The Writing Life

Tis the Season for Stories!

December has to be my favorite month of the year. I love all the preparations and decorations and celebrations for the Christmas season. But two of my favorite things about the Christmas season are the books and movies we savor every year because, for those of us in the Ball household, it just isn’t Christmas without:


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. (“Hey! Unto you a child is born!”)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Debbie Macomber’s Angels series (LOVE Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy!)


Christmas in Connecticut (the Barbara Stanwyck version)

White Christmas (I sing along, of course)

Ernest Saves Christmas  (Yes, I’m serious…knowwhaddImean, Vern?)

Die Hard (Hey, it’s a Christmas movie!)

Babes in Toyland (“This is the forest of no retuuuurrrnnnn…”)

A Muppets Christmas Carol (“You may be a bit of undigested beef…”)

How about you? What books or movies to you just have to read or watch when December rolls around?

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When You Don’t Feel Like Writing

Multi-colored paperclips

“I don’t feel like writing today.” Ever said that to yourself? I’m saying it today. But if I followed through on the impulse this page would be blank. Why You Won’t Write Today 1) Physical Illness can strike without warning. And some suffer from chronic conditions. I have clients who …

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The Most Important Word Every Writer Should Know

Failure. It is a word every writer learns to appreciate with time. In the beginning it is frustrating and angry-making. Along the way it becomes “meh” to the point of quitting completely. Eventually there comes the realization that it is normal and part of the business. Michael Jordan, basketball icon, said, …

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Ever Had One of Those Days?

You are going along with your tidy t0-do list decorated with empty check-boxes waiting to be marked. And then, WHAM! You get hijacked like the rhino in today’s picture and carried off to some unknown destination. Hours go by and you are tossed to-and-fro by this new crisis and that new …

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The World Rages

One hundred years ago this week, the Great War began. It was the war that was supposed to end all wars. The world decided it was about time to get all their anger out at once and then go back to living in peace.  Following the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand …

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Orphan Trains & Wild Stallions

by Allen Arnold I recently read about the unexpected publishing success of Orphan Train.  It’s a novel set in present-day Maine and Depression-era Minnesota. This fifth book from Christina Baker Kline has turned out to be a sleeper hit of the year, with more than one million copies sold. I’m …

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My Secret Writer’s Tool

Guest post by Jennifer Sienes Jennifer Sienes, one of Karen’s clients, is a talented fiction writer who according to editors has a gift for bringing out the emotional power of the scene. She was recently named as a finalist in the 2014 Genesis contest with her novel Redemption. You can find …

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Look Up!

by Karen Ball A friend shared the video at the end of this blog with me in response to what I wrote here last week. I love the message, not just for me personally, but for anyone who seeks to touch people through their writing. Because really, how effective can …

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