Author. Editor. Poet. Mom. Also a total grammar geek and word nerd.

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Photo credit: Lisa Miller of Studio di Luce

Hello! I’m very grateful to Quy Ma at About Me Stories for inviting me to submit my bio to his terrific publication. As my subhead states above, I’m an author, editor, poet, and mom, and I’m also a total grammar geek and word nerd. I grew up in upstate New York in Syracuse; attended Syracuse University; and have lived in Hartford (CT), Nashville, Dallas, and Denver. My three kids have grown up primarily in Denver, so that’s where my immediate family calls home. My siblings (pictured above sans one brother; I’m the second sister from the right), live all over…


And how to punctuate them correctly

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Similar to many grammatical terms, the term “conditional sentences” doesn’t always ring a bell with writers — and a discussion of conditional sentences can get complicated. For the purpose of this post, though, I’m going to keep things pretty simple. If you’ve read any of my other Writing Well posts, you’ll know this is my preferred approach.

Simply put, a conditional sentence tells what happens on the condition something else happens. “If he passes the test, he will be accepted.” “They will arrive in town after they have crossed the bridge.” These are both conditional sentences.

The construction of conditional sentences

In my post “How…

And which book-to-film adaptations are making headlines now

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Please note this post includes affiliate links, and I may earn a little money if you click on a link and make a purchase. Thanks!

In a recent “Page to Screen” issue of her HotSheet newsletter, book industry insider Jane Friedman, author of The Business of Being a Writer, provided oodles of insights into the growing demand for film-worthy fiction. She links to “The Success of Book To Film Adaptations” by Hannah Rothwell, who links to “What are the highest-grossing movie adaptations” by film data researcher Stephen Fellows, who states that “51% of the top 2,000 films” from 1994 to…

And the secret key to writing well you can learn on your own

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In “I Hate Revising. I Love Revising.” prolific marketing blogger Josh Spilker provides a helpful breakdown of the difference between editing and revising. While revising addresses big-picture issues such as story structure, key details, and flow, editing tackles the more mundane issues of grammar, punctuation, spelling, word choice, and clarity. When it comes to the type of editors out there, I think of developmental editors for books as those who tackle the big-picture issues mentioned above and copy editors as those who tackle the more mundane issues. …

Writing Well

Or how to keep your writing concise by watching out (or just watching) for these little words

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In my post “Different Types of Prepositions,” I review the basics of how a preposition often indicates “where” or “when” as in “The children played outside their home” and “He won’t be home until the holidays.” Occasionally prepositions also indicate “how” something occurs as in “They sang with enthusiasm.” One thing that helps me remember what a preposition does is to break the word “preposition” down to “pre” and “position.” When you think that a preposition “pre-positions” something, it’s easy to remember that it helps the reader understand details related to something.

Easy enough, but then prepositions can seem to…

And where you can find these unique works of outdoor art

A stone circular entry to a garden
Photo by susteph on

In my post “How to Use Different Parts of Speech to Power Up Your Poetry,” I mention how much I appreciate the connections I enjoy via social media with far-flung friends, family, and other writers. One of my long-time online friends I hope to meet in person some day is Karen Simpson, author of the novel Act of Grace and an aficionada of all things related to creative writing, quilts, horses, and history.

Recently Karen Simpson shared a post by The Fabulous Weird Trotters website that included multiple photos…

How to enter the creative zone despite everything else you “should” be doing

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Image by Albrecht Fietz from

In her brilliant post “Finding Balance in the Sacrifices You Make for the Lure of Creativity,” Kristina Jancar describes creative pursuits as energizing and magical. Anyone who’s ever experienced the thrill of creating something original out of an insect of an idea would likely agree with this take. While receiving acclaim for one’s creations can be intoxicating as well, many creators will tell you it’s the creative process itself that keeps them coming back for more.

Jancar also describes her tactics for entering the creative zone in stolen moments. I’d like to add that even when you’re busy with mundane…

Or any of your creative writing endeavors

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Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

In addition to allowing me to stay in touch with friends and family from all over, social media allows me to follow writers of all types. In the past year I’ve discovered a number of impressive poets online, and I’ve really appreciated it when they’ve shared their work. Most recently, poet Lauren Camp — author of five poetry collections, including Took House, which was published in August 2020 and has won numerous awards — has shared some of her poems accepted for publication in literary journals.

As she’s shared her poems, Lauren Camp has pretty much amazed me, so much…

And which fiction genres are most popular now in audio books, print titles, and ebooks

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At the end of 2019 I published my post “Traditional Book Publishing Trends Today, in 2020, and Beyond.” At the start of 2021, my post “Insider Insights on the State of the Book Publishing Industry” provided a bit of an update. Now that another six months have passed, I thought I’d see what book industry pundits are saying since analyzing the impact over a year of quarantine has had on the types of books people are buying — and in what formats.

As usual, I turned to industry insider Jane Friedman, author of The Business of Being a Writer, and…

Writing Well

And when it’s OK to end a sentence with one of these little words

Multicolored hot air balloon in blue sky.
Photo by Ella Wei from Pexels

In a post that discusses the use of prepositions in certain application programming interfaces (APIs), Donald Raab opens by mentioning that a friend of his at college “would always respond to the question ‘What’s up?’ with the consistent response: ‘A preposition.’” For word nerds like me, this sort of thing is a riot. But I also like it because it immediately reminds me of how we use prepositions all the time without paying much attention to them and the important work they do.

Simply put, prepositions are little words or short phrases that provide details related to two other words…

Karen DeGroot Carter

Bylines in Publishers Weekly, the Writing Cooperative, others. One Sister’s Song (novel). Not Nearly Everything You Need to Know About Writing (ebook).

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