April 17th, 2021

Hi! How have you been? How was your week?

Some awesome news!

This week’s writing tip will be provided by my first-ever guest contributor, Anna Volante (@TopKnotCopy). Amazing, right? I think so!

I would really love to see your writing prompt responses each week as well. This week, I’ll be writing a piece based on this week’s writing prompt which you can check out at the bottom of the newsletter.

Do you enjoy the writing prompts I provide each week? Also, I’d like to hear about writing sprints. Are you doing any daily or weekly?

Writing sprints are amazing for boosting creativity and digging yourself out of the deep, dark hole called writer’s block.

In one of the discord servers I’m a part of, they give out several daily writing sprints: some are 1 hour writing sprints, and some are as fast as 15 minutes. Let me tell you right now I will get nothing written if I’m forced to stay within a 15-minute time constraint, haha!

Jacob Thomas

Jacob Thomas


Jacob Thomas is a children’s book & humorous fiction book writer, father, person with autism, someone’s best friend, pluviophile, bibliophile, and so many other things!

This Week’s Writing Tip

This week’s writing tip comes from my first ever Guest Contributor, Anna Volante (@topknotcopy)!

About Anna:

“As a child, I spent most of my time at the library or playing video games with my family. I loved the escape of fantasy worlds more than anything else.

​I abandoned reading for pleasure when I got older and dove into academia. I thought my future was in museums. I duel majored in Anthropology and Near Eastern Civilizations at the University of Michigan before moving to California where I received my MA in Museum Studies from the University of San Francisco. I had dreams of writing exhibition scripts, of curating, of taking part in the dissemination of knowledge I believe so deeply in.”

Learn More

Image of Anna of Top Knot Copy - Image Credit Belongs to Anna of Top Knot Copy

“Holy adjectives! Is there such a thing as too many in your content?

Of course. By using the common sense our noodle provides us, we can deduce that sentences don’t need three adjectives. And as much as I hate to say it as an adjective lover, most sentences can do without any.

However, adjectives add flavor to your writing. We use them in our daily language to provide the listener (and reader) more information about the noun they describe.

Imagine reading about a new video game described as “A world of adventure” vs “A bizarre world of haunting adventure.” The latter tells you what to expect from the game. It feels like an experience.

The trick is to use adjectives that add concrete descriptions to your copy. Or ones that evoke emotions.

Or, if you can, find a noun that’s more precise.

You don’t have to cut all your adjectives out just because you’re told it makes your content concise.

As always, my friends, you’re the writer, the creator; you get to decide.”

– Anna (@TopKnotCopy)

What Do You Think Of This Week’s Writing Tip?

Book Giveaway

But I do still want to talk about the latest book giveaway contest that I’m doing.

Next up on the book giveaway list is a complete box set of the Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald.

A perfect gift for Judy Moody uber-fans! Everyone’s favorite exuberant third-grader is celebrated like never before with a GIANT set of her first twelve adventures.

From bad moods to saving the world, solving mysteries to predicting the future, Judy’s many memories — and moods — provide hours of entertainment.

Whether they’ve followed Judy for years or are encountering her for the first time, readers will get a thrill from this cool, colorful, and totally RARE boxed set.


Must be subscribed to my email newsletter, which of course YOU already are but here’s an added bonus: YOU can invite as many people as you’d like to sign up for my newsletter, increasing your chances of winning!

Once I reach 100 email subscribers, I’ll announce the winner!

Latest Blog Posts


Lorem Ipsum, huh? Cool, cool…..cooooool. Yeeeaaaahhhh, this is me writing something here. Read this blog post, I guess?

read more

Author Life

This week, I haven’t had much time to write anything in my latest manuscripts. As I said before, my mental health complications got in the way of, well, just about everything this week.

But that’s okay, too. Sometimes we need a break – not force ourselves or otherwise, it’ll turn out to be nonsense.

Truth is, I’m not okay. And it’s okay that I’m not okay right now. Why? Because it means all my scars, all the events I’ve been through in my life were and are real – never a dream. And how I feel about the experiences are valid. The greatest thing about it all?

It means that get to control and decide what happens next in my life.

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending” – C.S. Lewis.

A friend of mine on Instagram reached out to me when I posted about struggling to be a single dad at 33 years old. A little bit later in the conversation, they mentioned my frequent discussions surrounding the topic of not just my mental health but mental health in general inspired them to be more open about their own mental health struggles.

You never know who you’re changing for the better by being your truest self. I don’t do it to inspire others but to merely vocalize what I’ve internalized for many years. But, if by happenstance I change someone’s life in the process, well, the more confident I become in sharing.

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

Have you heard about the SCBWI?

It is an international professional organization for authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults.


Benefits of joining the SCBWI include Promotional Opportunities, Awards and Grants, Regional Chapters, Information Resources, and More!

One of the best benefits is the promotional opportunities where you can increase your sales and readership by participating in many marketing and outreach programs, win grants and awards, boosting your visibility.

I’m considering registering for the Arizona chapter.

“The Arizona region covers a large geographic area with a diverse membership of individuals at all stages of writing, illustrating, and publishing in the children’s book marketplace.” – Sharon Skinner – Regional Advisor SCBWI AZ

Follow the Arizona chapter on Facebook & Twitter

Would you like more resources and news about the SCBWI?

This Week’s Writing Prompt

Every week, I’d like to give you, my wonderful newsletter members, a writing prompt challenge.

The goal each week is to challenge you in writing a short story in seven days with the prompt that I provide every week. You can share your results on your blog, in my email, or on social media. Or maybe a mix.

Take a look at this week’s writing prompt and feel free to leave some feedback.

Turn one of the last texts you sent into a story.