Know your audience (Who are you?)

I’m new here.

My first post was supposed to be at the end of December. It was titled, “What did you write in 2017.” But then my snarky inner voice chimed in, “did you even write anything in 2017?”

Of course I wrote.


What I wrote in 2017

I wrote shopping lists and to-do lists.

I wrote cover letters, thank you letters, and condolence letters.

I wrote job announcements and bid announcements.

I wrote newsletters and love letters.


I wrote finance reports, grant reports, and project reports. I wrote e-mails (so many e-mails).

Most of my writing is anonymous or functional. The majority is both. It is technical writing, which means it is a step in a process, but not the final product. The benefit s of this type of writing is that it is published, it is read, and it is paid. The downside is that my writing is functional. It is more likely to alter someone’s to-do list than their sense of wonder.

My favorite part of being a pen-for-hire is knowing my purpose. My audience varies from officers at the Environmental Protection Agency, to parents at an after-school program, to clowns. When I sit down to write, the first question I ask myself is “who will read this”? Followed closely by “why am I writing this.” How I write, and what details I include, vary based on the reader.

This clarity can be a double-edged sword, especially when it comes to creative writing. One of the biggest challenges I face when I sit down to my creative projects is a sense of purpose. There is no deadline. There is no guaranteed paycheck. And, most troubling, there is no audience. 2017 wasn’t exclusively a year of functional writing. I also I wrote two plays, two performances pieces, and six (and a half) short stories. Some of these pieces have been performed or shared in a workshop, but most have only had an audience of one (me).

One of my goals for 2018, is to get more work in front of an audience.

That’s where you come in.


Who are you?

The trouble is, I don’t know you.

Who are you? What do you want to read? What brings you to Live To Write, Write To Live?

I’m excited to write about: making time for a writing practice, combatting self-doubt, sharing unfinished work, and blogging ethics. What do you want to read?

I look forward to reading your responses in the comments and getting to know you!

Small_headshotNaomi Shafer is a writer, performer, and project manager. She works for Clowns Without Borders. Her written work has been performed at an array of theaters, including Actors Theatre of Louisville, Middlebury College, the New England Youth Theatre, and Peppercorn Theatre. She has dueling degrees in business and playwriting.

Writing Fears

This fall I’ve started work on a fiction project I haven’t worked on since the spring. This past summer I focused my writing time on nonfiction, especially in July when I did CampNaNo. My nonfiction writing feels like it’s getting stronger and I’m enjoying it more and more as time goes by.

That hasn’t been my experience of writing fiction, at least not lately. Recently I wrote an outline to a short story I’ve been working on and I sent it to my critique group for their feedback. Because it was between meetings, one of the members of our group offered to meet with me to discuss the outline. She thought there were some issues with it that needed to be addressed in person because they were difficult to articulate in an email.

I replied to her email saying:

“Honestly, I’m not sure if I want to keep working on this story. I think I need to start doing something completely different. The last short story I wrote had a similar setting and characters and I want to try something different. Or I guess I could just be sick of it. I don’t think we need to meet just to go over my outline.”

Since then I’ve felt like giving up on fiction: Maybe I’ve lost my fiction writing skills. Maybe I never had any to begin with. Maybe I should go back to writing prompts and free writing and stop trying to write something as ambitious as a short story. 

At this point in my thinking process, I realized I was in the grip of fear. I then asked myself if I wanted to allow my fear to lead me. I don’t.

I now see that the only way I’m going to get better at writing short stories is to keep writing—and rewriting–short stories.

I’ve been fearful of showing my fiction to my critique group—not because they are harsh critics, but because I am, at least with my own work.

I now choose to think differently about my critique group: I have the luxury of being part of a group of people who are willing to critique my work and to allow me to critique their work. I’m going to take advantage of this luxury by writing another draft of my short story and showing it to my critique group—as imperfect as it is.

I’ll become a better writer if I do. And that is my goal.

I know the fear I’ve been feeling is partly because I stepped away from fiction for too long, and partly because my fellow critique group members have been accomplishing so much while I’ve been doing other things.

I can manage my fear (not banish it, I don’t think that’s possible) by writing fiction more often and choosing to think how lucky I am to have an accomplished group of writers reviewing my work.

I feel much better now. Time to get back to my short story.

What are your fears about your writing life and how do you manage them?

Diane MacKinnon, MD, Master Certified Life CoachDiane MacKinnon, MD: is a writer, blogger, life coach, and family physician. I’m dividing my writing time between a coaching book for physicians and a short story these days, and it’s only two days before NaNo starts and I haven’t made the commitment–there’s still time to decide!


Comments on the Web


Thanks for your comments.

I’m grateful to all the readers who take the time to write comments in response to posts. For me, comments do three important things.

  1. They reassure me that my work is being read. Sure, there are all sorts of analytics that tell me how many people click on the post, but mechanical numbers aren’t the same as human response. So if you’ve ever taken the trouble to post a comment here, I thank you.
  2. Many comments express gratitude, which goes a long way in this solitary business. To be read is a good start, but to make a difference – well, that’s why I do it.
  3. Some comments express different information and/or different opinions than those I’ve expressed. These are perhaps the most important comments around. They expand my knowledge and those of others who read them. It’s this ability to expand our common knowledge that is one of the great gifts of the web.
Comments are the string that weaves us together in a web.

Comments are the string that weaves us together in a web.

Taken all together, what comments do is help us form on-line relationships and forge internet community. Comments are the string that weaves us together in a web.

photo: M. Shafer

photo: M. Shafer

Nota Bene: This post is scheduled to go live while I’m away and unplugged, so I won’t see or respond to comments until I return in mid-September. In the meantime, I wish you good words.

Friday Fun — Testing your story’s opening

Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.

QUESTION: How do you test your story’s opening?

wendy-shotWendy Thomas: First of all, I sit on it. After I write my story, I give it time away to do a little bit of maturing. Because I’ve got tech writing in my blood and I feel comfortable with plotting (as opposed to pantsing) once the story and I have both had time to settle down, I go over the beginning with a checklist that looks very much like the rubrics you had to use when writing high school papers.

  • Is there a hook?
  • Have I introduced the hero?
  • Is there conflict?
  • Have I created tension?
  • Is there too much back story?
  • Have I grounded the scene by including descriptions from all five senses?
  • Have I given the reader a reason to turn the page?

Those first few paragraphs can make or break the story. You have to be sure you’ve hit all the highlights and, for me, the best way I know of doing this is to write my first draft, give it time, and then revise with what’s missing according to my list.


headshot_jw_thumbnailJamie Wallace:  I’m still learning about beginnings. I’ll probably always be learning about them. The story openings I like best are the ones that make a promise. It doesn’t have to be an overt promise or a specific promise; it just has to make me feel like something is going to happen. More specifically, it has to make me feel like something worth experiencing is going to happen. The first few lines of a story or pages of a book need to whisper in my ear about a secret that will be revealed, a mystery that will be solved, or a discovery that will be made. A good opening captures my interest and my imagination and burrows into my mind, pulsing there like the beat of my heart with a quietly urgent drumbeat of possibility. I know I’ve read a good beginning when I swear I can hear the book calling to me from across the room. And then, dear gods of literature, I pray only that the rest of the story is as good as those first few lines.

hennrikus-web2Julie Hennrikus: Interesting question. Let me tell you about the beginning of Just Killing Time, my debut novel in the Clock Shop Mystery series, due out October 6. I wrote a proposal for this cozy series, which included the first three chapters. Those first three chapters got me the gig. The first chapter was from the point of view of the person who got killed–the inciting incident for the entire book (and series). I got a lot of “well written”, but a lot of push back on the beginning once the entire novel was finished. It wasn’t the beginning of a cozy mystery. Too dark, and it set the wrong tone. So, I changed the whole thing, and cut that chapter entirely.

In a previous novel (in a drawer, may see the light of day at some point), I kept getting “slow” and “drags” comments. So I kept cutting the beginning, and cutting the beginning, and cutting the beginning. The final beginning was the old page 50. You have to be ruthless–if you lose the reader at the beginning, or set up a false promise (great analogy Jamie), it doesn’t work.


I get by with a little help from my friends

'Help!' photo (c) 2013, Betsy Weber - license:’ve been investing more time in my fiction writing since January. Not only have I written more, but I’ve attended a conference and a workshop. I’ve been happy with the progress, but I’m still working out my process long form writing. Recently I was feeling at wits end with the story. I knew I had something good, but it felt amorphous and I felt like I was flailing. I needed to bounce some ideas off of someone. I bit the bullet and asked a friend and fellow romance writer if she’d help me see the holes. Prior to this, I’ll admit some reticence about asking others for help with my stories. I readily admit I’m still at the beginning of the process, so the structure and ideas feel fragile. We’ve all heard horror stories of sharing our work with family and friends too soon and getting crushing feedback. I needed someone who could be constructive. I wanted real feedback, but at the same time, I needed someone who understood the process and could respect where I was. Someone who could offer helpful suggestions as opposed to “that’s great, keep going” or “You should totally name your hero Kurt” (not that there is anything wrong with the name Kurt). I have a friend who is also a romance writer and working mom. I had recently critiqued one of her manuscripts (with what I hope and she says was constructive feedback). So I felt confident in asking her if she’d spend some time helping me shape things a little. Thankfully she enthusiastically agreed. I sent her my character descriptions and plot summary/outline in advance and we met for lunch. After we ordered our sushi, I tried to open my mind and shut my mouth. I *think* I was mostly successful. I know the feedback I got was invaluable. I tried to listen and hold off on evaluating her suggestions until I’d had time to digest them. It didn’t hurt that she said she liked the story and was interested in my characters. She did point out that my heroine wasn’t flawed enough and we bemoaned the challenge of writing flawed female characters. I took four pages of notes and came away reinvigorated and excited about the story again. It’s been two weeks and I’ve had time to ponder her questions and process her suggestions. Some I took to heart, others I discarded as not a fit for this story (at least the way I want to tell it). I’m to the point where I’ve gotten as far with my plot summary/outline as I’m going to get with out writing more scenes (I’m a hybrid plotter/pantser). On the docket for this week, is finalizing some characterizations and adding some meat to the outline. Asking for help in any situation is hard for most people. We like to think we can do it all ourselves, but that just isn’t realistic. With a creative endeavor, it can be even riskier especially if you don’t ask the right person or you don’t have enough faith in your own ability. It might not take much to let someone else’s ideas (well meaning as they may be) overrun you own thoughts or crush your momentum. Here are my suggestions for getting the right kind of help for your writing.

  • Find someone who is as experienced as you or better yet a little ahead of where you are.
  • Friends can work, but make sure they are familiar with the genre your are writing in. They don’t have to be a writer, sometimes readers can also provide valuable insights.
  • Don’t impose. Ask your helper how much time they have and supply only enough material to get the answers you need.
  • Evaluate the information provided. Don’t take everything someone else says as the Gospel Truth.

What has your experience been asking for help with your writing?

What Do You Think?

My writer friends, beware of asking that question regarding your work. Or more precisely, to whom you ask the question. Because not all critiques are alike. Or even useful.

I have a friend who was on a deadline for submitting a manuscript. She had asked a (fairly new to her) critique group for feedback. Everyone wrote in the same genre, so she felt like the feedback would be helpful. What she was hoping for were plot problems, characters with the wrong name, bursts of unattributed dialogue, scenes that were in the wrong place or unclear. What she got was punctuation notes (some helpful, others contradicting the style guide of the publisher), suggestions to rewrite entire subplots, and one person questioning the premise of the book.

My friend freaked out. I finally wrote an all caps email telling her to IGNORE EVERYTHING. Because it was just too late (deadline) to make substantive changes to the plot. And her premise had gotten her a book contract, so somebody liked it.

It made me think about critique groups and critique partners. We’ve talked about critiquescritiquing, feedback and editing on the blog several times. I thought I’d weigh in with my opinion on who you should ask to read your book when, and what a good critique partner does and doesn’t do.

My process is two write a lousy first draft, and then add research and shape it into second draft. I also try to give each draft time to sit, though deadlines sometimes get in the way. This is when the first critique comes in–usually my friend Jason. At this point I need someone to look at the big picture, the frame of the story. Does it hold together? How is the pacing? Was he surprised?

I then take his comments, and incorporate them into the manuscript. If they make sense, and work for the story. He may not love that the farmer’s son was guilty of the crime. But was he upset because the rest of the story didn’t support that (bad), or because he really liked the farmer’s son and was sad that he was guilty (good)? This critique partner needs to be a trusted reader who understands how delicate a book (and writer’s ego) is at this stage. Honesty and suggestions.

I then do another pass on the manuscript, looking for action, sensory moments, pacing, and every other editing technique I have learned after years of classes and workshops. When I am “done” I give it to the next level of readers. This round reacts to story (and usually Jason is a reader here too), but also looks at structure, grammar, punctuation, and overall clarity.

At this stage, I am easily confused. I have been working on the manuscript for too long, and have lost all objectivity. So I need to find people I trust. People who offer their ideas, but couch their ideas in support of my work, not a desire to write my story themselves. And I need to muster the strength to say “no” to some suggestions.

Any my final critique partner? Me. A couple of days in the drawer, and a read through of the entire manuscript. Straight through. And then I ask myself “what do you think?” and hope the answer is in the affirmative. And if not, I fix it.

How about you? Do you have readers or critique partners you trust? Or are you your only reader?


J.A. Hennrikus is a mystery writer. She is the President of Sisters in Crime New England, on the national board of Sisters in Crime, and a member of Mystery Writers of America. She also blogs with Wicked Cozy Authors.

Finding Preliminary Readers

images           Writers need readers long before they present their work to their intended audience. Finding helpful readers for work-in-progress is necessary – and tough. Over the years, I’ve collected a group of readers I can trust with my new work, and I’ve developed a strategy that lets the readers know what kind of feedback I’m looking for and protects me from harmful criticism and useless praise.

I ask my early readers two questions: 1) What do you like? and 2) Where did you get lost, confused, bored or fed up? This is the only feedback I ask for, and I ask that my readers be as specific to my text as possible.

The first people who hear some of my work are those I write with at Wild Words Salon. At Salon, we write for an hour, then we read what we’ve just written aloud, and we tell each other what we heard that we liked. This feedback is often surprising and always helpful, as is this free writing, little of which is actually making it into my novel, although all of it has helped me figure out my characters and their stories.

I take all this praise, go home and write and write and write. Whenever I either grind to a halt or I’m so excited about a breakthrough, I read aloud to my husband. This could be a prescription for divorce, and it’s taken almost thirty years to figure out how to make this work.

Tim is a very good reader, but he’s also a physician, used to prescribing remedies. I’ve learned to ask him exactly what I want, RXwhich is usually, “Just listen,” as I read a section aloud. Often, simply hearing myself read is instructive. Then I ask him what he liked and if there was any place he became lost, or stopped believing the narrator. When he starts saying, “Why don’t you change . . .?” I say, “Please tell me what you missed; please don’t tell me how to fix it.”  The big risk with any amateur reader is that s/he will tell you how they would rewrite your work. So it’s worth teaching your readers that what you value is their response, not their “fix”.

While I’m working on a book, I also start creating a list of potential readers, and I start sounding them out. I like to have variety: professional writers, avid readers, men, women, younger, older. I also like to have readers who have some depth of knowledge of anything I’ve had to research. In the case of Into the Wilderness, that included readers familiar with chamber music and Vermont politics; in the case of Elegy for a Girl (not yet published) that included people familiar with the post-war changes in Vermont’s JAtransportation and agriculture. For Ellen, I’m sounding out readers familiar with the novels of Jane Austen, and women who are or have been married, as well as general readers of fiction.

When I have a draft I’m ready to show any of these readers, I’ll choose a few and ask them to 1) Let me know what they liked and 2) Let me know where they stumbled in the text – lost the thread, lost credibility, didn’t understand what was happening, what the motivation was, whatever. In both instances, I ask them to be as particular as possible, which is why I often spend the money to mail these readers printed typescripts to write on and return. Whenever possible, I take these readers out to lunch or invite them over for dinner, so we can talk about their reactions to the book in a friendly, mutually nurturing, atmosphere. With those readers who live too far away, I phone or Skype.

I always make sure not to send the book out to too many readers at once, for two reasons: the first is that I can only take in so much feedback at a time; the second is that I want to keep some of my readers in reserve – for the next iteration of the manuscript. It’s extremely helpful to have readers who are reading each draft for the first time.

Only when I’ve had at least these three sets of readers do I send the book to my agent, who is a wonderful reader. She will often see something that everyone else has missed, and I’ll rewrite again. Last time I sent her revisions, she objected to a single word – and she was absolutely right!

Finding readers during the development of a project is not the same as having a book edited. Editing – including fact checking, punctuation and proofreading – is an entirely different step, a step that comes after writing the best story you possibly can.

dll2013Deborah Lee Luskin is an essayist, educator and novelist. She lives in southern Vermont and on the web at

When it’s Good, it’s REALLY Good (Make a Note of it)

A snippet of Google Calendar with an entry for AWD!!!You know the feeling, your fingers sail across the keyboard, the ideas are flowing you even tossing in a few $5 words just for fun (and because you remember what they mean). There is no feeling like it. That euphoria is why we write. Having once been a web designer and event planner I can equate it to when your code is flowing, or when the event you plan comes together smoothly. It is the spark or the passion that excites us when we are using our skills and talents do to something we love.

Make note of these times. Jot them down on your calendar, just a little star or AWD for “AWESOME WRITING DAY”. Write until you can write no more then savor the progress. Don’t judge, don’t critique. There will be plenty of time for that later. Relish the energy that flowed through you. Respect the words. If it works for you shout it from the tree tops.

  • ROAR! I met my word count for the day!
  • Yippee! I kicked ass at the keyboard!
  • Hell-to-the YES! The words were flowing today.

Why, is this personal love fest so important? Because (and no doubt you already know this), it’s not always that easy. I’d go so far as to say it is RARELY that easy. I know I’ve had more than a few days when I’ve had to practically duct tape myself to the chair and super glue my fingers to they keyboard. I’m here today to remind you to savor the good times. When the well feels dry. Search your calendar for one of the good days. Close your eyes and think back to that time when you and words were on good terms.

Will this magically make the words flow, your fingers fly, your brain a font of ideas? Maybe, maybe not, but one thing it does do is derail negative thoughts. I’m not even going to site examples here. We all know what they are and if you are having a good or even an average day, I don’t want to knock you off your game.

When you’re having a day that is not exactly over flowing with rainbows and unicorn farts, sometimes just getting back to neutral is all you need to get back to being productive. Not every day is going to be your BEST DAY EVAH! The lows make the highs higher and the highs make the lows worth it.

Getting published is the ultimate goal for most writers, but to get there, it’s necessary to celebrate the little wins along the way. If you don’t, the road to success becomes overwhelming.

Lee Laughlin is a writer, wife, and mom, frequently all of those things at once. She blogs at Her words have appeared in a broad range of publications from community newspapers to the Boston Globe.

Editorial Review

F:SEOAfterTheFirstDraftAfterTheFirstDraftCoverwithConfusedPerIn addition to writing my own fiction and essays, I also take on a variety of editorial work. Recently, a first-time novelist hired me to read her first draft.

It was good, and I told her so. I congratulated her on writing it all the way through to the end.

She said she was so sick of it, she wasn’t sure she’d go back and revise it, but still wanted me to read it with the hope that she’d learn something for her next attempt.

I told her being sick of a first draft is pretty normal, and the best thing she could do was get it off her desk for a while. That is, get it off her desk without making the mistake of sending it out to agents or editors. It’s rare that any first draft is ready for that. Most first drafts, in fact, are really messy instructions for writing a story. Often, inviting an outside reader to comment on a draft can help an author see her own work with greater clarity and renewed enthusiasm for revision.

The first-time novelist and I negotiated a contract that spelled out what kind of review she was looking for and what I needed to be paid. We both compromised with a deal we could both live with. She sent me a hard copy of her book in the mail.

I read the typescript, writing most of my notes on the time sheet I use to keep track of my hours on the job. I made a few notes in the margins of the typescript itself – the teacher in me just couldn’t help herself – but I knew that neither of us could afford that level of critique. We’d agreed to an hourly rate with a global cap, so I had to use my time efficiently. Besides, this writer was competent, so I confined my marginal notes to praising excellence and asking questions where I didn’t follow or buy in to the story.

I read the book carefully, and I thought about it a long time before I sat down and typed up four single-spaced pages of notes. I have a formula for these notes, which always start with a single-paragraph synopsis of the story. This tells the author what a careful reader thinks the book was about; any differences from what the author thinks the book is about is important information. This is always a genuinely upbeat paragraph that models the sort of synopsis that becomes part of a pitch when the revised work is ready to send out.

Next comes praise – lots of it and in detail. I enumerate all the things in the book that I liked, that I thought worked well, found funny/poignant/effective, and I do this in the language of the craft, commenting on effective characterization, setting, dialogue, exposition, plot, diction, etc.

Finally, I point out the places where I lost the thread of the story, didn’t understand what was happening or what the motivation was for a particular character’s action or speech. I point out inconsistencies of chronology, repetitions, gaps. By couching all my comments in terms of effectiveness, I’m really teaching narrative craft and not “giving a critique”.

In fact, I don’t think of this process as critiquing at all. Critiquing is loaded with “what’s wrong,” which I don’t feel is either helpful or fair. Who’s to say what’s right or wrong in narrative art? Instead, I think of this entire process as a learning experience – and encouragement to revise.

By showing the author where I stopped believing in a character and explaining why it didn’t work for me, I’m giving her the honest opinion of one single reader. Granted, I’m a skilled reader, but I’m also a middle-aged, middle-class, white woman living in the rural northeast. She may have another demographic in mind for her audience. All I can do is hold a mirror up to the work and let her decide what to do with what she sees.

After finishing my notes, I think some more. I ask myself, “What are the three most important things I can tell this author about this work?” When I have an answer, I write a cover letter that raises three Big Issues to consider. In this instance, I suggested the author think about selectivity (what to include and – equally important – what to leave out), subordination (giving more weight to what’s important and less to what’s less so), and audience (what can she assume the audience knows and what does she have to explain?).

Finally, I tally up my time and write an invoice.

I receive much more than just a fee for this work. I get to see a book under development – something akin to a prenatal sonogram; seeing someone else’s imagination at work is just as awe-inspiring and amazing. I also learn from others’ work, even when it is rough. And I make a connection to another writer – another solitary storyteller out there in the universe attempting to do this important work that glues our civilization together.

photo: M. Shafer

photo: M. Shafer

Deborah Lee Luskin is the award-winning author of Into the Wilderness.

Resource: On the Premises Magazine

On the Premisesa good place to start is a resource for fiction writers. It’s a PDF and web-based magazine published 3 times a year. The stories in the magazine are those that have won in the contests set up by the editors. You can read or download back issues here.

So, On the Premises is always running a contest – a ‘regular’ one and a ‘mini’. I learn a lot from the editors suggestions/hints/tips for submissions as well as the feedback they offer once a contest closes. They also share entries.

And they offer a free critique if your story places in the top 10; and have a reasonable fee if you’d like a critique if your story didn’t make the top 10.

blue ribbonDid I mention the staff is generous in helping writers?

  • As of -last- Monday, their newest ‘regular’ contest, Contest #21, already had 36 entries. Submissions are being accepted until Sept 27. It’s looking for 1,000 to 5,000 words on the premise described here. There is no entry fee and prizes are: 1st: $180, 2nd: $140, 3rd: $100, Honorable mention: $40 (and sometimes they’ll do up to 3 honorable mentions).
  • The new ‘mini’ contest, Mini-Contest #21, is now open to entries until August 30. No entry fee. Prizes are: $15 for first, $10 for second, $5 for third, and honorable mentions get published but make no money. This contest is seeking a 20- to 40-word (yes, that’s only a maximum of 40 words) story that starts and ends with the exact same word. Oh, and that word can’t be used anywhere else in the story.

To enter either contest, use this page to submit your entry (and to get the details/guidelines for both contests).

In addition to its website, On the Premises is also on Facebook, and has a blog. The blog doesn’t have a recent post, but that’s intentional. In the latest newsletter, the co-publisher mentions that the content on the blog is solid and they find it more beneficial to put time into the monthly newsletter.

I find the monthly newsletter to contain useful writing-related information every time, and look forward to seeing it in my Inbox.

This month’s newsletter, for instance, talks about using misdirection in a story — and also about how when submitting to a contest, to make sure your story doesn’t simply end, but that it actually wraps up the story line.

You can subscribe to their newsletter through this link.

Note: I’m not being compensated for this post. I personally enjoy On the Premises and felt you might like to know about it, if you didn’t already.

I’ve submitted stories in the past, but did not get published. I plan to submit to the mini contest this month, though! Nothing to lose and publication to gain. Are you with me?

Lisa J. Jackson Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys writing short. She loves writing about NH people, places, and activities. She writes fiction as Lisa Haselton, has an award-winning blog for book reviews and author interviews, and is on the staff of The Writer’s Chatroom where she gets to network with writing professionals on a weekly basis. You can connect with her on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Biznik.