Into the Future…

January 10, 2022

I have an announcement.

Short version:  I’m moving this blog over to Patreon, a crowdfunding platform where audiences can directly support creators. There’ll be at least a couple of free posts every month, so some version of this blogging experience will continue. BUT…  I’ll also be creating what I’m calling a Writing Symposium:   a living, evolving document with info about the craft and business of writing, and my own process and how it functions in the real world. Like a “how to write” book but more interesting. Also, this will give me some much-needed structure and motivation, which has been lacking this past year. Link forthcoming.

Long explanation:

I mentioned a couple months ago that blogging has been difficult for me. I’ve been writing this blog for about 15 years. When I started it, blogging was still cool. The Kitty series was just getting going. I had a lot to say and I was going to a lot of movies and figuring out a lot of stuff on the fly. Well, after almost two years of pandemic, of struggling with broken novels, and a year of an ongoing coup being perpetrated by former and current elected officials who, in denying the results of the 2020 election, are in violation of their oaths of office and probably guilty of actual crimes, and so on and so forth… I’m really tired.  I still like the idea of a blog, of having a place to put big thoughts and movie reviews and the like. But the actual necessity of finding subjects to write about, then writing them, on a schedule, is a struggle.

Throughout all this I’ve also been toying with the idea of putting together a “how to write” book.

I’ve been writing professionally for more than 20 years, teaching workshops and critiquing for much of that time. I have a lot of thoughts about this gig. But I have to be honest, the idea of writing a book on the subject doesn’t really appeal to me. There are thousands of books on writing out there. Does the world really need another?

Then I got an idea.

I’m starting a Patreon. A lot of fiction writers have started Patreons, and most of them are using the platform to post fiction. I won’t be doing that. I’m going to use the platform to talk about writing. A Writing Symposium. And not just writing, but creativity in general, and everything that goes into building a creative life. I’ve spent a lot of the pandemic thinking about life, and how “a life” isn’t something you build and then you’re finished. It’s an ongoing process, in pretty much constant flux. Building a creative life – one in which you have space to think, dream, write, paint, sing, and make – even more so, since those are often activities that the wider world doesn’t value or take seriously. But they’re really important and it’s all a process that takes attention.

In much the same way, I don’t want to put together a “how to write” book and have it be a static thing, because I’m still learning and growing. A book would be a snapshot of my thoughts at one point in time. With this platform, I’m hoping to create an evolving, interactive document about writing and creativity. This will also give me a regular schedule and structure for posting.

And maybe a little cash, that never hurts.  Because something else I’ve learned is that all this knowledge I’ve scraped together over the years is valuable. Instead of trying to sell a book, I’m putting out a tip jar, basically.

Many of you have been with me from the start, commenting and supporting me, and I’m so very grateful to you for that. So now I have some questions for you… What would you like to see me do in this new format? 

–What do you like in this blog as it is now?  What keeps you coming back?

–What levels of support would you like to see? I’ll definitely have free posts that will very much resemble what I do here, but I’m also considering $1, $5, and $25 per month  levels of support.  These would unlock more in-depth posts on writing in general, and my process in particular.

–If you support other Patreons, what do you like about them? What do you not like? Any advice?

I’m excited about starting up a whole new project. I’m also a little daunted, but I’m taking that as a good sign – challenges are good, and clearly I need something to get me going. So here we go…

Of course I’ll post the link when this goes live!


old habits and new

November 5, 2021

You might have noticed that blogging has become harder and harder for me this past year. Two years ago I was on a pretty regular schedule of posting three times a week . It dropped to two, and now I’m managing about one. I think a big part of that is the pandemic, having not much going on, all the old patterns disrupted, and as a result feeling like there’s just nothing much to write about. Feeling caught in a rut is making it hard to get motivated. Writing fiction is always my first priority, which probably won’t come as a surprise. If it’s a choice between writing fiction or the blog, fiction wins every time. (The result of this choice is new novellas like FATAL STORM and CHARMED WATERS, and a slew of short stories on the horizon. Hooray!)

I know I’m not the only one who’s realizing I’ve developed a new set of habits during the pandemic, and am now thinking about how to get out of them. Or, better — what new habits to develop to replace them. Big thoughts, there.

This is just to say I’m working on some plans and ideas, and blogging is going to be a part of that but it’s probably going to look different than this. I’ve been blogging here, like this, for about 15 years now, so it’s high time for a change. I’ll let you know what I come up with.

Thank you for sticking with me. I really appreciate it.

10 years

April 19, 2017

I don’t remember the exact day, but right around now is the 10th anniversary of getting my first book royalty check and immediately quitting my day job at a standardized test grading mill.

I’ve been a full-time writer for 10 years.

I checked back in the archives of this blog, because I couldn’t remember when I started it. Turns out, that was in June 2007.  So the blog is almost ten years old, too.  (Funny, what you suddenly have time for after quitting your day job.)  What’s interesting to me is I never made any online announcement about the start date of writing full time when it happened — because I had no online presence outside my website. Social media wasn’t a thing.

So it seems like a good time to mark the event now.


I imagine some right-wing politicians and pundits, the fringe patriarchy guys, sit around and long for the days when women were quiet, demur, and knew their place in the world rather than all this agitating and feminism and rabble rousing that so many of us are doing now.

Except you know what?  That time never existed.  Women have always spoken out against sexism and the injustice done to them for no other reason than their identity as women.


“Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”

Persuasion, Jane Austen, 1816

“. . .I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. . . .If perticuliar care and attention is not paid to the Laidies we are determined to foment a Rebelion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.”

Abigail Adams, 1776

“I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king. . .”

Elizabeth I, 1588

“But just the sight of this book, even though it was of no authority, made me wonder how it happened that so many different men — and learned men among them — have been and are so inclined to express both in speaking and in their treatises and writings so many wicked insults about women and their behavior. . . To the best of my knowledge, no matter how long I confronted or dissected the problem, I could not see or realize how their claims could be true when compared to the natural behavior and character of women.”

–Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies, 1405


Christine de Pizan wrote this book specifically to provide examples of noble, educated and famous women to counter the misogyny she found in books written by men.  I love discovering passages like these — women pointing out inequalities and the injustices done because of them.  They were paying attention.

But, if some of us sound so angry and frustrated when we talk about issues and problems involving the representation of women and equality and such, it’s because we know that this fight has been going on for a very long time.

Finishing book stress compounded by leaving on trip stress.  Brain full!

I’m working on getting the first chapter of Kitty Steals the Show posted.  I’ll let y’all know as soon as it happens.

Last night I met a friend at Noodles for dinner (had the pot stickers).  There was a horse trailer parked in the lot, with a perky bay pony sticking his head out the window.  He pointed his ears at me and whuffed.  I just about burst into tears, which makes me think it might be time to start riding lessons again.

happy Monday!

December 5, 2011

Happy Monday!  So, I cleaned my desk over the weekend.  I can actually sort of see the top of it now.  And there is no more satisfying feeling than throwing stuff away that is no longer relevant.  If I could just get the rest of the office clean. . .

The blogs of other authors are reminding me. . .books make great gifts!  Ron and Nina at the Broadway Book Mall usually have signed books of mine in stock and are happy to take orders.

We had about 8-10 inches of snow in two different storms this week, and it is COLD.  Why is winter always a shock when it arrives in force like this?  It’s not like we weren’t expecting it.

I finished a short story this week.  I just have to get it revised and sent to the editor, and I’m done with all deadlines for the next couple of months.  I’m giving myself a month or two before I start writing the next book.  I have some projects — odds and ends, nothing under contract, just for fun stuff — hanging over me that I’d really like to finish up before the next round.  Feels kind of weird, having some free writing time, but it also makes me very happy.  And over the holidays!

Right now, I’m off to the mall to take in some holiday cheer.  I go to the mall exactly once every holiday season, and today’s the day.  Wish me luck!


September 19, 2011

According to WordPress statistics, this is my 800th post.  Seems like a good milestone to celebrate, yeah?

How ’bout a story?  “The Nymph’s Child” is online at Fantasy Magazine, in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day.  I suppose I ought to be talking like a pirate…but it takes a lot of practice to do it really well, you know?  I’m just not there yet.

In other news… Kitty 11 is closing in on 50,000 words, which is a nice milestone.  It means I’m “mostly done” instead of “mostly not done,” and entering the third act/homestretch.  I stalled out on it for quite awhile, while I was traveling in August.  But that gave me the excuse I needed to go back to the beginning and fix the broken scenes, set some guns on some mantelpieces, and figure out exactly how the pieces all fit together.  I’ve done this pretty much every book, and while it feels like a haphazard way to write, it seems to work for me, so I’ll take it.

another bit of news

August 4, 2011

This is turning out to be a big year for the entire Vaughn clan. Which is to say, I’m going to be an aunt in a few months.  My brother Rob and sister-in-law Deb are expecting a sprogling, and we’re all very excited for them.

My brother’s keeping a blog about his impending fatherhood.  Here, he expresses dissatisfaction with fruit as a measurement of fetal development and comes up with a comparison chart he can relate to better:  hardware.


Happy New Year!

January 2, 2011

I fully intended to post yesterday, a nice start of the year post with a summary of last year and hopes for the new year.  Instead, I spent all day on the sofa watching the Twilight Zone marathon (“It’s a cookbook!”) because I’ve started the new year with a cold.

So, I was torn between wanting to have a high-energy new year’s day, cleaning the house and working and setting a good, high-functioning tone for the year.  Or spending it as a lazy holiday.  The cold decided for me.  I probably shouldn’t have gone to the New Year’s Eve party the night before, because I think it did me in for yesterday.

That’s the trouble with making a big event out the new year and its resolutions.  There’s a sense of do or die about the whole thing.  And if it doesn’t work out — what, you have to wait a whole year to start over?  Of course not.  Every day’s a new chance.

Oh, and I finally watched 2010 last week, so I could say I watched it in 2010.  Love that movie, with all its big space ships and meaty science fiction.  But you know what bothered me on this viewing, actually watching it in 2010?  All those big CRT monitors.  We could imagine sending people to Jupiter — but couldn’t imagine touch screens?

quick note

July 4, 2010

I’m back from the war (i.e. large SCA event with lots of people camping in a small area and periodically beating each other up with fake swords), and have to catch up on my real life once again.

The blog’s spam filter has been doing battle with a particularly pernicious spam bot, and I came home to find way too many spammy comments to go through so I purged the whole thing.  If you’ve made a comment in the last few days and haven’t seen it post, it probably got caught in the purge, and I apologize for that.  Will you please repost?

Also, Discord’s Apple appears to be out in the wild before the official Tuesday release date.  Hooray!  Now, I don’t want to hear ANYBODY complaining that they have to wait too long between books ever again, okay?

Also, happy Fourth to ya!