Colorful bottles on a blue shop shelf in St. Lucia

Image via Laura Collins Britton,

Welcome to this month’s writing roundup, where I revisit pieces I published during the past (two) months. This month’s articles are not in any sort of chronological order. Instead, I’m sorting them by topic.

Did a Jane Doe Just Deal Campus Rape Culture a Huge Blow?” Dame Magazine. 10 September 2015.

I’m really proud of this piece. It’s a follow up of a piece I wrote back in March about the University of Oregon and how it has treated the medical records of students on campus. What’s so amazing is that since that first piece, politicians have actually acted to try to better protect student medical records. Faints in shock. Here’s the crux:

Had these new FERPA guidelines been in place back in December 2014, UO likely would not have been able to access Jane Doe’s medical records without a court order, and certainly not prior to her filing a lawsuit. Since her lawsuit did not put her medical treatment at issue, according to these new guidelines, UO would have had to go through ordinary civil litigation channels to access her medical records. And they would only have had access to those relevant to her legal complaint—not access to whichever ones they felt like taking.

We Are Not Prepared for Students In Distress.” Chronicle of Higher Education Vitae. 2 October 2015.

“Every wise educator should anticipate that, at some point, he or she will have a student who is emotionally distraught in the educator’s office,” McKinney said. “The smart thing to do is to have a strategy in place for situations that go beyond what you know your tolerance for emotional discussions to be.” If you know that your tolerance is low, you need to have some numbers on your office speed dial.

Articles on Writing

The No-Fail Author Newsletter Formula.” Underground Book Reviews. 26 October 2015.

These days authors are encouraged to send newsletters. Do you wonder what should go in your newsletter? The article provides a formula to get you started.

5 Steps to Original Character Creation.” Women Writers, Women’s Books. 10 October 2015.

The secret to how I write characters? Pair flaws (special ones) with superpowers (also special). Here’s what eventually happens:

What you might notice as you start to write these sketches is that what you thought was a superpower might also be a flaw, and what you thought was a flaw might also be a superpower. That’s a great moment. That’s when your characters start to become human.

Schedule Yourself: Productivity Tips for Writers.” Underground Book Reviews. 25 September 2015.

I get a lot done in a day. I also have two small children (ages 4 and 6) and a husband who works long hours in another city. I don’t have a choice but to run a tight ship. (Heck, I run a nuclear submarine.) The only way I can get anything done is to schedule my work. Even though I don’t punch a clock or show up at an office at a designated time, by scheduling my work, I show myself, and the world, that my time is valuable.

Does that sound like anyone else out there? If so, read the article—you might find it helpful.

Book Review

Review of Paladin by Sally Slater.” Underground Book Reviews. 26 October 2015.

Wow I loved this book! Sally originally wrote it on Wattpad, and now you can buy it and YOU SHOULD. It was fantastic! High fantasy, swords and sorcery, the whole nine, but also full of heart. 6 out of 5 stars. I wish I could go back in time to the place where I hadn’t read it yet and read it again. Here, go buy it now: 2.99 ebook | 13.98 paper.

Alt Text: Monochrome photograph of a rain shower on a brick walkway. Image via Pixabay.

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