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[SWP: Behind the Book] American Family by Catherine Marshall-Smith

Posted by Catherine Marshall-Smith on February 22, 2017 at 5:11pm 0 Comments

            I didn’t write American Family; it burst from my chest like the alien in the movie by the same name starring Sigourney Weaver. It was also produced by the clash of politics, law and faith that swirled around LGBTQ rights at the beginning of the millennium.

            American Family began writing itself years before I even knew I was going to write it. When I try to figure out when my novel began, a series of headlines and snippets of conversations flash through my mind. I remember being told a story by a conservative Christian woman about another woman who was awarded custody of her own daughter after a divorce and was raising the girl with her lesbian partner.  The woman relating the story added, “I’m sorry, I have a problem with that.” She later had two signs in her yard supporting Proposition 22, which temporarily put into California law in 2000 that, “marriage was only lawful between a…


5 Creative Ways to Find More Time to Write

Posted by Kristin Bustamante on February 22, 2017 at 9:47am 0 Comments

The most challenging part about writing – especially for aspiring writers – is simply finding the time to do so. For those with an exhausting daily grind, the key to carving out those precious creative hours is scoping out the out of the ordinary times to do it. Here are five brilliantly creative ways to find more time to write – and trust us, you’ll want to add these to your schedule.


Make it a Date

Usually us writers view writing time as a luxury, not as a necessary daily activity. The greatest way to make that time often escapes our imaginations – make it a date.  We have date nights for our partners, family time with the kids and even carve out monthly dates for our in-laws – so why don’t create a few windows per month that you dedicate soley to writing? Use those dates and create the perfect writing setting of your dreams. Like a fall-scented candle. Brew coffee. Turn on any music that gets your creative juices flowing and make your writing time…


The 7 People It Takes to Write a Book

Posted by Kristin Bustamante on February 21, 2017 at 1:58pm 0 Comments

Let all us writers acknowledge one universal fact forever: Writing a book is not a one-man show; it takes a village.

While you may be the creative power behind every word of prose in your literary masterpiece, you likely weren’t alone in collecting inspiration. The support network – whether online or physical – is also an incredibly critical aspect of the writing process. No author is alone in perfecting their books or propelling them to publishing success. Here are the five people in your life that help you write your book – even if you don’t realize it.     


The Loved Ones

Face it: Without feeling the depth of love we do for our family, friends and dogs (the obsession is real), there would be no understanding of how to convey that endless love and devotion on pages. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to inject empathy, compassion, sadness, heartbreak or any emotion into the core of your characters. Thank love and those you love – they make you…


Creative Courage

Posted by Ellen T. McKnight on February 20, 2017 at 11:42am 0 Comments

I love to ski, but seem to come to it with more injuries every year. Right knee, upper back, right wrist, left foot. I got a cortisone shot in my heel this time, determined not to miss out. My sister puts it somewhere between crazy and brave. Poised above an icy run at the top of Jackson Hole, for the first time I hesitated, thinking of how disastrous a fall would be, wondering whether I’d lost my courage. If writing were a sport, I’d be even more covered with bruises. Does the rough and tumble of experience wear you out, or does it somehow set you free?

In writing, rejection is a constant. Think about what endless criticism does to a person. Does it build you up or drag you down? Of course, it drags you down. You have to look elsewhere to find reasons to believe. Experience can be a burden – you…


Community Blog

Good Morning!

Good morning on this sunny Monday. You know, fear is only as big as you make it. One of my cats is always bullying another. The cat runs whenever she sees her sister. But this morning, she walked right past her,…

Adorable Essentials Welcomes Girls To Ruffle Mania

Ruffle pants for girls is what they want at present and this trend might even carry on in the future. It is just amazing to see such a huge population vouching in favor of these kinds of pants. If you never knew I’d like to state the fact that even your simple jeans can be turned into a ruffle or a double ruffle…

Everything Happens For A Reason? Is this saying biblical or false? Let's see what the bible says!

Everything happens for a reason. You may have heard this saying before. 

Or maybe you have heard that God helps those who help themselves. 

Let me be truthful with you: These sayings are NOT found in the bible, the word of God. 

If we take the scripture that says, "And God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear," and just use that phrase, we miss the point of what the apostle Paul is trying to communicate here in the passage. 1…

Thought for the Day

The Thought for the Day comes from poet Laura Kasischke:



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