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Amber’s Blog

First Drafts

I know this is something I’ve talked about before, but I just want to re-emphasize the need to be kind to yourself when it comes to judging first drafts — especially if it is one of your first projects.  It’s easy to discourage yourself, right at the time when you should be proud of finishing […]

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Finding Your Creativity

This section of my novel writing class at UTA is covering techniques for writing different kinds of scenes. Often, when I teach this class, students will insist that their book doesn’t need one of the scene types — typically either action or relationship building scenes. I think new writers tend to shy away from whatever scene […]

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Scene and Sequel

A scene is a unit of conflict experienced by the characters.  It can cover a whole chapter, or several scenes can be strung together to make a chapter. It can sometimes be difficult to figure out where scenes and chapters in your fiction should start and stop.  It can help to structure them around scenes and […]

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Playing Cards

Jake collects playing cards.  We always buy a deck when we travel.  Sometimes that’s easier said than done – especially when most of a trip is planned out with other folks, or if we’re on a cruise stop for just an afternoon.  He’s also collected interesting playing cards at thrift shops and game stores.  Sometimes […]

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Chocolate as Currency

What is it about chocolate that captures the popular imagination?  From Charlie’s Golden Ticket to happiness having him running a Technicolor chocolate factory, to young John Midas, who suddenly finds that everything his lips touch turn to chocolate, children’s books portray chocolate as an object of greed and obsession, as a relief from poverty, at […]

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Amber's Tea Party Ideas

In my latest cozy mystery, there’s a formal tea.  It was a fun scene to write, because I love tea, and have been collecting teapots, teacups and related tea accessories for about two decades.  A lot of the pieces are attached to specific memories, or were gifts from specific people.  One of the things I […]

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Reading From A Study in Chocolate

Check out this video clip of me reading from A Study in Chocolate.  This is a scene near the beginning of the book, where Felicity has accepted an invitation to a tea party at Wobble House, a (very fictional) historic home in Galveston.  She has been invited by the party host, an art collector, to […]

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Chocolate Slogan Gift Ideas

I often see chocolate-related quotes on my social media feed, but sometimes you want something more tangible.  So you can find these quotes printed on everything from pillows to journals.  Here are some of the ones I thought were cute.  The list contains associate links. I always prefer to give credit to the original source […]

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