BeeLine Reader and Announcement

Mini Marshmallow 14 April 2015

BeeLine Reader

Did you know that our brains process colour faster than words?

Did you know that there’s a free-plug-in that uses colour to help people read faster and with greater ease?

It’s called BeeLine Reader and you can find it at As they so elegantly explain:

BeeLine Reader makes reading faster and easier by using a color gradient that guides your eyes from the end of one line to the beginning of the next. With BeeLine Reader, you can finish your work faster—and with less eyestrain.

If you’re a writer, then you’re also a reader. If you’re like me, then you spend a lot of time on the computer and the internet. As much as I love words, all that staring at the screen can take its toll. Anything that helps me write more is a great blessing.


This will be the final edition of my newsletter in this form. From now on, the newsletter will consist of updates and links to resources. My aim is to send one every four to six weeks, but it’s not a hard and fast rule.

The reason for this is two-fold: writing these articles takes time away from my fiction, and my business is changing.

Actually, there are three reasons. Most writing advice can be distilled to ‘sit down and write’. It gets to a point where there isn’t much more to say. I can post quote and advice, but all that is secondary to the act of writing.

While I’ve had a lot of fun compiling the newsletters and coming up with prompts, it’s time to say goodbye. Thank you for being here with me.

You can always reach out to me and ask questions, or if you just need some encouragement. Remember that I believe in you!

Thank you again for reading. Happy writing, for now and always.


Mini Marshmallow 16 March (Procrastination)

Hi everyone!

This week’s Mini Marshmallow features one of the most helpful writing tools I’ve ever encountered.

Cold Turkey ( is a programme you can install on your computer to block distracting sites so you can get to work.

You enter the sites you want to block and for how long, and then activate the programme. That’s it.

What I especially like about Cold Turkey is that it’s very kind to you if you forget and visit a blocked site. Instead of a harsh reminder, you’re presented with a pleasant outdoor scene and an uplifting quote. Here’s the one I just got:

‘Either you run the day or the day runs you.’
– Jim Rohn

Am I ready to get back to work or what?

If you use a Mac, there’s a similar programme called Self Control (

We’re human. We have days when it’s harder to focus than others. Procrastination doesn’t mean we’re bad, wrong or lazy. It just means we need a little extra help getting to work. That’s all.

Happy writing and until next week,

Mini Marshmallow – 02 March (Challenges)

Hi everyone!

My Manuscript Reading service is up and running. Subscribers get a €35 discount. Not bad, right?

Thank you for being here and thank you for reading! On to this week’s Mini Marshmallow.



Bart: I thought you came here looking for a challenge.
Lisa: Duh! A challenge I could do!

The Secret War of Lisa Simpson: The Simpsons, Season Eight, Episode 25

This is me exactly. I want a challenge. But it had better not be too much of a challenge! It can’t be frustrating and should be completed in a reasonable amount of time (i.e. ten minutes, tops). And I’d better be really, really good at it.

Those are the kinds of challenges I like.

Are those the kinds of challenges you like as well?

We know that challenges help us grow stronger. If everything came to us easily, we wouldn’t really learn anything. We know that, but my goodness, I really do wish things would be a little easier sometimes.

If you’re being challenged by your writing, that’s very normal and very human. You are not alone. Be honest about your frustration. Take a moment to breathe and centre yourself. Then find a way to reconnect with your work. For me, it’s the above quote. It makes me laugh and reminds me that some things just take time, no matter how much I’d like to rush the process. For you, it might also be a quote. It could also be a picture, aperson or a particular work. Or a variety of things.

Whatever it is, remember that you’re not alone, you’re doing just fine and to keep on writing.

For extra smiles, here’s an adorable comic series:

Ichabod the Optimistic Canine by Ayla StarDragon.

Ichabod loves life and turns every challenge into an opportunity. Truly a role model for us all.

Happy writing!



Questions? Suggestions? Feel free to drop me a line at Use the sign up box to receive the newsletter (and future offers) directly. You can also follow or contact me via Facebook, Linked In, YouTube or Tumblr.

Mini Marshmallow (16 February 2015)


Welcome to the first Mini Marshmallow. It’s a little boost to keep your spirits up and help you write. I felt that two weeks was too long to wait for encouragement. Each one will be posted on alternate Mondays and will be quite short in comparison to the articles.

The first Mini Marshmallow comes to us courtesy of Amy Poehler. In the video linked below, Amy is asked how to gather the courage to take risks, especially when you’re scared of messing up in front of other people. Amy answers with one of my favourite lines in the entire world:

“Great people do things before they’re ready.”

We don’t always feel we’re ready to write. I know I don’t. We might be scared of making a mistake. We might feel we don’t have enough knowledge or we’re not as talented as other people, or a million other reasons why we think we’re not ready to write.

But great people do things before they’re ready. Here is what I know: you are great. You are great, even before you try. And when you try, you will see how truly great you are.

Happy writing,


Amy’s video on courage is short but powerful. You can watch it here:

There’s a very short theme song at the beginning, so don’t be surprised by the music.

Artist Gavin Aung Than has illustrated a section from this video for his site, Zen Pencils:

Both links are guaranteed to inspire, but remember to get to writing and explore the sites later (something I have to tell myself all the time). Enjoy!

Questions? Suggestions? Feel free to drop me a line at Use the sign up box to receive the newsletter (and future offers) directly. You can also follow or contact me via Facebook, Linked In, YouTube or Tumblr.