if you would like to be in the same room with someone. We will try to honor as many of these requests as possible.
    g) if you are reserving two spots in one queen bed, tell us

3. We will send you a confirmation email and a link to pay through Paypal- (You may choose to split your payment into three and send one-third immediately, the second third on Jan. 15th and the last third on Feb. 15th. You must pay in full by Feb. 15th.) We must have your initial payment within one hour of receiving your confirmation email or your spot will be given to the next person in line.

NO REFUNDS-thank you. (You can, however transfer your bed reservation to someone else if you discover you are unable to attend.)

The bed options:  If you are planning to choose a queen or a king bed, you might want to find someone to be your roomie (if you care who is in the bed with you.) Otherwise choose one of the single bed options.

*There are only beds. There are no air mattresses in this cabin
**Anything not highlighted is available and are listed as prices for each occupant
***Anything highlighted in red is reserved/paid for
****Queens are $175 each if you share with someone else, or $300 if you don’t want to share.    

Choose the type of bed you’d like:
Shared-King 2 spots; $350 each
1    2

Shared-Queen 16 spots; $175 each
*if you would like to have a queen to yourself the price is $300
1    2    4    4    5
6    7    8    9    10
11   12   13   14   15   16

Upper Bunk 9 spots; $150 each
1    2    3    4    5   
6    7    8    9

Lower Bunk 9 spots; $200
1    2      4    5   
6    7    8    9
We are so excited to have you join us!!!

Have questions or want to register? 

Email us-

*group size is limited to 25

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

When There's No Motivation ...

Like a lot of people, I used to think I had to be in the mood to write in order to create anything good. And that's true, to a certain extent - your most poetic or heartfelt words will come when you're caught up in the moment. However, there's quite a lot you can do when you're not "feeling" it, and sometimes doing those things can help spark the mojo to life.

1. Research is a necessary writing-related task that doesn't require "the muse."

2. You can look at covers in your genre and get ideas for yours.

3. You can outline the next couple of scenes.

4. You can write a bare-bones draft of a scene and come back and add the heartfelt bits later.

5. You can proofread segments you wrote previously.

See - there's still all kinds of important writing work you can do even when the muse isn't speaking to you. The important thing is to keep forging ahead - she'll come back. I promise.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

What is the Theme of your Story?

My friend RaShelle (who is awesome sauce) posted a link to a blog that discussed the three steps to finding the theme of your story. RaShelle's comment about the post really caught my eye.

"Love this. heart emoticon Knowing the theme of your 

story is an immense help during the writing process." -Rashelle Workman  (to see the original FB post and link to the article click HERE)

Just for the record, I totally agree!

I thought the article pointed out a lot of great information.

My favorite line from the article was this: The best novels and the most life-changing memoirs you will ever read are the ones that help you discover a truth about the human condition.

So, what is theme in relation to stories?
  • The underlying message of the story or the main idea.
  • What the story means.
  • It is a belief or idea that goes beyond culture and is universal, touching on the human experience.
I like to sum it up with this statement: The theme of a story is the lesson or message about life that is learned from a story.

Basically, if you know what your story is about, what its meaning is, and what the lesson is, you know your theme. (Need more tips? Click here)

Need examples of themes? Click here.