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Episode 67: Author Intrusion and Time Looping

In this episode Author intrusion and time looping… and middle school kissing! Abby had a hell of a few weeks, putting her house on the market. She basically sucked all the fun out of her family in preparation to sell their home, and she wouldn’t even let anyone sit on their bed. The house must not look lived in! The result was not only a major dose of #adulting in real life, but also #adultvoice in her middle grades novel. Some of it was easy to fix. As Jennie points out, often times you...


Episode 66: An Interview with Mae Respicio

Today MomWrites welcomes the long-awaited Mae Respicio, author of The House That Lou Built. We've been referencing Mae since day one here on the podcast because Jennie's so fond of telling us how Mae literally sometimes wrote her book in 5 minute increments (which is AMAZING and what every parent writer wants to hear!). Mae's found that her writing practice changes with how her parenting changes. When her kids were little, the only time she could find to write was when everyone else was...


Episode 65: YA and the Khaki Pants Man

In this episode: Today on Mom Writes, Mel gets to be the sacrificial rabbit again when she learns that a mere 4 complimentary lines about a secondary character turns him from a nice guy into a love interest. Whoa. How did that happen? According to Jennie, when you spend a long time (even four lines!) describing the way someone looks, that's what stands out to the reader - and the reader's brain says "That's what I need to remember about this! Look at those khaki pants and messy curls and a...


Episode 63: An Interview with Beth Ricanati

(You can find a copy of Jennie’s book, the Writer’s Guide to Agony and Defeat, at the bottom of this page!) In this episode: Joining Jennie Nash and Abby Mathews today is Beth Ricanati, MD, author of the recently released Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs. Beth's book is a memoir/self-help mashup centering around a path to wellness. We talk about Beth's experiences in being a mom, doctor, and advocate of women's wellness and fully realizing the role of challah in transforming her...


Episode 62: I Knew I Had It In Me, I Just Had To Lay It Down

In this episode: How are writers like Olympic athletes? They make great stories! They make great comebacks! When we recorded this episode, the winter olympics were on TV, and both Jennie and Mel were obsessed. (Abby, eh, not so much.) But this week Mel relates to Shaun White, the American Olympic snowboarder. Not because she dazzled us with some sweet moves on her board, but because she recovered from illness and poor performance by making a comeback. Shaun White almost QUIT after a...


Episode 61: Letting Go

In this episode Jennie celebrates her youngest getting a job, Mel tries to save Abby's life, and Abby was in the throes of mold investigation (and letting go of a garage full of art supplies) this week on Mom Writes! (And also some writing stuff.) Abby decided that by letting go of her old art stuff she was able to accept that she's still creative, but a different way. It's okay to move on and release tools of creativity that you're not using - it doesn't mean that you don't have new...


Episode 60: Moving and Sequels and Middle School Kissing

To iron or not to iron, that is the question. This week we talk about ironing. Well, it's just one of the many things we talked about. When we batch recorded this set of episodes last winter, Melanie and Abby were both sick. We sent Mel to urgent care, then soldiered on and recorded this episode without her. (Thankfully she listened to us and went to the doctor, because as it turned out, she had a bad case of the flu.) Of course, Skype was also sick, and it totally froze on us while sharing...


Episode 59: Just Blow Something Up...

In this episode: [NSFK—the end of this episode is Not Suitable for Kids. Abby swears and we don’t edit it out, plus we mention dildos about 16 times, so put on your headphones as we enter chit chat territory at the end!] Both Mel and Abby are sick. But Mel wins. She has the flu and shows up anyway because she is convinced that part of her self-care is talking about her edits. She tried extra hard this week to make up for her “bad edits” last time. Jennie’s comments last time were along...


Episode 58: Luke Reynolds, MG Writer & (God Bless Him) Former Middle School Teacher

This morning we interview Luke Reynolds, author of The Looney Experiment (Blink), Surviving Middle School: Navigating the Halls, Riding the Social Roller Coaster, and Unmasking the Real You, and most recently Fantastic Failures: True Stories of People Who Changed the World by Falling Down First, which comes out Sept 11! We talk about how Luke was inspired to write Fantastic Failures through personal experience via his career in teaching middle grades and junior high students. So many young...


Episode 57: Writing & Super Zoloft

In This Episode: Mel got some feedback that was not very positive, but she wasn’t surprised by it. She had a rough stretch in her personal life (hard, not-exactly-podcast-material-kinda-stuff), but she forced herself to finish her pages. When she got her edits back, she admits that it hurt. It felt like she had really screwed up in her writing. Mel says, “It just brought to light how distracted I had been. I was distracted from my story. I wasn’t really connected to it. I was trying to put...


Episode 56: A Writer's Brain

In this episode: Melanie's 8-hour writing playlist“”The GoldbergsThe GoldbergsFerris Bueller's Day OffWonder“”


Episode 55: Ending Chapters & Doing Some Research

In this episode: All writers struggle with something. That something may change every time you sit down to write, but Abby has pretty consistently struggled with how to end her chapters. Jennie gives Abby some story-specific advice about how to end her latest submission. In this episode, Abby also does a little research. Let’s face it, Abby’s research is way more boring than Mel’s. Abby didn’t get to go to a gun range and learn to shoot. Abby didn’t take her car to an ill-frequented gravel...


Episode 54: Author Accelerator Book Coach Julie Artz on MG vs YA

In this episode: In this episode of MomWrites we talk with Julie Artz, novelist and author of blogs at Terminal Verbosity, The Winged Pen, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors, on Twitter, or on Facebook. Julie has also been a PitchWars middle grades mentor, and is active in the leadership of her regional SCBWI. One of our friends in a writers group asks Julie: How do you tell if your book falls into middle grades territory or YA territory? Can you write about a first kiss...


Episode 53: Writer Friends and Written Cliches

In Today's Episode: Finding good writer friends can be hard. And once you throw your work into the mix, things can go bad. Fast. Abby and Mel talk about how they used a FB writers group (Writer Moms, Inc.) to find ladies who give them what they really need from writer friends— emotional support. (Hi there, Joy Rancatore and Mea Smith, we're looking at you!) Also, Melanie finds herself trapped in an embarrassing situation. She finds herself describing one of her characters as if she were...


Episode 52: What's the Worst That Could Happen?

In this episode: What's the worst that can happen if you don't sit down and write? Well, your book never gets finished. Book coach Jennie Nash and Melanie Parish talk about fear as it relates to getting words on the page. Book coaching is partly about craft but just as equally-- if not more so-- about support. Great words are the end result of an emotional process that takes two people - the writers, and the readers. The book coach stands in for the reader and can give you the "you can do...


Episode 51: Writing Under the Influence of Emotional Exhaustion

In this episode: “” Abby deals with some S-H-I-T : emotional exhaustion! Power outages! Migraines! ER visits! Parents! Writing wedding vows, shopping for dresses, trips out of state and sick kids! Writing gets pushed aside sometimes when we're dealing with real life. This week Abby channels her emotional woes into her writing and uses it to write an epic car crash scene for her book. (One of the great things about Author Accelerator coaches is that they totally get that you have a real...


Episode 50: Clint Edwards and #Expectations

NSFK. Let me repeat. NSFK. (Not Suitable for Kids!) Buckle up, Buttercup, because this episode will take you all over the map when it comes to parenting and writing. Mel said it’s because we're "Grade A Bullshitters" and Clint said, "We gave the podcasting world a real gift with this one. You're welcome." We cover everything from children who narc on their parents, to dogs who pee like fountains, writing when you also have a full-time job, and... well, LIFE. Because sometimes you just have...


Episode 49: Creative Obsession with Dan Blank

In this episode: This week, Abby sits down to have a conversation with writer dad Dan Blank about obsession. Dan dedicates his days to helping creatives, specifically writers, with all. the. things. And today he and Abby talk about what to do when obsession derails you from your creative work. They talk about how to harness that obsession, when to give yourself permission to take a break from your creative work, and how to get back on track if you do. We talk about Dan's speciality -...


Episode 48: Interview with Writer-Dad Jim Heskett

IN THIS EPISODE: Happy Father's Day to all you writer-dads out there! In honor of, well, YOU, we bring you some interviews with our favorite writer-dads. Kicking it off is thriller writer Jim Heskett. Jim-- besides being pretty kick-butt himself-- has written a pretty kick-butt book chocked full of tips and motivation to help you put your butt in the chair and get the work done. No excuses. Today he shares some of his tips with Abby and Mel. If Jim can balance a full-time non-writing job...


Episode 47: Jennie Teaches Grammar! Italics in Internal Thought

In this episode: To italicize or not to italicize? That is the question. Abby uses too many italics, and Jennie gives some good guidelines to help writers decide when to italicize. Abby turned in a submission that was heavy on internal thought, which meant she had italicized huge chunks of each page. It was distracting, but she wasn't sure how to fix it. Rewrite? Just un-italicize? Leave it? This episode is perfect for those not-so-perfect writers (like Abby!) who sometimes find...