Calliope Writing

Super Exciting Announcements: Not Boring, I Swear

…well, maybe I don’t swear, but I’ll try to make the announcements as exciting as possible.

I Won a Competition!


I’m not one who’s known for winning things frequently (at least, not when you look at how many contests I enter). I won a riddle competition a few years ago, and about a year ago I won a book from a Book Riot giveaway (they have the best giveaways, right up there with Goodreads‘s). But that’s about it.

Until this week.

On February 20, Words Can’t Fathom announced the Blogoquent Competition. Here was the challenge:

How well can you describe LIFE? Can you describe it in just one sentence?

My entry:

Life is a journey in which nothing is permanent and everything is precious.

And I found out on Thursday that I got first place with eighteen votes. Woohoo!

Here’s my badge of honor:


Check out the other winners and their entries here.

Gift Certificates Are on Sale


My other announcement is that Calliope Writing & Editing gift certificates are now for sale over at A Writer’s Path. I have two gift certificates up for grabs:

  • $35 off a 50,000-word proofread valued at $350 being sold for half price
  • $75 off a 50,000-word full edit valued at $750 being sold for half price

If you’ve ever been interested in my editing services, now is the time to jump in and see if we’d be a good fit! You can contact me here if you’d like to chat.

Those are my announcements for the week. What’s going on in your world?


Final Call to Win Prize Packs in Honor of NaNoWriMo!!

All you WriMos are aware: it’s November 30th, the last day of National Novel Writing Month. This means two things (if you’re in Eastern time):

  • You have 9 hours and 59 minutes to reach your 50,000 words and declare yourself a NaNoWriMo 2016 winner (if you haven’t already).
  • You have 9 hours and 59 minutes to enter the two giveaways I’m sponsoring in honor of NaNoWriMo!

Let’s Discuss Those Giveaways

The Writing & Reading Treasure Trove has everything a lover of books and writing could need.

nanowrimo giveaway goodies

To enter this giveaway, visit this link and follow the instructions.

The Book Lover’s Paradise prize pack is full of what avid readers love: BOOKS!

nanowrimo giveaway books

And guess what?! Each prize pack will include one extra item not listed in this post!!

What are you waiting for? The giveaways end tonight at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.

NaNoWriMo Is Almost Over…

Now what?

Here are a few tips to help you get through the post-NaNoWriMo blues – and to help turn your first draft into a kickass book.


  • First off, if you haven’t reached that coveted 50,000th word, keep writing.
  • Once your first draft is completed, set it aside for at least two weeks. In my personal and editorial experiences, I’ve found it essential for writers to get some distance from a project before jumping into revisions. This will allow you to view the book with a fresh pair of eyes when you pick it back up weeks or months later – and be better able to spot plotholes or other issues. Not sure how to put your first draft down? Catharine Bramkamp has some great tips in her article “Go Ahead – Ignore Your Novel!
  • Focus on the big stuff: character or timeline inconsistencies, plotholes, improbabilities, lack of tension/conflict, pacing problems, voice/tone inconsistency, etc. Make a list of the concerns you have with your current draft. Then go to work revising and rewriting to correct those problems. You may find that you create several drafts during this stage – that’s okay! In fact, that’s better than okay – it means you’re doing all you can to make your book as awesome as it can be.
  • Once you have a book that feels complete, enlist the help of beta readers. No, I’m not talking about relatives, friends, or even acquaintances. To learn more about the importance of beta readers, check out Aislinn Lavoie’s blog post “Are You Ready to Take the Publishing Plunge?


  • After you’ve received criticism from your group of beta readers, have assessed it, and have made necessary changes, it’s time to hire a professional editor. I, of course, highly recommend my editing services (learn more about them here). But if you opt for shopping around, know that an editor shouldn’t have a problem doing a sample edit on the first several pages of your manuscript. This and a phone call to discuss your goals will ensure that you find the ideal editor for you and your book.

And that’s it for now, folks! I hope your NaNoWriMo is/was a successful one.

As always, write on.

P.S.: I’ll see you soon to announce the giveaway winners!

Which Kind(s) of Editing Does Your Novel Need?

Editing – something all written works need. But it can be tricky.

Hence, why I’m reblogging this great post.

A Writer's Path


Notice the title of this post is not Does your novel need editing? The answer to that question is YES. Always. I don’t care if you wrote The Great Gatsby of the modern day; your novel needs to be edited.

View original post 832 more words

July 25, 2013, 4:03 pm
Filed under: Updates | Tags: , , ,

Hi there, blogosphere!

I’m so sorry that I’ve been MIA for such a long time. Things have been INSANE on my end, and I’ve been very busy with various writing and editing jobs.

First, I was hired full-time by Media Shower to manage their Guest Blog Post Program. (Looking for some blog posts to publish on your blog? We have a bunch up for grabs here:

Then, shortly after, I became editor of a local magazine, Mt. Pleasant Lifestyle.

So so busy!

What’s been going on in your life?

Interview with ‘Chimney Bluffs’ Author David B. Seaburn
October 24, 2012, 3:41 pm
Filed under: Interviews | Tags: , , , , ,

I had the distinct pleasure of working once again with David B. Seaburn (previously, I edited his novel Charlie No Face) on his most recent work, Chimney Bluffs. David took the time to sit down with me and talk about his latest novel.

Katrina Robinson: Tell me a little bit about Chimney Bluffs; from where did you get the inspiration for the story?

David B. Seaburn: When I was working on my last novel, Charlie No Face, I read an online news article about an incident in England where a mother and father had leaped to their death from a famous cliff after the unanticipated death of their four-year-old son.

Of course, that was awful in and of itself, but what really captured my attention was that they jumped with two sacks: one had their dead son, the other had his toys. Somehow I couldn’t get that image out of my mind. They clearly wanted to be together in whatever world awaited them. The sack of toys was very poignant. They must have thought their son would need them.

I couldn’t shake this story. I began to wonder: How did the couple come to their decision? What if one of the parents had not died? Those questions helped me develop the premise for my story.

KR: You depict the death of a child in such a personal, heartbreaking way. Was this difficult for you to write about?

DS: Yes, it was difficult. In the first chapter, Clancy Brisco, a ranger at Chimney Bluffs State Park, discovers two adults and two sacks resting on the beach at the bottom of a cliff. When I finished that chapter, I pushed myself away from the computer and thought, What have I gotten myself into?

It was not easy, but it shouldn’t have been. If you’re going to take on a subject like this, it should be just as challenging for the writer as it may be for the reader.

KR: This is your fourth published novel. Are there any key lessons that you’ve learned along the way?

DS: Have a good editor! (That would be you.) I think I have gotten better at developing character at greater depth and allowing for more complexity without losing a clear and, perhaps, simple narrative line.

I’ve also learned how to live better with the uncertainty of not knowing where I’m going. When I started writing Chimney Bluffs, I had no idea where the story would go or how it would end. Unlike some writers, I don’t work from an outline. I work through my fingers at the computer. Not that I don’t have a good notion of what the whole should look like, but I tend to trust what emerges as it emerges. I think I have gotten better at living with this ‘not knowing’ aspect of writing.

KR: What piece of advice would you give to a writer who hopes to have his or her work published?

DS: I think it’s important to write about what is meaningful to you. When I start a novel, I know that for the next eighteen months I will be wrestling with issues that are of personal concern to me, that have something to do with helping me define what it means to be here in this world. I never write for an audience. It would drive me crazy. I have to write for myself first.

KR: Any ideas for your next novel? (We won’t tell!)

DS: I am actually well into my fifth novel. The working title is More More Time. The basic premise is that how we address the issue of time may be the most important thing we can do to live meaningfully. In the first chapter, the lead character, a cantankerous sixty-two-year-old high school history teacher with an obsession about Lincoln, falls down his basement steps. Soon thereafter he starts hearing this phrase: endingworldendingworldendingworld. In very different ways, each of the characters in this story will be addressing the issue of time whether they are aware of it or not.

To pick up a copy of Chimney Bluffs, visit Savant Books and Publications or

Fiction Editing: An Embarrassment of Riches (March 2012)
April 25, 2012, 1:51 pm
Filed under: Non-Fiction Editing | Tags: , , , ,

An Embarrassment of Riches, Carolyn Kingson (uncredited) Page

Fiction Editing: “Strawberry Siren”, Richard Drayton, Jr.

Strawberry Siren, Dog Ear Publishing, LLC August 2011 page

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