The huge storm that had us filling buckets of water and getting portable heaters for when we lost power didn’t live up to expectations. Thank goodness.

Though everywhere around us was hit hard, we just got a normal winter storm that left a few inches of ice-covered snow.

This is what the surrounding area looks like:nwff-twitter-and-blog-pic-temporary


Not too long ago I talked about writer’s block and how I had it though it’s not normally a problem with me.

That time with writer’s block taught me something. That sometimes there’s a reason your mind refuses to go further and your imagination stops working.

When I finally decided I couldn’t continue with the story as I’d outlined it and looked for another way around the block, everything became easy and the writing just flowed.

Maybe because the way I’d originally seen the story was wrong and the new, different way was the way it should have been all along.

So maybe when writer’s block strikes we should stop fretting and pay attention. Because maybe — just maybe — it’s trying to tell us something and we should listen.


I looked at the thermometer this morning and considered going into a song and dance routine. Because it was thirty-two degrees. It was up to freezing. This is important because two days ago it was minus thirty-four degrees. That’s cold. Very cold. So cold I didn’t attend church. Or go outside at all.

Two days was all it took to change from truly miserable cold (it was also windy, which makes going outside dangerous) to winter weather with beautiful white snow that’s perfect for making snow angels. Just two days.

Writing is like that. One day a writer can be in the depths of depression because inspiration won’t come and all that appears on the page is drivel.

But wait a while. Just wait an hour or so — or a day or two — and that can all change and that drivel can turn into inspiration. Or, put another way, minus thirty-four degrees can turn into a balmy and beautiful winter day.

So just wait. Inspiration will come.


I read a Quora question recently. It was first published a year or so ago, then updated recently.

The question was what every aspiring writer should know and I liked the best answer. The one up-voted to the top of the answers:

Here is the link:    If you don’t feel like following the link, I’ll paraphrase:

Put the seat of your pants in the seat of a chair for eight hours a day, five days a week. Do this in a quiet place where you can concentrate on writing and only writing. Because being a writer is a job and, just like any other job, requires a commitment of time and energy and the ability to focus on what you are doing.

When you are a professional writer and no longer an aspiring one, then you can write  however you wish, whenever you wish, in whatever way you wish. Until then, follow the rules.


I’ve gone back to writing short fiction because I love it and, more to the point, because there seems to actually still be a market out there for short fiction.

However —  just in case I’m wrong about that market existing — I’m also thinking ahead about putting those short stories together in an anthology and selling them in book form.

There’s always a way for a writer to get his/her work out there!


Chris the Story Reading Ape 


Ah hah! I now know that Christ, the story-reading ape is male. I’ve always wondered whether ‘Chris’ was short for Christopher or Christine. Or simply Chris, whether male or female.

I once spoke with a novel marketing person who suggested that I come up with a pen name that could be either male or female because what I write is more often written by men than women. Then she further suggested that the name should begin with a letter in the first half of the alphabet and be short and simple with connotations that are positive. It was a marketing thing, she said.

I spent a lot of agonizing time trying to come up with a name that fit all of her criteria. And, eventually, gave up. So I’m still Florence Witkop.