Marcia Fowler's Blog (32)

Interview with a mom who recently published a book.

I'm always inspired by moms who find time to write, edit, and revise an entire book. Meredith Peters Hale accomplished all that as well as having her book published. I asked her to join my blog by answering a few questions. Thank you, Meredith!

What inspired you to write this book?

As I admit in the introduction to Mommy A to Z, this was never the book I envisioned myself writing. In college I always dreamed I’d write some literary masterpiece, along the lines of…


Added by Marcia Fowler on June 23, 2014 at 8:04pm — No Comments

Can a Conference Cure Writer's Block?

Have you ever been in a writer's rut? If you're a freelancer, a novelist, a blogger or any other type of writer, I'm sure you have. One way to help boot the block is to head to a writer's conference or workshop. How can it help you?

You'll be surrounded by like minded people. What better way to spend a day or even weekend than by chatting with other writers? Okay, I'm sure one of you is answering with a better way, but not much better.

You'll learn something new to try out in…


Added by Marcia Fowler on May 19, 2014 at 7:06pm — No Comments

How to Be a Guest Blogger

Ever consider writing a post for someone else's blog? It can be fun, educational and helpful to you when you share your writing with another blogger. How do you start?

1. Make sure you're comfortable having your writing critiqued and tweaked. The host of the blog might want to some change wording, grammar and style in order to fit his or her style of blog.

2. Click on PAGES on your blog and create a new page to advertise your writing services. Information to…


Added by Marcia Fowler on May 6, 2014 at 12:17pm — No Comments

Hosting a Guest Writer on your Blog

Are you looking to share more topics with your blog readers but aren't sure what to write about? Would you like to have a post on one topic that isn't your specialty, but you know your audience would appreciate reading about it. Hosting a guest blog writer might be right for you.

Benefits of having a guest writer:

Guests contribute a different point of view which can enliven your blog

Guests can stir up ideas for you to write about in the future

Guests can invite…


Added by Marcia Fowler on April 27, 2014 at 8:33am — No Comments

Ending Your Blog With a Question?

There's a blog I follow that ends each post with a question. At first, I enjoyed just reading the question. But as I keep following, I realized how much fun it is to think about the question and post a response. And if I don't have enough time to respond, I at least think about the question.

The writer of the blog is a fellow mom-blogger, Lauren. She relates a circumstance in her life to research she finds then posts…


Added by Marcia Fowler on April 10, 2014 at 5:10pm — No Comments

Who's Your Audience? Blogging Tips

You've probably heard it before: Know your audience.

You might think it's obvious. Your readers are moms, bloggers, or fill-in-the-blank. How much more do you need to know about them?

Being a busy mom, you may not have time to research and learn a lot about your audience. So instead, you just write for everyone. But if you want to maintain and grow your readership, you might consider knowing even more about them.

One way to think of blogging is picturing it like a book…


Added by Marcia Fowler on March 30, 2014 at 6:21pm — No Comments

Online Writing Classes and Critique

Thinking of improving your writing with an online class or critique services?

Within the past year, I've enrolled in two separate classes and recently used a critique service. Two of the three services were well worth the cost. The other, was not.

I felt the first class I took, writing non-fiction, wasn't worth the $175.00. I know, I was crazy to pay the price but when you're a mom stuck at home and can't get out to take a class, you'll pay almost anything.

Read more at…


Added by Marcia Fowler on March 23, 2014 at 2:04pm — No Comments

Create Tension in your Writing

Having trouble creating tension between your characters? I am. Thankfully, Linda Crotta-Brennan, a friend of mine who also happens to be an awarding winning author, suggested I read Frog and Toad are Friends, by Arnold Lobel, as an example.

Frog and Toad are best friends, yet they are opposites in many ways. These differences create the perfect tension for a book. Lobel shows us how Frog is much happier than Toad. On the first day of spring, Frog is excited and runs to his friend's…


Added by Marcia Fowler on March 17, 2014 at 1:27pm — No Comments

Finished a Rough Draft?

Have you finished a rough draft of a book?

I recently finished a rough draft of chapter book for children. What a relief I felt. I finally know where the story is going, who’s in it and what happens. At least I thought I did.

But now I’m on the second draft. Working on this draft is like rearranging furniture in your house; Furniture that doesn’t all match. Maybe some is left over from your single days, some is handed down from ancestors and some acquired from marriage. At…


Added by Marcia Fowler on March 10, 2014 at 8:46pm — No Comments

Read my, Reject a Hit, in Writer's Digest

Tired of reading the book, Goodnight Moon? I know I am.

We have many copies at our house: paper back, soft cover, board book, bigger board book, and a copy with a stuffed mouse. It's a classic which makes it a perfect book for Reject a Hit in Writer's Digest.

It's a fun type of article to write. You, the writer, pretend you're an editor rejecting a hit. It can be an adult book or children's book. I rejected, Goodnight Moon.

Here's the…


Added by Marcia Fowler on February 19, 2014 at 8:00pm — 2 Comments

Feb. Writing Challenge: Week 3

Stop what you're doing and listen. What do you hear?

I hear the loud humming of snow blowers, scratching sounds of shovels, and my son coughing. If you watched yesterday's weather report, you'll guess I live on the east coast.

By showing you with one of the 5 senses instead of writing, I live in Rhode Island, you were able to figure it out. As writers, we can rely on our readers having a lifetime of stored information. As writers, we need to tap into that information to help…


Added by Marcia Fowler on February 16, 2014 at 9:30am — No Comments

Week 2 Writing Challenge

Want to help readers connect to your writing? Breathe deeply and describe what you smell.

Think your writing doesn't include different scents? Think again.

  • If you blog about cooking, describe the scent of your latest lasagne or soup
  • If you writing fiction and a baby is in the story, write about the odor of dirty diapers. Every parent will immediately connect with that.
  • What if you write about nature? Northerners who have a yard filled with snow and ice…

Added by Marcia Fowler on February 9, 2014 at 5:00pm — No Comments

February Writing Challenge: week 1

Using the 5 senses in your writing helps your reader connect with you and your characters. It helps your readers feel like they're living your story, rather than just looking at it from the outside.

Thinking about how to add descriptions using senses can be a lot of fun. For example, instead of writing the sea water was salty, say, Rose spit the sea water out. "Yuck, that tastes worse than pickle juice."

To read more, go to…


Added by Marcia Fowler on February 2, 2014 at 1:57pm — No Comments

Business/Life Coach Gives Advice: Guest Blogger, Paige Ritchie

Like all busy moms, I can easily procrastinate and spend time scrubbing the floors like Cinderella rather than get myself to the Ball and dance, or in my case, getting myself to my computer and write.

I asked Paige Ritchie, Business and Life Coach, for some advice on how to stay focused. Here's what she has to suggest. Thanks Paige!

You're welcome, Marcia.

It’s often hard to focus on writing when the kids are running…


Added by Marcia Fowler on January 30, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

Subplots. I Just Can't Write One

I know subplots are vital to fiction, but I just can't write one.

It's not for lack of trying. I've tried a bunch of ideas but none have worked. I just can't figure out how to make a subplot work in my chapter book . I've searched through books about writing, articles about writing, read other chapter books to learn about how other authors write subplots but I still can't grasp how to weave one into my story. Without a subplot, my book is only about 5 chapters long.

For any of…


Added by Marcia Fowler on January 23, 2014 at 9:30am — No Comments

TED and Writers

If you're a TED fan, you may have already seen this. But if not, it's worth a 5 minute break to listen to children's author, Kate Messner, give hints on creating a fictional world.

Ted-Ed Kate Messner

Happy Writing,


Added by Marcia Fowler on January 19, 2014 at 2:21pm — No Comments

Deleting Chapters, On Purpose

Have you ever purposely deleted chapters you've written? It's hard to do. All that time you've spent writing; writing stuff that's so ridiculous even you cringe when you read it. But you still hold on to it, like those sweaters from twelve years ago that sit at the bottom of your closet.

Read more at Busymomswrite


Added by Marcia Fowler on January 17, 2014 at 11:13am — No Comments

Plot and Structure for Writers

I love reading about writing almost as much as I love writing.

Plot and Structure, by James Scott Bell, is the latest writing book I've read late into the night (am I the only one who thinks writing books are page turners?)

Stretching the tension is what I'm currently working on with my chapter book. Bell uses the movie, Psycho, as an example of how to stretch tension, specifically the scene where Vera Miles walks towards the house and the movie audience…


Added by Marcia Fowler on January 13, 2014 at 10:19am — No Comments

Netflix, It's an Opportunity, not a Problem

These past two weeks started out strong with writing. I stuck to my Write a Mile challenge and jotted down my increasing distance.

But then the deep freeze got to me. Staying under warm covers rather than waking before dawn to a freezing house, won. Having missed a few mornings of writing, I figured I'd resort to the next best step; put my pre-school aged son in front of a dvd after lunch and work on my story. But that's where the problem, or opportunity, says my husband who doesn't…


Added by Marcia Fowler on January 8, 2014 at 8:30pm — 2 Comments

Heatlhy Eating for Writers/Moms

As much as I try to eat the right foods, it's much too easy to fuel up on a quick cup of coffee to start my early morning of writing. I write from 5:15ish-6am and if I have my first cup that early I find I'm having a second or third cup by the time my day as a mom starts. Not a healthy way to start a day.

So I asked Christine Ardigo, a registered dietician, for some advice. Here's her guest post. Thanks, Christine!

Head to …


Added by Marcia Fowler on January 6, 2014 at 1:16pm — No Comments

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