I’m happy to report that my nervous twitch has subsided and I’m safely returned from beautiful British Columbia (and yes, I had a great time at my Canadian conference). This has been a week of really focusing what I have to say in my writing, and looking at my stories with the eyes of someone intent to slash out needless words. Dangerous work, when you think about it, but wonderfully helpful (just save a version of your draft before you start hacking it!).

Here are my Friday Five thoughts—

1. Standing like you’re king/queen of the world, makes you feel like you really are. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t tried it. Lifting my chest, pushing back my shoulders, standing with feet placed apart in a powerful stance, actually lifts my confidence. Try it before your next interview or presentation and I dare you to tell me it didn’t help.

2. Do what you love…because you love it for a reason. When I was six-years-old, I illustrated adventure stories full of princesses going on adventures, getting kidnapped, throwing lavish parties, and marrying dashing princes (not necessarily in that order). I put all the exciting stuff into my stories and I loved what I did. Those stories weren’t brilliant, but they allowed me to love my work, and that’s what watered the writing and dreaming seed that its a flourishing tree today.

3. Trusting yourself is essential in creativity. I forget this one all the time. Much of my best work has risen from the moments I stopped caring whether I was following the steps in the right order or if I was keeping to my super productive writing schedule. Sometimes, when you let your brain step free of the mold, it starts talking to you like its volume got bumped up.

4. Going out of your comfort zone lets you grow faster.  I was strung out and not sleeping well when I went to the Surrey International Writer’s Conference last weekend. And yet…I made more new friends that I usually do in three months, got a fangirl photo with one of my heroines (yes, it’s in this post!), and joked with people I’d normally have been too shy to engage—it was something about that lack of comfort that made me brave.

5. I’m giving you two photos this week because they’re related, and because Halloween’s going to come before next Friday. The first is me and Jane Espensen, who’s written for Joss Whedon’s shows, including Buffy and Firefly (I’m a very big fan). The second is my Firefly-inspired pumpkin carving.

Me and Jane Espensen








My jack-o-lantern








P.S. If you haven’t entered my doodle contest, there’s still time! I want to see your costume! (And it seriously takes no more than 2-3 minutes to doodle something. See details here!)


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