Recent Posts



Describing feelings

Via BoingBoing I found a Lifehacker post about a nifty vocabulary tool called "Wheel of Feelings," which is being widely attributed to a teacher named Kaitlin Robb. The link back to her (I assume) WordPress site requires a WordPress login, and I don't have that, so if you want to dig further, that's up to you. It's an interesting idea. Accurately describing feelings is often hard for us when we're talking about ourselves. And it can be hard for writers, too. It's important to change-up the words you use from time-to-time, too. Describing a character as "sad" over and over isn't as good as switching to some more specific versions of that emotion: lonely, bored, vulnerable, powerless... Now...

Starting the audiobook

I've done a bit of voice work over the years -- almost entirely industrial stuff like on-hold prompts, tutorials, narration for business video. I've also recorded poems and stories for friends and family. It's fun. At one time (when I was much younger) I thought I might get into some kind of DJ gig or voice acting (as I have a face made for radio). And I always knew that if there would be an audio version of The Side Ways, I'd record it myself. I've worked with sound software enough to make the recording and editing pretty easy. I'm not sure how to do podcasting, yet. I don't think it's hard, but it isn't something I feel like I need to figure out today. On the other hand, I was bored and ti

What age reader will enjoy "The Side Ways?"

I've been getting this question a lot. So I figured a post wouldn't hurt. Short answer: it's intended to be appropriate as a YA (Young Adult) book in terms of content. In terms of vocabulary, it's going to be on the older side. It's not meant to be difficult... but I mostly use the vocabulary that I'm comfortable with telling a story, and so I don't specifically alter word-choice for specific grades-or-below. In my mind, as I wrote, the book was always being read by someone very similar to Kendra, the main character: a clever, precocious 15-year-old. Since it's fantasy, a couple parents have basically asked, "If my kid can read the 'Harry Potter' books, will they do OK with these?" The answe


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