Deb Kerry’s Best Writing Advice: Just Finish the Damn Book

Writing advice is about as hard to come by as mud in the springtime. These days, writing books, writing sites, blogs, tweets, seminars, and classes are a dime a dozen. You can find them online, at your community college, maybe even free at the library. Don’t get me wrong – I think all of these things (or at least most of them) are valuable. But today’s topic is supposed to…

Monday, April 15, 2013

I’m a Reject, You’re a Reject, and Why This is Okay

Rejection sucks. Big time. I’m pretty sure we can all agree on that. But the truth is, nobody gets through this life without experiencing it somewhere along the way, no matter how rich or beautiful or talented you might happen to be. Everybody’s been there. Some other kid gets the part you wanted in the school play. Another candidate is selected for the job. The person you are sure is…

Monday, April 8, 2013

Something’s Fishy with Random Penguin

When Susan took over on Monday for the big Amazon Sponsorship Announcement, Random Penguin got all excited. (No, he doesn’t care much about publishing and books. For him, Amazon=river=fish. Random Penguin likes fish). So he requested permission to show off some of his fish pictures. (Don’t ask me how he made this request. We’re not going to discuss the conversations I have with RP.) If you’ve ever had occasion to…

Thursday, April 4, 2013

In Which Deb Kerry Doesn’t Wait to Win

I inherited this little jug from my grandmother. I like it because it has history. I’m not so fond of the saying painted on it. “He who waits wins.” Which sounds a lot like that other one that gets thrown around a lot, “Good things come to those who wait.” There’s often a lot of truth to be found in the old adages. In this case, I happen to disagree….

Monday, March 25, 2013

Deb Kerry is fond of writing conflict

Dialogue. Done right, it makes characters and story come alive. Done wrong, it’s clunky and awkward and sounds contrived and discordant. It can move plot and character along, or mire it down in the mud. Some authors are very good at writing conversations, and others not so much. I’ve read some great books – books where most of the writing could even be called brilliant – but the dialogue just sounded…

Monday, March 18, 2013

Deb Kerry and the Green Association Game

Sometimes, in the middle of a conversation, people look at me and ask, “How on earth did you get to that topic?” And I’m equally surprised by their inability to follow my logic. It’s taken me awhile to understand that not everybody’s brain flips into the Word Association Game at the drop of an interesting word or turn of phrase. Throw a word out there and my brain chases it…

Monday, March 11, 2013

Deb Kerry Has Decision Fatigue

This week’s topic here at the Ball is Deb’s Choice. I’m pretty sure this idea was meant to be in the spirit of freedom and fun, as in, “Yay!! No boundaries! No limits! I’m free!!” My response was a little more on the groaning side of things. The fact is, I’m not crazy about making decisions. I mean, it’s great to have wide open choices, so long as I’m not…

Monday, March 4, 2013

Deb Kerry Believes that For Every Fault There is a Strength

Bad habits. Yep, I have them in abundance. But instead of telling you all about them, I’m going to put my Kerry-as-Mental-Health-Counselor spin on this week’s topic. More often than not, when somebody comes in to see me for counseling – whether they are dealing with anxiety or depression or childhood trauma or whatever – a large portion of the work we do relates to self talk and self thought….

Monday, February 25, 2013

Deb Kerry’s Thoughts on Revision, with an Outtake from BETWEEN

Revision and I have a love hate relationship. I love the parts where I get to deepen characters, add details, and smooth words. I hate it when I have to cut. Sometimes the cutting is not so very bad – a piece of gratuitous writing, a bit of unnecessary drivel, even a deadbeat scene that is slowing down the action. But sometimes cutting feels more like severing a limb. BETWEEN…

Monday, February 18, 2013

Penguin Pie

It is food and cooking week here at the Ball, and I’ve enlisted Random Penguin to help me share the pie crust recipe handed down to me by my very busy mother. I should make it clear that I am not an Iron Chef type cook. My kitchen utensils are pretty much limited to a wooden spoon and a can opener. I also don’t have time these days to putter…

Monday, February 11, 2013