A book coach by your side

Writing Coach

A writing coach is a literary fairy godmother. She can charm your plot or transform your writing practice! I’ve earned my wand helping castles-full of writers abracadabra great ideas into golden sheaves of pages. And I can help you, too.

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Book Editing

A developmental editor helps writers hone their work-in-progress. For voice, heart, vision, yes!—and for style, organization, and clarity, too. Have a draft of a memoir or novel? My feedback can pave the way toward your publishing goals.

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I’m Jamie

From the moment I led my first writers’ group, I’ve been on a mission to help other writers make their mark. And what have I learned since? Well, I’ve cross-stitched myself a little sampler that says it all: Your success is my success!

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News, Notes & Quotes

  • Congratulations to Royal Palm Literary Award-winning author ANNE HAWKINSON on the publication of SCOTLAND’S KNIGHT: The Rose in the Glade. Now available on Amazon, The Rose in the Glade is the first in a new series that Anne is co-authoring with Scottish Book Trust author PAUL V. HUNTER. To Anne and Paul, may the Thistle bloom forever!

    Hey, there, RYAN G. VAN CLEAVE! TWO new books out on Oxford UP? Nicely done, sir! Van Cleave fans (and creative types), check out Ryan’s co-authored VISUAL STORYTELLING and his CREATIVITY: A READER FOR WRITERS. See what you think!(Also, thanks, Ryan, for your shout-out to me in your recent THE WRITER magazine article on writing coaching. I’m thrilled to have been at your literary service!)

    So happy to report that MARGARITA MCCARTHY’S poem “Cuba ’95” was a finalist in this year’s Royal Palm Literary Award contest, presented by the Florida Writers Association. May this be only the beginning, Margarita!

    Finally! Syndicated political cartoonist DANA SUMMERS’ debut novel is available. Winner of the Florida Writers Association’s Royal Palm Award and Mystery Writers of America’s Freddie Award, DRAWN AND BURIED follows cartoonist Tim Ryder, who drew a cartoon series that earned him a Pulitzer, but drove a presidential candidate to put a bullet in his head. When we first meet Tim, local politicians begin turning up dead at murder scenes staged to resemble cartoons he has drawn. Uh-oh. Good luck, Tim!

    Congrats, Dana! (And thanks so much for your appreciative note in your acknowledgements.)

  • ROXANE GAY IS AN ADVICE COLUMNIST FOR THE NEW YORK TIMESRecently, she’s received a couple of questions from new/unpublished writers who are growing concerned that middle-ish age (these folks are 47 and 65, respectively) is the wrong time to either start or build a literary career.

    In response, Gay says, Throughout my 20s and most of my 30s, I was convinced I was never going to make it as a writer. My writing was constantly rejected, and I took the rejection personally, as one does.

    Eventually (obviously!) she met with success—but it wasn’t early success. She says, It is easy to fall prey to the idea that writing success is intrinsically bound to youth. And continues to share her thoughts about the insights that older writers bring to the page—and the world, when given a chance to do so.

    Read the entire piece here: Ask Roxane: Is It Too Late to Follow My Dreams?

    There, if you’re a yet-to-publish writer whose 20s, 30s, or 40s are disappearing in the rear-view mirror, you’ll find solid inspiration and encouragement to fuel your literary tank for the next leg of your writer’s journey.

  • IT’S FRIDAY. THE INFLUX OF WORK HAS ABATED. After hitting send on the last edit in the queue, I pack up three tarot decks, two spiral-bound journals, a small herd of mechanical pencils, a bag of raw pumpkin seeds—and a plan.

    The Plan
    I’m going to drive the twenty-five miles to Writing Wench’s house out in The Actual Freaking Country, where she lives with her husband and fifteen cats (give or take; she doesn’t count them, she says, because she really doesn’t want to know how many she has).

    Once there, I will hunker across the yellow Formica table from WW, and we will write, she, revising a chapter in her novel-in-progress; me, drafting a blog post for September—about tarot’s Hermit card. I hope.

    The Journey
    I continue to underestimate the plague that is Central Florida traffic, so I get stuck on Red Bug Lake Road near Tuskawilla Road, albeit in a drizzly rain that drops the temperature from a brutal 93 degrees Fahrenheit (do I need to qualify that as “brutal”?) to a semi-bearable 87 degrees. At the side of the road, where traffic has entirely halted my progress at the entrance to Willa Springs Village shopping plaza, a young man holds up a neatly Sharpie-markered cardboard sign: Homeless. Food. Clothes. Anything. Please help.

    His not-quite-shoulder-length blond hair looks clean (not that it needs to; just a point of fact), as do his face and his long-sleeved chambray shirt. Drastically bowlegged, he pitches side to side as he walks along the berm, as if his pelvis has been broken at some point.

    I roll down my passenger side window. “Can I get you something to eat from Publix?” I call. He lurches over. His face, I see now, is softly freckled, his eyes, pale blue. He looks young. Misplaced.

    He’s not hungry, thank you, he tells me, but would really enjoy a bottle of whole milk.

    (Whole milk? How wrong is it that I wonder for a moment if whole milk is somehow used to cook or otherwise prepare a drug I’ve never heard of? Probably pretty wrong. On the other hand, what do I care—even if it is?)

    I pull out of the snarl of traffic and into the relative calm of the Publix parking lot, heart lifted because I have a mission. Inside the supermarket, I dismiss the idea of getting the young man organic grassmilk—milk produced by grass-fed cows—as it might taste too “green” to him, a bit sour. Instead, I settle on a quart of whole, homogenized T.G. Lee Dairy milk: Our Farmers Pledge NO Artificial Growth Hormones. I also get five dollars in cash at check out.

    In the fifteen or so minutes it’s taken me to get back to the young man at the side of the road, the drizzle has stopped and the heat returned, so that, when he thanks me for the quart of milk and the five dollars, sweat is beading on his forehead and a rivulet trickles down his nose. After a moment, in which I realize there is probably nothing more I can do to help, I wish him the very best I can wish him and go on my way.

    The Destination
    At Writing Wench’s table, tea steeping, cats occupying various perches, I take out the Hermit card from each of the three decks I’ve brought and start to consider my blog post. But after a few minutes, it’s clear that all my pen wants to talk about is the young man at Publix. So I let it. Because, while by the bright light of this mid-afternoon sun I can’t see how that story connects to the Hermit, I suspect it does—and that tonight, by the gentle light of the seeker’s moon, I’ll see exactly how.

    WRITING PROMPT
    1)
    Plan a (modest) solo journey.

    2) Embark. Along the way, allow for interruptions. When one finds you, be curious. Lift the lantern of your heart to see what there is to see. And if you happen to meet the Buddha on the road, in whatever disguise, don’t kill him. Instead, ask how you can be of service. Then, having done what you can do, continue on your journey.

    3) Once you reach your destination, pour a cup of tea and write about where you’ve been.

    This post was inspired by the Hermit of the tarot deck. The Hermit, a loner, is often shown cloaked, in the moonlight, holding up a lantern to indicate a search for spiritual understanding. The Hermit’s quest, of course, can take him inward, as well as on the road. Ours, too. Because all of life is a quest and we, perhaps, all Hermits, seeking our truth.

    This contemplative Hermit comes from THE PHANTOMWISE TAROT, by Erin Morgenstern, author of the hauntingly beautiful novel THE NIGHT CIRCUS.

     

Jamie Morris is an outstanding resource for writers who want to reach the pinnacle of success. She’s a warm, encouraging angel on your shoulder, but she’s also got the skills, experience, and good judgment to help you vanquish your weaknesses and capitalize on your strengths. If you’re a writer with serious ambitions, work with Jamie. Elizabeth SimsYOU’VE GOT A BOOK IN YOU: A Stress-Free Guide to Writing the Book of Your Dreams (Writers Digest)


Hey, J. Just wanted to say “THANKS!” for the coaching session today. It was amazingly productive. I now have actionable clarity for revising one novel that’s been giving me grief, and finishing another that had stalled in the middle. Pretty good work for one hour, no? Ryan G. Van Cleave, Creative Writing BFA Coordinator, Ringling College of Art and Design; author of THE WEEKEND BOOK PROPOSAL (Writers Digest); MEMOIR WRITING FOR DUMMIES (John Wiley & Sons); BEHIND THE SHORT STORY, with Todd James Pierce (Longman)

Jamie, I think hiring you is the single most important gift I’ve given my writing life in years. —Tia Levings, Think It, Write It, Film It, Make It, Do It

The writer’s struggle is a painful one. Enter guardian angel and author spirit guide, Jamie Morris. Whether you are struggling to finish a manuscript, ready for a developmental editor, or simply need someone who understands you, Jamie Morris is incredible. She maps out action plans, gives firm yet reasonable goals, and takes the terror and mystery out of the writing process so you can get to the work at hand. Do yourself and your writing life a favor. Hire her immediately. She’s the best investment you’ll ever make! Sasha Graham, TAROT DIVA (Llewellyn), 365 TAROT SPREADS (Llewellyn), 365 TAROT SPELLS, (Llewellyn), TAROT OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE (Lo Scarabeo), TAROT FUNDAMENTALS (Lo Scarabeo)

Jamie: I am so freaking in love with you, this process, and my book! People dread asking me how I am because I tell them in nauseating detail how much I love my book and my writing coach and what we are up to! I feel like I won the lottery! Cara Gubbins, PhD, THE DOLPHINS OF HILTON HEAD (University of South Carolina Press); EVERYDAY WOMEN CREATING EXTRAORDINARY LIVES (JADA Press)


Jamie has been a freelance editor for Blue Angel Publishing since 2015. She has proven to be very reliable and professional—an absolute pleasure to deal with. She is very thorough, with a keen eye for detail, and is 100% committed to fulfilling the specific requirements for each job to our satisfaction and that of our authors, whose work she edits. She’s open and responsive to feedback, and consistently completes jobs within the agreed time frame. We recommend her editing services. Tanya Graham, author, editor, Blue Angel Publishing


Jamie, thanks for all your notes and for the session Friday morning. It was all very helpful on so many levels. You are someone to treasure, for sure. I’m so glad you are part of my team. All my interactions with you make me, and thus my corner of the world, a saner, happier, more optimistic place. Beth Lambdin, blogger, essayist, film reviewer


Jamie, thank you so much for all your love, encouragement, and expertise this morning! I’m very excited to just write the way I did when I was a kid, to just have fun and roll with my instincts. Truly, I’m always in awe of how insightful you are as a coach, not just to writing but to the human heart. Alina Smith, songwriter, music producer, at LYRE


Jamie! You’re so wonderful! Our time together is so magical. Thank you for reigniting my passion and gifting me focus and insights. I’m thrilled about the new direction for my book. You’re all things goodness. So profoundly grateful for you and the forces that guided us together for this. Kristen Schneider, founder, Wellblends; author, YOUR LIFE IS MEDICINE: Ayurveda for Yogis

Jamie, you are so special to me and the most amazing person to come across my path at this particular time. It feels like a spiritual connection, and I do believe you are this story’s fairy godmother, as you are not only making sense of what’s already been done, but giving a new perspective on what is yet to be. Big Shared World is already better thanks to your involvement. I am better because of you. Wow! Colleen Waterston, BigSharedWorld.com


Jamie! You have a great eye. It was awesome how you and I were able to work intuitively together. You are right—all of those details do truly matter! Rebecca Schoenecker, creator of CREATURES OF THE MOON ORACLE DECK


Jamie, I owe you ten bucks, but I really owe you so much more! You’ve pushed me to uncover truth in my writing. I’ve learned so much about writing, so much about myself. Thanks for the opportunity. I look forward to more. —Liz Rash, memoirist


Get your happy dance on, Jamie! I got an agent!!! I’m so excited. Get ready to grace my acknowledgement page!!! You were so integral in helping me with my character arcs in FORETOLD—and with the underlying theme! Our ideas totally merged, and magic happened! —Melissa Abrehamsen, FORETOLD (represented by Siobhan McBride of Serendipity Literary Agency)


Running a soul-centered business doesn’t come easy. Unless you have Jamie Morris at your side. Her coaching is soul-to-soul. She offers resources and stories to help navigate one’s journey. Jamie’s enthusiasm and spot-on intuition enhance her talents as a writer and editor. She’s a natural cheerleader of bloggers and businesses, and a magician who performs stellar work on any written endeavor. Tabitha Dial, MFA, author, poet; Tarot and Tea Leaf Readings by Tabitha


I must report on the truly remarkable day that Jamie Morris created for LifeArt Studio, called “Your Creativity is in the Cards.” I’m tellin’ you, it was A-MAZING. Guided by Tarot expert and workshop leader, the inimitable Jamie, we each created something new, a result of the encouraging and provocative prompts she gave us. If you missed the experience with Jamie Morris, I’m really sorry. I so wish I could give that experience to all LifeArt followers. —Lezlie Laws, LifeArt Studio

 
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