Category: Writing Advice

April 2024: Tarot Cards for Writing Inspiration

Break out the bingo cards and the cribbage sets! We’re getting wild and crazy with a bunch of senior citizens who really know how to party…and get up to lots of mayhem, mischief, and perhaps even commit the occasional murder along the way. But you know the saying…what happens in the retirement home, stays in the retirement home. Right?

Hope you enjoy April’s 2024 tarot card reading for inspiration!


How do writers establish credibility?

It used to be that we could look to a blue check mark on Twitter to establish if a writer was – quote unquote – “legitimate”, but that world is long gone. 

Now it’s up to the individual to prove their worth in a consistent and very public way. Writers of all kinds need to demonstrate that they care, that they are knowledgeable in the subject, and that they can be trusted. Why? Because that’s how readers start to form a relationship with your writing.

“People jump to all kinds of conclusions about you when they read documents you have written,” writes Barbara Wallraff for HBR. “They decide, for instance, how smart, how creative, how well organised, how trustworthy, and how considerate you are. And once they have made up their minds, it is hard to get them to see you differently. Research in social psychology shows how sticky early impressions are.”

So it’s super important, and we need to, as writers, establish credibility if we want to gain readers and head for success. But first: what do we mean by “credibility” in the first place?

Putting the Neon Back into Spring: Cultivating Inspiration in 2023!

In glowing green tribute to the recent visit of the comet, C/2022 E3 (ZTF), let your creative spaces dazzle with such brightness that they, too, might be seen throughout the galaxy!

(I’ve also made an inspiration page over on Pinterest. Check it out here:

Spring Equinox (Ostara): March 20

Seasonal Symbolism: Awakening, Energy, Movement, Treasure Hunts, Discovery, Knowledge, Spiritual Quests, Activity, Intergalactic Contact, Adventure, Travel, Evolution, and Guardians such as Rabbits, Lizards, Snakes, Scorpions, Alligators, or Dragonflies.

Writing Prompt: What if your characters had to navigate a world that was suddenly plunged into darkness? Would they even survive, and if so, how would they adapt? What if your story took place on a world that had never known light and yet had a thriving society of life forms?


March 2023: Tarot Cards for Creative Inspiration

Tired of the daily grind at your workplace? Planning an exciting Spring Break getaway? Perhaps this month’s set of writerly inspirations will also help you appreciate the mundane security of your day job–especially if you finally garner that big promotion!

Character: King of Pentacles and V The Hierophant. This character is someone who has led a very stable and secure existence. They have worked hard, and their life has gone according to plan. While it’s true that they are financially stable, it could be said their life lacks both adventure and excitement. But this character doesn’t feel like they’ve missed out on anything; they are content with their life, and the strong ties they have built in their community makes them feel even more fulfilled. They are also largely optimistic, but may feel irked or depressed during those rare occurrences when circumstances don’t turn out like they had hoped. They may be angered when an employee suddenly quits, or they become depressed when their best friend doesn’t show up for their weekly meet-up at the local coffee shop.


February 2023: Tarot Cards for Creative Inspiration

I was so excited to do this reading! I mean, February, am-I-right-or-am-I-right? Paranormal romance, supernatural romance, historical romance, space opera, you name it! The romance-theme possibilities are endless!

Well, until the fates intervened by way of the cards, and no matter how much I glared at them, they weren’t giving up their creatively inspiring secrets. Instead, the message was all about inner reflection—essentially, “Creative, love thyself.”

Pooh. I mean, if we wanted to spend time with ourselves, would we really choose to engage in activities that kept us in our heads (or creative ether realms) most of the time? Realms where we hang out with the exciting array of the characters we’ve created? Especially when reality is probably even more discouragingly real right about now.

Again, sigh.

Still, this reading came out they way it did for a reason, so, take what resonates with you on this 2023 journey, and perhaps we’ll learn to nurture ourselves as carefully as we do our characters, our stories, our artistic creations.


The Em Dash: What Is This Punctuation Mark And How Do You Use It?

If you’ve ever read modern fiction before, especially pieces written by an American author, you’ve probably noticed this ‘—’ symbol before.

A lot of people would mistake it for a hyphen, or a dash, but it’s actually a special kind of punctuation character that is separate from the others known as the em Dash.

The Em Dash: What Is This Punctuation Mark And How Do You Use It?

Perhaps you’re familiar with the name, but you don’t understand the grammar rules or the situations where you’d use it in a piece of writing.

Either way, it can be an important tool in a writer’s toolbox and something that is important to know. But we know how difficult grammar rules can be to learn, especially when so many people use them differently.

How can you be sure to use an em Dash correctly? Where is the shortcut on a keyboard to place in your document? How necessary is it to use em Dashes in the first place? If you’re wondering about these questions then you don’t need to panic—you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’re going to be taking you through everything there is to know about em dashes. When to use them, some of the rules involved with them, and how you can find a shortcut on your word processor.

What Is An Em Dash?


January 2023: Tarot Cards for Creative Inspiration

Happy New Year, HT Peeps! I hope you have lots of creatively spooky fun in the New Year!

Character: Ten of Pentacles. This character was selected at an early age to serve the future Queen. As a child, they were the Queen’s primary playmate; as a young adult, they were not only the Queen’s beloved companion, but served as an assistant as the Queen made the transition from a child to an adult herself. Once the Queen reached the age of maturity, and assumed the mantle of power, this character, by way of their lifelong training, became not only the Queen’s most trusted advisor, but the Queen’s consort as well. While this character enjoys a life of luxury as the top member of the royal court, their life is not without hard work and sacrifice. This character is now responsible for managing the Queen’s entire household; arranging not only the Queen’s meals, wardrobe, and social calendar, but also organizing political meetings with other heads of state, overseeing strategic diplomatic negotiations, and assisting in other key duties where needed. They are the public face of the Queen herself, and, as such, their conduct must always be above reproach.

A fresh start to 2023 – how about we *don’t* claim it as our own?

2022 was a bit of an ongoing horror story for me, with this volume of the trilogy reboot starting in 2019 (see what I did there?). In all seriousness, I went into 2022 saying it was going to be my year.  I was so gung ho.
It was a huge mistake.
This year I promised myself and others I’d write more articles (here being a prime example.  I’ve written a dozen.  I’ve posted…this one?), that I’d publish more books, I’d launch my podcast.  I had a huge list of things that I could have done. Could being the operative point.

Could is a difficult one too, because I’m looking back now and I’m miserable because I didn’t get everything I wanted to do, done.  And quite honestly, the later I got in the year the less I got done, the more I felt guilty, and the less motivated I was.  It was like a self-fulfilling loop. Get less done, feel guilty, lowering what I could get done, slower work, more guilt. Repeat.