All posts by Wendy Van Camp

Author * Poet * Illustrator

Write What You Know by Cindy Tomamichel

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash

I generally dislike the advice ‘write what you know’ since it conjures up mages of creative writing classes writing about having coffee and writing or similar boring literary scenes. Where is the space for flights of fancy, of flying rainbow pooping unicorns or space battles in the year 3121? Do sentient cats get a look in, or cybernetic dogs, or… Well, you get the picture.

However, on a small scale it does have merit. An experience that you have can be slotted into any sort of novel. I remember reading ‘Murder in Mesopotamia’ by Agatha Christie and marvelling at the depth of detail that perfectly described the daily life of an archaeologist. Of course, she knew – she married one and spent time on digs. This time she no doubt ploughed for her novels ‘Death on the Nile’ and “They came to Bagdad’.
For myself, I have worked underground as a geologist, so I have a romance book with a female geologist and an archaeologist which uses some of this career. (Rocky Road to Love). But I also have an unpublished scifi set on an underground mining planet full of predatory mutants and lethal female mercenaries. Totally different books, but they both use my personal experiences as a mine geologist.

Or it might be a person you met. Not necessarily someone you hate and kill off in a gory fashion, but a habit, a look or an actor. For one of my SMP Druids Portal books, I relaxed watching (way too often) Aquaman movie trailers, and so my hero looked a lot like Jason Moama, and I had to retrofit a grandson to be physically bigger, and joke about an unknown giant in their ancestry, as he was bigger than his parents. Another book I was writing and went to a music gig at a pub, and the character walked across the room and into my novel and acquired a name from a song. It was a magical moment.

So you can write what you know, but not verbatim, obviously. How far can your imagination twist your own experiences? Quite a distance! Otherwise, my novels would feature a crazy cat lady and her love of cardigans, rather than action adventures in time and space.


Cindy Tomamichel is a multi-genre writer. Escape the everyday with the time travel action adventure series Druid’s Portal, science fiction / fantasy and romance short story collections. Discover worlds where the heroines don’t wait to be rescued, and the heroes earn that title the hard way.

Writers struggling with social media and platform building can get some practical organization help in the free “30 Organizing Tips for Writers” book. Doing NaNo this year? Grab my free help booklet ‘NaNoWriMo Ready’.

Contact or follow Cindy on:

Website: https://www.cindytomamichel.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CindyTomamichelAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CindyTomamichel
Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/cindytomamichel
Newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/AdventureNews
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/cindy-tomamichel

SCIFAIKU: Journey Through Darkness

A Scifaiku Poem by Wendy Van Camp

journey through darkness
we are joined with industry
legacy is saved

It is a rare and special event when a new scifaiku poetry magazine appears on the scene. I am honored to be published in the inaugural issue of “The Starlight Scifaiku Review”. The poem series of “Close Approach” came about twofold, one inspiration was an image sent back by Curiosity from the surface of Mars. Overhead was a beautiful display of the Milky Way galaxy. This combined with my Mars research about the steps to colonize the red planet. When Earth and Mars are at their closest point, their “close approach”, that is the moment when colonists should depart. It happens only once every couple of years. This is where I took the title of the series from.

This poem is a part of the scifaiku poetry series “Close Approach” that appeared in “The Starlight Scifaiku Review” in the Fall of 2021 and was nominated for a 2022 Pushcart Prize for Poetry.

No Wasted Ink Writers Links

No Wasted Ink Writers Links

Happy Monday! It is time for the No Wasted Ink Top-Ten writing links! These are articles of use to the science fiction and fantasy author. I hope you enjoy them!


Elmer Bernstein at 100


Jack L. Chalker Young Writers’ Contest Winners


I Feel Funny: Humor Writing Tips for Novelists


The Importance of Putting Yourself into Your Scripts


On Launching Nonfiction Books for Writers


Five Secondary Character Arcs to Strengthen Your Cast


Get, or Keep, a Life


14 Tips for Dealing With the Passage of Time in a Story


Is It a Problem for a Disability to Be Integral to the Plot?


Foreshadowing: A Revision Skill to Love

THE CURATES BROTHER a regency romance by WENDY VAN CAMP

The Curate’s Brother: A Jane Austen Variation of Persuasion
by Wendy Van Camp

Available on Amazon

A Regency Historical based on the characters and settings from Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion. It can serve as a stand-alone or a prequel to Austen’s book.

It is the summer of 1806 in Somerset, England.

EDWARD WENTWORTH, a young curate, is surprised by the arrival of his brother, Commander FREDERICK WENTWORTH, the “hero of San Domingo”, who is on shore leave from his battles in the Napoleonic wars and has come to spend time with the only family he has in England.

All the good Commander wants to do is flirt and dance with the ladies until he is called back to sea, but when his flirting extends to SALLY MARSHALL, an outgoing beauty that Edward always disdained as “a child”, the curate becomes aware that his opinion of Sally is sorely outdated. Meanwhile, Frederick becomes drawn to shy wallflower ANNE ELLIOT. She is the daughter of a baronet and above his station, but Frederick pays no heed to his brother’s warnings that class may prevent their union.

At the end of summer, a letter and package arrive that will change everything for the two brothers. Which will prevail? The bold action of the commander or the quiet manners of the curate?