Caressing the Muse

  • Who are you?

    Who Are You?

    A well-honed voice shines through no matter what you write. Fiction, narrative nonfiction, journalism, poetry, and marketing materials all reveal a sense of the writer. Admittedly, some writers learn to mask their voices in order to produce certain kinds of writing—marketers make themselves sound like their clients, journalists excise their biases, and ghostwriters echo their […]

  • Once upon a time...

    How to Write a Short Story in 10 Steps

    1) Select a Notebook. Pick a notebook that can hold your entire story. The notebook must be clean of previous writing. Hardbound notebooks are preferable, but they should also be easy to keep open to your current page. Notebooks with built-in bookmarks are especially effective. 2) Select a Reliable Pen. The pen should write cleanly […]

  • I'm ending my detour!

    Ending My Hiatus

    I’ve been on an unofficial hiatus for almost a year now, but it’s time for that to end. Without going into too many details, I have experienced several health-related setbacks over the last year. When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I handled the changes in my life and energy levels fairly well. As incidents […]

  • Photographer

    Get With the Picture!

    As a marketer, I’ve known for a long time that people prefer content with pictures than content that is just a long column of text. Still, because I’m not a picture person, I resisted using pictures regularly in my own content for many years. Then, I hired a digital marketing firm, Robb Digital Marketing, and […]

  • Know When to Quit

    When Do You Quit?

    I’m not a quitter by nature. I’ve experienced some pretty difficult trials and I’ve fueled (or reclaimed) my motivation despite severe challenges. Even so, I know there are times we must stop, change tactics, reverse course, or just plain ol’ give up. A rough draft is an experiment. It’s a test to see if a […]

  • Trailer Time: Know Your Audience

    In my search for a suitable book trailer, I found a trailer that had been up for five days and had only four views. I wanted to see if I could figure out why. The first thing I noticed was that the cover art used as the backdrop in this trailer is both beautiful and […]

  • Gears and Cogs

    Interweaving Your Marketing Techniques

    The practical application of marketing often requires you to weave multiple techniques together simultaneously. Copywriting and graphic design are interwoven with social media marketing. Copywriting and videography are interwoven with book trailers. Content marketing and sales funnels are interwoven with self-publication. In the real world, very few marketing techniques are applied on their own. One […]

  • Fantasy

    Weighing Dreams, Principles, and Practical Realties

    This post is probably a bit premature, but dreams are like that. When I first started getting into fantasy novels written for adults (not to be confused with the connotations of “adult” fantasy fiction), I gravitated towards books published by Tor. It seemed that all the new books that I really loved were published by […]

  • Trailer Time: In Motion

    A book trailer combines visual and auditory stimuli to create a more complete experience than a website or flyer can offer. One of the visual stimuli that are available is motion, usually achieved through a motion picture. Please note that this motion is usually within the picture. Little movements at high speeds accumulate to create […]

  • Crossover Appeal

    Nurturing Crossover Appeal Without Losing Your Base

    When specialize in two or more different topics, it can be difficult to create a strong enough platform base for each of your specialties. The messages that increase your base on one topic can seemingly erode your base on another. If you want to maximize the impact of your platform(s), then you want to nurture […]

  • Chessboard

    Overcoming Characterization Challenges

    One thing that has long fascinated me is the idea of fate. According to many religious and cultural premises, each with their own unique twists, there are those of us who are fated to deal with extraordinary challenges and to accomplish extraordinary things. In the stories we tell, these people are often heroes with exceptional […]

  • Trailer Time: A Merging of Worlds

    I’ve wanted to write fantasy fiction since I was a child. But the first book I wrote was a work of nonfiction—a work of purpose and a work of advocacy. This trailer points to a book that merges the two. I want to love this trailer. I want to try this book. But despite my […]