We are Jaqueline Girdner and Lynne Murray, two authors who met in a writer’s critique group, and have gone on to become friends—and to have a combined total of 24 books published—16 for Jaki and 8 for Lynne. Our writing methods are so different that it’s a constant reminder of how many ways there are to get words down on paper and tell a story.

One of us uses a tickle file, and the other files her papers in stacks on every flat surface, but both of us have discovered tips and tricks through the years to keep us writing.

What is a tickle file? It’s simply a calendar with reminders on it to tickle the memory about appointments, plans and deadlines.

What is a tip, and what’s a trick? A tip is a bit of advice that we are sharing because it has proved useful. But a trick indicates hidden knowledge—a shortcut that may be invisible until it is pointed out