Shan Hays - under construction

Shan Hays - under construction

Writer etc.

Welcome

Join me in my journey as I learn what it takes to write good science fiction and fantasy, play the banjo, and generally live a happy and productive life after departing the 8-5 world.
Useful
Knowledgeable people, stealing from: useful links to great resources. with apologies to Peg Bracken Updated 6/11/18 For everyone: Barking Up the Wrong Tree –  Eric Barker’s weekly blog in which he concisely and entertainingly summarizes the...
Blog
Book reviews

Writing

My goal is to write the kind of prose I like to read: friendly, beautiful, interesting, optimistic, and informative. The writing-related posts below are my latest lessons learned.
Relationship Axes
The Writing Excuses podcast constantly gives me new ways to think about things that have perplexed me for years. The latest example is the July...
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The astronaut attitude
Not everything has to be geared towards achieving a specific future purpose to be worthwhile. Let me rephrase that: Don't try to live in the...
Read More "The astronaut attitude"
Tucson Festival of Books 2018
I'm lucky to live a couple of hours' drive from Tucson, home of the country's second largest book festival. This year was the 10th annual...
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Show, don’t tell
I HATE this advice. I know myself well enough to know that probably means I need to pay attention when people say it about my...
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Editing a la Susan Spann
The brilliant Susan Spann (website and Amazon page) generously shared her editing process last month (Sept. 2017) with us lucky attendees at the Rocky Mountain...
Read More "Editing a la Susan Spann"
Screwball comedy – it’s not what I thought
I've been thinking of my current project as kind of a screwball comedy, modeled roughly after Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog and Jasper...
Read More "Screwball comedy – it’s not what I thought"

Learning

I've been learning all my life. Here's the latest of what I've learned about learning. And - banjo!
From blog to website (draft)
I've had a blog on Wordpress.com for two years (thanks to my granddaughter Lorisa, age 11 at the time, who insisted). I've gotten pretty comfortable...
Read More "From blog to website (draft)"
The astronaut attitude
Not everything has to be geared towards achieving a specific future purpose to be worthwhile. Let me rephrase that: Don't try to live in the...
Read More "The astronaut attitude"
Forget to learn
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about learning. I'm studying banjo and fiction writing and Spanish at the moment. Sometimes things seem to be going...
Read More "Forget to learn"
The great banjo quiz
Used to be, I was a little sponge. Tell me something and I'd remember it. Teach me to spell a word (we used the See...
Read More "The great banjo quiz"
I’m a fan of these
For everyone: Barking Up the Wrong Tree -  Eric Barker's weekly blog in which he concisely and entertainingly summarizes the research on some useful way you can...
Read More "I’m a fan of these"

About

I spent 25 years conducting performance audits of state agencies, looking for ways they could be more effective and efficient. I helped write countless government reports. I worked with the smartest, nicest people in state government, and was honored to be a part of that group. Now, though, I’m writing fiction (yay! adjectives! dialogue!), learning banjo, traveling, hanging out with my fabulous granddaughters, and – big surprise – I’m still not decluttering that back room that was on hold for the past 25 years.