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The Joy of Writing & Knowing When It’s Time to Quit


The Insecure Writer’s Support Group December 4 question – Let’s play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if … Continue reading →Original linkOriginal author: Diana Stout
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Runes – An Ancient Oracle Tool: It’s All Been Rune’d


Once again, Keri Kruspe has written a fantastic post for my blog. I was over the moon reading this post because it spoke to me. Many times I’ve tried to use runes and Keri, through this post, has shown me … Continue reading →Original linkOriginal author: Diana Stout
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How to Redeem Unredeemed Gifts on Amazon


The Insecure Writer’s Support Group For November 6, 2019 Rather than answering the question posed to the group this month, which was What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever googled in researching a story?, for which I had no good answer, … Continue reading →Original linkOriginal author: Diana Stout
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11 Reasons Why I Continue to Write


The Insecure Writer’s Support Group  Posting for the first Wednesday of the Month, October 2, 2019 Because I’m in the final editing stages of my upcoming book, Love’s New Beginnings, which I plan on publishing in October, I thought I’d … Continue reading →Original linkOriginal author: Diana Stout
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The Mustachioed Woman. A novel. (Ch. 1)


“Yeah,” Marguerite said as she led Louisa and Lixin into her loft.“Men.”“Doesn’t it sometimes just make you wanna, like, wash your hands of them all?”“And I heard she had memory problems after that. Amnesia.”“From what?”“Being punched in the face. He kept beating her, right in the café. Totally lost it.”“Wow, you have such big place. So many rugs.”“You guys have a seat down here on the bed.”“Okeydokey,” said Louisa as she lowered herself on the futon.“These rugs you sell?” Lixin was examining several pieces hanging on a wall and more stacked on the floor. “So beautiful. What’s that? Oh, you make rug?”“Yep.”“Really,” said Louisa. The three crowded over the loom. “So that’s how rugs are made. ...
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Guest blogger – Keri Kruspe, Part II


As a follow up to Keri’s August 21, 2019 post as a guest blogger, where she talked about the things she wished she’d known before publishing her first book, in today’s post, she talks about the things she did right. … Continue reading →Original linkOriginal author: Diana Stout
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Out of the squalor and into the light: When the Shanghai wall came down


Yu Garden in the former walled city, 1990 (photo by Isham Cook).A city wall is a potent symbol — and equally so its tearing down. The dismantling of the Beijing fortifications began soon after the Communist Liberation of 1949. I say “dismantling” as more than a few jackhammers were needed to raze some sixty kilometers of massive ramparts twenty meters thick by fifteen meters high, and it took the better part of two decades. The ostensible reason was to ease transportation, but it was also to make a revolutionary point: the sweeping away of the old to make way for the new. Liberated Xi’an was wise enough not to engage in such cultural destruction and held on to all thirteen beautiful kilomete...
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In a writing galaxy far, far away…


The Insecure Writer’s Support Group  September 4 question – If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story, where would it be and why?  In a writing galaxy far, far away… There are … Continue reading →Original linkOriginal author: Diana Stout
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Failures – Part IV: 7 Lessons of Failure as a Writer


This blog was originally published April 4, 2018, on my Only for the Brave blog, which has been eliminated as I decided to merge the two blogs. Because failure is an important part of success for writers and everyone else, I … Continue reading →Original linkOriginal author: Diana Stout
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Should’a…Could’a…Would’a…


Today, I have a guest blogger. Keri Kruspe, fellow writer and friend, writes this blog and shares with you her experiences as a first-time author and what she wished she had known beforehand. I wish I had known, too. SHOULD’A…COULD’A…WOULD’A…  … Continue reading →Original linkOriginal author: Diana Stout
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Failures – Part III


To continue my “Failures” series, this post was originally published on my Only for the Brave blog on January 9, 2018.  And now, I’ve added more thoughts. Failure According to Sue Grafton As I considered my next blog in this series, I … Continue reading →Original linkOriginal author: Diana Stout
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The Surprising Secret of Developing Characters


"It's character pain that engages readers, that makes them turn the pages. The suffering, the action, the pain." Continue reading →Original linkOriginal author: Diana Stout
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Failures – Part II

This blog was originally published December 27, 2017, on my Only for the Brave blog, which is being eliminated as I decided to merge the two blogs. Because failure is an important part of succeeding for writers, I felt it was … Continue reading →Original linkOriginal author: Diana Stout
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Failures – Part I

This blog was originally published November 27, 2017, on my Only for the Brave blog, which is being eliminated as I decided to merge the two blogs. Because failure is an important part of succeeding for writers, I felt it was … Continue reading →Original linkOriginal author: Diana Stout
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Personal Traits and Deepening Characters


The Insecure Writer’s Support Group July question: What personal traits have you written into your character(s)? Personal Traits & Deepening Characters Currently writing a romance series of seven novellas, I’m starting the first draft of the fourth novella, Buried Hearts. … Continue reading →Original linkOriginal author: Diana Stout
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The breasts of Bali: An update


Abandoned souvenir painting shop, Ubud, Bali (photo by Isham Cook, 2019). And our women would have to cover their breasts as if they were whores…Vicki Baum, Love and Death in Bali If you wonder what years of living in Bali — as opposed to Elizabeth Gilbert’s four months of Eat, Pray, Love fame — might do for the soul, long-time expat Diana Darling has bequeathed to us the delightful novel, The Painted Alphabet (Editions Didier Millet, 1992), a lush reimagining of the Dukuh Siladri folktale, from which I highlight the following quotation. Sent packing by her parents to be brought up by the witch Dayu Datu, the naughty eight-year old Ni Klinyar is provided with an assemblage of gifts to bear t...
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Making a Difference


Have you ever uttered, “Why bother? It won’t make a difference,” or something like that? Yeah, I have. Lots of times. When I started writing and putting my work out in the public forum, I figured few would read my … Continue reading →Original linkOriginal author: Diana Stout
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Confucius and opium


Illustration by Ye Su (耶苏) This is where the hundred drugs are to be found.Classic of Mountains and Seas (山海经), 4th c. BCEHe pierced his ears, making him able to understand the language of plants. Mircea Eliade, ShamanismThe contextIf you suppose I’m proposing that the beloved sage was a man of depraved habits or had even been an addict, nothing could be further from the truth. But the idea is absurd not because a wise man, or a philosopher, would ever stoop so low. It’s absurd because drug abuse is a modern concept: to attribute it to the ancients is to commit a major category error. For untold millennia mankind’s relationship with the plant medicines — a term I prefer to “drugs” — was neve...
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Down the Rabbit Hole a.k.a. Life’s Little Hiccups & Big Booms


I’m behind in my writing. Again. I wish I could say that I don’t know how it happens, but I do. While I accuse Life of sticking out its foot and tripping me so that I’ll look funny with arms … Continue reading →Original linkOriginal author: Diana Stout
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Merging with Behind the Scenes…

I’m a fan of minimalist living. Less is more. Truly.Clutter of the mind is just as bad as clutter on a tabletop. Lately, I’ve been struggling with all the cluttering writing tasks that have been consuming my time when I should be writing and publishing books instead.In particular, I’ve been struggling in trying to maintain two blogs that are quite similar in content. As a result, I’ve decided to merge my Only for the Brave blog—this one—with my Behind the Scenes blog. Both are about writing.My goal is to still communicate with you, to share what I know, and what I’ve learned as I journey through my writing career. Now, though, that sharing will be more efficient and more effective.So, for th...
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