Posts Tagged ‘writing’

There is so much wrong with this dismissive, judgmental article about people’s reading tastes/habits that it’s hard to know where to start, so it’s time for a list!

1) A good story is a good story, regardless if it is written for a child, a teenager or an adult; powerful themes/narratives transcend age/demographics.

2) The quick and blunt dismissal of genre fiction as “trashy” is woefully misguided (as someone who ekes out a living intelligently writing about and investigating horror, this makes me want to sit this journalist down and give ’em a literary lesson or two).

3) Books take us on adventures: sometimes they take us back in time to our younger, more naive years; sometimes they take us to places in the world (or on other worlds) we have no chance of ever experiencing; sometimes they guide us through tragedies and traumas we may never have to face first-hand. By limiting the scope of what we read, we are limiting our experiences and our ability to think/perceive/imagine things outside of our immediate reality, gender, age, creed, etc.

4) We should honestly be happy (and celebrate the fact) that some people still love books.

5) As an adult, it’s not particular mature to put down other adults’ interests and tastes. That’s petty grade school playground stuff.

Okay folks, I did it! I tweaked Chapter 9 of BLEEDER (“Keel”) to plug a glaring plot hole in the story and have now entered both that book and its completed sequel, LETTERS FROM NEW YORK, in the Wattpad Prize 2014 contest (just under the gun too). If you loved the series, any support you could give it during the next few months would be super awesome (if you haven’t already voted for the chapters, please consider doing so, for instance). I just hit the third trimester of my pregnancy yesterday, and I’m trying really, really hard to get you all some new RULER chapters, so any cheerleading/word-spreading about the Blood Magic saga that you guys could do while I’m pounding away at that would be much appreciated.

New interview with me hits the web! I talk about how I got started writing, why I’m so drawn to the dark stuff, and offer some (hopefully helpful) advice to aspiring scribes. Read it at!deathofcool/c210v.

A couple months back I was interviewed about BLEEDER by Canadian ‘zine and indie culture magazine BROKEN PENCIL (print edition, pictured below, on newsstands now) for an article about Canada’s Underground YA Scene. You can read the whole piece online at:

Over the Christmas holidays I’ll be cutting together a book trailer for BLEEDER using Jerry’s amazing chapter art.  I had the chance to hear the score written especially for it earlier this week for the first time and I can honestly say it is a thing of a beauty. I have no idea how/why I’ve been blessed with so many amazing contributors on this project, but yeah, wow… just wow. I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

In other news, I’ll be revealing the cover art and teaser blurb for LETTERS FROM NEW YORK late next week. The novella’s roughly a quarter written now and on track for its March debut. While it won’t be absolutely necessary to read this story before RULER, it does continue to expand the world, and fills in a bit of the time jump between books (for those who can’t bear the wait for more Mills and Keel). I think that’s all from the BLEEDERverse for now. Monica, over and out.

Writer’s block is deadly, even more so when you are committed to penning a weekly serial as I currently am (Bleeder is ongoing at and on Wattpad at, if you want to check it out). This week the dastardly demon reared its ugly head and forced me into battle. Here are some the weapons I utilized in combat.


1. The Book’s Soundtrack

Yes, yes, I can hear you griping already, “But Monica, books don’t have soundtracks.” Well, mine do. I imagine the story as a movie and which tracks would play behind which scenes, and then I make that playlist. When I’m blocked, I listen to it – now handily transferred to my iPhone – on my walks with the dog, while grocery shopping, while cutting the lawn, doing dishes. It helps keep me immersed in the story and the characters, and visualizing scenes, and it usually gets me excited about writing again too. So, #1, music as inspiration. 

2. The Ever-Open WORD Doc

I think it was author and friend, Ian Rogers (Temporary Monsters, Black-Eyed Kids), who taught me this one. Regardless of what I’m doing at my desk (paying bills, chatting with friends, editing/reading other people’s stories), when I’m blocked I never get up and leave my desk without full-screening the problematic chapter. This means that every time I sit down in front of my computer, I’m staring directly at the thing that has me so stumped. And every time I sit down, I aspire to plug at least a couple more sentences into it. I find if I do this long enough, I eventually burst past the word dam and back into open waters. Writer’s block is not a permanent condition.


3. Just Write

Sure, what comes out of that may not be sheer brilliance, but sometimes the solution is just doing and seeing what ends up the page. The thing about writer’s block is that it wants you to stop writing, so sometimes I find I just have to defy that instinct all together and push ahead past it. No one sees the first draft but me so it doesn’t really matter how crap it is, it doesn’t really matter if I hit backspace a hundred times the next time I tackle my manuscript, what matters is that I’m not giving in to what would be easiest: giving up and doing something else. Sooner or later, with enough words expelled, I always find my path back to my story and usually in a sharper, more engaging manner than I expected.


It’s been said a million times, but still bears repeating: Writing is not easy. It is a craft. A creative one that’s subject to the tidal forces of life and mood and interruption. But like all things that are difficult, it is important not to give up, but to seek out the solutions that will work for you. These are three of mine, feel free to try them at home. Though, of course, exact results not guaranteed.

Stuff I Wrote