I describe effective writing techniques that middle grade writers use to draw in their readers.
I explain what artist trading cards are and share my technique for creating them.
I explain how fans of superhero movies can start to learn about, read, and collect comic books based on these movies.
I list 10 performances given by child actors in films and why they are great.
I outline and analyze 10 significant moments from Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises in the order that they appear in the trilogy.
I discuss famous book covers, the history of book cover design, fonts, illustrations, and trends.
I give my review of Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp
I provide 50 fiction writing ideas to help battle writer's block.
I explore the history of the Wilkins Coffee commercials which featured early Muppets performed by Jim and Jane Henson and how they are reminiscent of the Vines that people make today.
I discuss how to prepare an edited piece of writing for publication.
In the second part of my tips on writing, I discuss the different types of editing that a piece needs before it can be published or submitted for publication.
The first in a three-part article highlighting how to edit all types of writing.
Learn how to make a wreath made of styrofoam and ribbon. It's a quick and easy way to brighten up your doorway or someone else's day!
I reflect on the lighting depicted in one of Edward Hopper's paintings: Gas, 1940.
I provide some tips for crafting realistic but fictional characters for short stories and novels.
I explain the history, fiction, and pseudoscience behind telekinesis/psychokinesis.
I provide some motivation for writer's block or for anyone who feels stuck or unsure of their writing.
I analyze why overpowered and self-righteous superheroes tend to be less revered than flawed and imperfect ones and make a case for why they might be more interesting than we give them credit for.
I analyze how a classic story can evolve for its audience as the grow from a teen to an adult, whether it be a novel, comic, movie, or TV show.
I review author Catherine Isaac's first American novel, You Me Everything.
I review Avengers: Infinity War which I went to see during the opening weekend of its release.
I discuss the pacing, scene-by-scene, in John Carpenter's original Halloween movie.
I discuss 12 important episodes in the original run of Roseanne.
I review Marvel's Black Panther movie.
I interview indie author, Simon Pearce, about his debut novel, Mo, part of The Spotlight Tales.
I go over the benefits and offer tips on how to use the #MSWL to find literary agents for your book.
I explain how ambiguous movie endings can create interesting ideas about plot and character development using the film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
I name 15 movies that I watch to get inspired to write my own stories.
I summarize and analyze seven monologues performed by Tom Hanks characters throughout his acting career.
I discuss movie villains who switch sides and do the right thing for various reasons and how we can identify with them in the actions we take in our own lives.
I review Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi film, spoiler-free.
I interviewed author, Shawn St. Jean, about his picture/sketch book, "Cranky Bear Wakes Up".
I describe 10 reasons why I love to visit cemeteries and how useful they can be for health, research, and as a way to pass the time.
I describe how to make an inexpensive, homemade snow globe to give away as a Christmas gift or to display as a Christmas decoration in your own home.
I explore how strong endings are crucial for romantic comedies and can help them transcend the cookie cutter reputation that they have been stuck with throughout the years.
I review the movie, Justice League, and point out its strengths and weaknesses.
I review the YA novel, Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.
I describe 10 strong points of season 2 of the Netflix series Stranger Things. Spoilers ahead.
I share a few chapters from my middle grade novel, "The Stable House" in which the characters go trick-or-treating and find that things don't go exactly as planned.
I demonstrate my attempt at the Kracie Popin'Cookin' Donut kit.
I describe what it's like to take part in a zombie walk, one of many fun activities to do in the fall.
I try my hand at a Japanese gummy candy making kit commonly found in ASMR videos.
I describe my experiences watching the solar eclipse first online then with my own eyes from Pittsburgh, PA on August 21, 2017.
I review the Christopher Nolan war film, Dunkirk.
I review the latest Spider-Man movie.
I explain my preparation, process, and tracking of submitting an unsolicited book manuscript to publishers.
I offer five solutions for keeping animals from eating vegetable plants.
I share 10 ways that I design, organize, and maintain my bullet journal.
I chronicle my first time working with concrete and the guides I used to help pour a small space needed to seal gaps in my garage door.
I describe how I sanded and painted some outdoor metal in my yard and explain what worked for me and what didn't.
I review the film Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2.
I review the film, Wonder Woman.
I describe how I purchased, painted, and installed my little free library which I use to swap books with neighborhood visitors.
I review Hugh Jackman's final performance as Wolverine in the film, Logan.
I talk about the importance of narration in movies and highlight 10 films who have great narrators.
I highlight five movies that I loved as a kid that are not so beloved by an older generation.
I recommend 10 memoirs written by famous people, mainly comedians, that I have read over the last year.
I interviewed author Damon L. Wakes about his books and writing before the release of his novel, "Ten Little Astronauts".
As a casual fan of the franchise, I review the latest installment in the Star Wars saga, Rogue One.
I interview Harel R. Lawrence, author of three self-published books.
I interview Eva Pascoe, author of two women's fiction books.
I interviewed Ame Terra, indie author of two adult fiction novels between the release of her first and second novels about her books, her writing process, her inspiration, and her future writing plans.
I try three short-term diet plans and report on my results.
I interview Lynn Sanders, author of two books.
I interview RM Gauthier for Indie Author Day.
I interview author Jennifer McKeithen for Indie Author Day.
I interview Deborah Baldwin for Indie Author Day.
I interview Jan Notzon for Indie Author Day.
I interview CIndy Lynch about her writing career for Indie Author Day.
I interview Sarah Bates about her writing career for Indie Author Day.
I interview Alex Dunn about her writing career for Indie Author Day.
I interview Tasha Dunagan about her writing career for indie author day.
I interview Dawn Menge about her writing career for Indie Author Day.
I interview RV Reyes for Indie Author Day.
I interview author TL Clark for Indie Author Day.
I interview author Lizabeth Scott for Indie Author Day.
I interview PD Workman for Indie Author Day 2016.
I interview indie author James Young about his books and his writing process.
I interview Lynn Sanders for Indie Author Day.
I interview author HL Carpenter for Indie Author Day.
I interview author Laurel Heidtman for Indie Author Day.
I interview Angela D'Onofrio about her writing career for Indie Author Day.
I interview WordyNerdBird about her writing career for Indie Author Day
I interview Jan Notzon, author of two books available to purchase on Amazon.
I interview Cindy Lynch, author of two self-published books.
I interview inde author, Susan Girard, author of the first of a series of fantasy novels available on Amazon.
I interview indie author, Mary Ellen Quire, author of five books.
Here I share my tips on tracing your family history through both free and paid sources, including Ancestry.com and how to organize the information that you find.
I interview Gail Nyoka, author of a children's book and a new YA book out this week.
I discuss the different types of jump scares that have been used in horror and suspense movies throughout history and how they fulfill the audience's need for a thrilling movie experience.
Here I share my opinions on the latest installment in the X-Men film series: X-Men: Apocalypse.
I review the movie "Captain America: Civil War" with minimal spoilers.
Here I provide 10 tips for writers about how to find inspiration and give examples about how they helped me with my writing.
I explain what it's like wearing braces, exploring my own personal history and offering tips on how to take care of your teeth and manage the discomfort that can come with it.
I interview Gavin L. Hill, author of eight children's books, including a fantasy novel series.
I review the latest in Segilola Salami's children's book series, "Yetunde: An Ode To My Mother."
I review the children's book, "The Missing Laddoos" by self-pubished author, Jassie S.
I interview AnnaMarie Squailia, author of two children's books.
I interview self-published author, Beax Rivers about two of her novels.
I interview Maureen Baggett, author of five children's books.
I interview indie author, Lindsay Marie Miller about her books, Emerald Green, Me and Mr. Jones, and Jungle Eyes.
I interview indie writer Peggy Purser Freeman, author of four children's books.
I interview Angela Shori, indie author of A Boo-Tiful Halloween and The Cabin.
I interview children's and YA author, Sherrie Bain about her first novel, Midnight At Herlong Manor.
I interview indie fantasy writer, Ian Copsey about his book, The Game Master.
I interview YA author, Herbel Santiago.
I interview Denae Christine, author of the fantasy novel series, Royal Deception.
I interview inde author, Jens Lyon, author of a new children's book, Time Trip: A Dinosaur Musical.
I interview childrens and YA author, Suzi MacDonald.
I interview YA author, P.D. Workman about her YA novels which focus on outcasts and give a voice to this often ignored age group.
Illustrator Chihiro Tani answers 10 questions about her book illustrations.
I inerview indie author, Tyler Woods, about writing for an all-ages group and his successes as a self-published author.
I interview indie author, Ash Night about her books and writing process.
Self-published author, Bruce Deitrick Price answers my 10 questions about his writing and offers experienced perspectives about writing and publishing to up-and-coming writers.
My interview with self-published author, P. Wish.
I interview YA author, Heather Couch, about her book, "Reciprocal," part of The Infinity Series.
I interview author, Diamante Lavender, indie author of two self-published books available on Amazon.
Below is an interview with Johanna Craven, author of a new YA novel available on Amazon.
Below I interview inde author Angela J. Ford, author of seven self-published books.
I interview Kylen Gartland, indie author of her book, "The Messenger."
Below I interview self-published author Elizabeth S. Tyree, author of 10 self-published children's books.
I interview indie author Wendi L. Wilson about her book, "Shadowed Strength".
Here I conduct my first illustration-based interview with author and illustrator, Patti Brassard Jefferson.
I interview author, Shannon Peel, author of the middle grade novel, "Thirteen" available on Amazon.
I interview Bryan Pentelow, author of the "Sprocket Saga" series.
I interview author Iffix Santaph, writer of the "Forgotten Princess" series.
I interviewed Robert Arrington, author of "The Wonderland Effect" available on Amazon July 15, 2015.
This week I interview author, Marti Dumas, writer of two children's books.
I interview self-published author, Robert Krenzel, about his book, "This Glorious Cause".
I interview indie author, Steve King, writer of "The Shrinking Sea."
I interview author, Paige Lavoie, author of "The Diary of an Invisible Girl".
Here I describe how I developed my author interview series and post my latest interview with author, Amanda Clay.
Below I discuss what I love about baseball and why it means so much to its fans and to our culture in general.
Below is a description of eight major book awards and past winners.
Below I talk about the history, culture, and my personal relationship with tea.
In this article, I talk about my experience having my wisdom teeth removed and offer personal tips and facts from sources regarding the surgery. Learn what to expect if you are having this procedure.
Below I discuss 10 great heroic scenes in superhero movies in no particular order.
Below I name 10 of my favorite rescue and chase scenes in the superhero movie genre.
Below I Name 10 of My Favorite Superhero Movie Fight Scenes.
Below I discuss my writing process, habits, and rituals along with how famous authors have constructed their books, illustrating how no two writers are the same.
Below I describe the story, characters, appeal, and many incarnations of 'The Baby-Sitter's Club' series.
Below I discuss five motivations that writers should avoid while trying to make it in the industry.
Below are 15 of my favorite episodes from Batman: The Animated Series which ran in the 90's on Fox. I recap the story line of each episode and explain why it makes my list.
Below is an easy recipe to make Hello Dollies, a rich and chocolaty dessert.
This article will discuss Batman: The Animated Series and the features that made it not just a great kid's show but a great piece of 90's TV culture.
Below I discuss the charms and attractions of Idlewild Park and Soak Zone located in Ligonier, PA.
A scavenger list of sights, sounds, and other sensory experiences at the classic amusement park.
I reflect on the year-long project of cross-stitching a butterfly lap quilt that I bought from Walmart.
Below I share stories about my experiences caring for the Betta fish that I have owned.
Below are my 12 favorite movie commentaries that can be found on the special features of their DVD releases.
Below are 26 facts about Jim Henson's Muppets including their history, characters, and merchandise.
Below I talk about the history and impact of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series.
Laura Smith The ability to create great ASMR videos is a skilled art just like any other creative genre. It blends many other artistic skills to develop a therapeutic video that engages the senses and sparks the phenomenon that the ASMR community...
I list five ways to break into writing and work towards developing pieces that can one day be published.
I list topics that I wish were taught in elementary and high school to help kids prepare for the real world.
I offer tips on how to increase your chances of getting your poetry published in literary journals.
I name 10 of my favorite comedies and explain why they make the list.
People do a lot of talking. They feel the need to share their every thought, especially online when they are not necessarily talking but still communicating. Sometimes people forget that communication goes both ways. Somebody needs to hear what is...
I describe the inspiration behind my third middle grade novel being based on the games I played with my friends and siblings in my neighborhood growing up, hoping to inspire today's readers to go out and do the same.
Laura Smith I bought my first house three years ago, and it felt like a never ending process. There was a long checklist of things to do and a longer checklist of decisions to make. Just when all of the papers were signed, and I thought it was all...
I share my diet history and tips for losing weight.
I reflect on 11 of my favorite TV sitcom Halloween specials of the past.
This article chronicles my first year growing vegetables in my yard, highlighting my successes and failures.
I list my favorite YouTube channels that feature kids, whether it be performing or just being themselves.
I choose 10 of my favorite Stephen King novels and explain why they make the list.
I discuss five well-made movies that have disturbed me to the point where I have vowed never to watch them again.
Below I discuss some popular movie endings which left audiences on a cliffhanger or failed to provide answers to the questions it proposed.
Below I share my limited paranormal experiences while embarking on ghost tours and ghost hunts and what they have come to mean to me.
A common sense guide to cooking for the first time including simple recipes to try.
This article is about the various family friendly places to visit while on vacation at Virginia Beach.
Below I describe my successful tea party and offer tips and recipes for planning your own tea party.
Here I discuss relationships between male and female characters in movies which never lead to a romantic attachment. Movie spoilers included.
Below are 14 movies that include scenes that can trigger an ASMR sensation in those who have the phenomenon. *Caution: Spoilers below!*
Below are 10 memoirs that I have read in the last few years that I would recommend to anyone who likes true stories about struggles and victories.
Below I discuss my 28-year-old take on the book and movie, "The Fault in Our Stars" and try to explain why it is different from other stories for teens.
Below I discuss the history of the drive-in movie and offer insight and tips into this increasingly rare but fun summer activity.
Andy Warhol's grave is a short drive from my house. I describe what it's like there and the gifts that people bring in appreciation of his art.
Below I share some flowers that I have researched and planted in my yard that will not be eaten by deer.
I list seven pets from movies that win me, a non-animal lover, over.
Below I discuss various details and clues that help to build movie worlds and drive the plot forward but don't usually occur in everyday life.
Below I discuss (spoiler free) why the Scream films are a very good place for new horror fans, both young and old, to begin their slasher movie obsesssion.
Here I discuss some of the greatest cartoons of the 80's and 90's, how they evolved from the cartoons of previous generations and how they influenced the cartoons that kids watch today.
Pittsburgh, a traditionally small U.S. steel town, has become a popular movie filming location in recent years yet has a long history in the film industry.
Ticket scalpers are making it more difficult for the public to purchase tickets to their favorite events. However, the public is split over whether or not this business is legal.
Many movies tend to represent a writer's process and inspiration in a very inaccurate depiction of the craft. I explore these inaccuracies and how they can be improved upon.
Here, I explain the different writing processes I've used to write my books.
Below are 10 movies whose spring themes are currently in season.
I explain why PNC Park is deemed the best ballpark in America.
A community of artists have popped up on YouTube to promote sleep and relaxation using ASMR, a tingling sensation caused by soft speaking and slow movements. These are my favorite ASMR channels.
If you are going to self-publish your book, it is important to take the time to market it to the public. Below are eight tips to help you market your book.
Filmmaker Brett Culp's documentary, "Legends of the Knight" chronicles several stories of people who have overcome challenges and become heroes in their community after being inspired by Batman. It also serves as a charity event for those who schedule a screening in their hometown.