Category Archives: submission

Are You Productive?

I once read a book called “The Productive Writer” by Sage Cohen. (The link should take you to my review on Goodreads.) Sometimes I remember that’s surely what I aspire to; to be a writer, and to be productive. And sometimes life gets in the way.

If you produce an email a day, does that make you a productive writer? If you read a hundred emails a day, are you a productive reader? (What if you only reply to one in a hundred?) And does collaborating with your spouse on resume-writing make you a productive editor?

What about seeing a book re-released? Does that make you un-productive since it was first removed from publication, or productive because it’s back? Or is productive simply a state of mind. I will call myself productive. I will rejoice in what I’ve produced. And I will…


This month has seen the re-release of my “last” two Five-Minute Bible-Story books (11th and 12th in the series), and I’m very proud of them, even if the color versions are awaiting release, and the next book in the series  merely fills me with stories and no time to write . I will make my state of mind productive and I’ll claim that yes,


Plus I just updated my website to include links to the new books. That’s “productive” isn’t it, even if I have’t updated it yet to include just one book on a page… And…

I’ve almost finished editing the print version of “Where Love Begins” for Donna Fletcher Crow, author of delightfully British mysteries and gentle romances. I shall rejoice in the fact that…


I’ve almost finished printing out the paperwork for this weekend’s Writers’ Mill meeting. And… DRUMROLL! … I have actually written something/produced a whole piece of writing. It’s a story I hope my Writers’ Mill colleagues will critique for me, so I can submit it to the Northwest Independent Writers Association for their anthology.


It’s another Tale of Hemlock, and I really hope it works because, as the doubts creep in, as I wonder if I’m productive after all, and as that state of mind falls prey to states of  reality…

  • I’d love to find homes for the Hemlock series (maybe rewriting it comes first).
  • I’d love to write more Five-Minute Bible-Stories.
  • I’d love to see A Nose for Adventure come out (it’s slowly climbing the list with Linkville Press).
  • I’d love to write more novels.
  • I’d love to have 48 hours in a day.
  • And I’d love to stay awake!

But am I productive? Are you? And what’s your state of mind?


Peter’s Promise
Print (B&W)


Paul’s Purpose
Print (B&W)


Just Write

Our local writing contest is approaching its deadline. But what if, like me, you’re not ready, and time moves faster than your fingers on the keys. Here’s the advice I sent out to the group – if you find it useful, enjoy!bottle

What to do if the deadline looms and you haven’t finished your writing…

  1. If you’ve already started, but the piece isn’t ready to submit (to Writers’ Mill, or to any other contest):
    1. Turn short into long: Pick your favorite scene. Expand on it. Polish it. Make sure it has a beginning, middle and end (as all scenes should) and then submit it.
    2. Turn long into short:
      1. Pick a suitable chapter break and submit a single chapter. Leave your readers begging for more, or
      2. Cut, cut, cut, until your start and your finish, both beautifully polished, matched up in the middle perfectly.
    3. Edit the life into it: Take your perfect beginning – perhaps it’s the only bit you’ve written – and expand on it, edit it, polish it, until it’s so perfect everyone will demand to know what happens next.
  2. If you haven’t started yet but had an idea:
    1. Write the beginning and submit that
    2. Write the synopsis and submit that
    3. Just get one scene written – anything’s better than nothing.
  3. If you haven’t started yet and didn’t have an idea: Let’s assume you have a prompt, say, a message in a bottle…
    1. Find a bottle lying around your abode
    2. Think of a message you’d like to receive
    3. Write short – a poem, a one-line zinger, a two-paragraph essay, whatever….

Just write.