Archive for February, 2012

I’ve edited an anthology of short-shorts called:  “How I Met My Spouse”. It’s 42 different short stories of how real-life couples met. Cute, delightful, easy-reading. Just 99 CENTS! on Kindle. I edited this anthology and wrote 2 of the 42 stories myself. These are all short-shorts. If you are a Kindle premier member, you can get it for free! 

How I Met My Spouse


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My background in writing is nonfiction. I started out writing short stories about my ancestors so my daughter will know her family. Then I actually sold one of them to a Life Resources magazine. Soon, I sold a few more to Life Resources and then I sold a couple to other magazines, including Guideposts.

Then I got up the nerve to try a whole book. I wrote a memoir about my experiences teaching high school science in an inner-city school for at-risk students. What a wild ride that was! The writing came easy because there were so many dramatic conflicts that happened. Shootings, murders, abusive principals, etc. I joined a critique group that helped me to write about it.

I self-published my teaching memoir, “No Child Left Behind? The true story of a teacher’s quest” by Elizabeth Blake. I write nonfiction under Elizabeth Blake, and fiction under Beth Blake. I’ve learned a lot about writing and publishing doing that. I even was a finalist in a national book contest, the 2009 Premier Book Awards, memoir category.

Then I decided to turn my time to learning how to write fiction. Since I’ve always read romance, I knew I wanted to write a romance novel. I wrote one and called it “Shelter of Love” and had it critiqued by my group.

Finished, completely, reading Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. Was excellent. Had good advice on drills for learning. I recommend this book highly. ARM. Action, Reaction, More action (per James Scott Bell!!)
While critiquing someone else’s manuscript, I was able to apply the Hero’s Journey to it, to help her out with plot points. That’s another book I highly recommend for fiction authors.

I learned from my critique group (they’re so good!!) that when creating suspense, don’t have the character know something and keep the reader guessing. This is annoying to the reader.
Instead, have the character and reader learn it together.
Or, have the reader know it and the character learns it later.
Hmm. This is new to me. I am learning suspense techniques. So much to learn!
All in all, my critique group (which is a very tough group to please!) likes my book. Yeah!

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