Beth enjoys chucking words into sentences then standing back to see what magic—or mayhem—falls out, crafting tales in mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, and general "slice of life" fiction. She couldn't accomplish this without the help of her tutu-clad Little Miss Muse and Trudi the Concrete Office Goose, who's partial to superhero capes.

Her stories have appeared in multiple publications, including Pulphouse Fiction Magazine and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and in multiple fiction anthologies. She's received several Honorable Mentions from Writers of the Future. Her lighthearted blog peeks into the writing life as she pokes fun at herself and her circus of a life.

Follow the antics of Little Miss Muse and Trudi, read Beth's blog (she might have burned down her kitchen last week), and discover the stories at

Life Along the Way by B.A. Paul

Even the best-laid plans are subject to life and the glorious upheavals it brings. Add in wayward ducks-in-a-row and a misbehaving writing muse, and no force in heaven or earth could plan or plot a straight path to a lofty goal.

From high-maintenance felines to optometrists, from equipment failures to busted thyroid glands, Life Along the Way is a series of 100 blog posts highlighting one beginning writer's pie-in-the-sky writing dream.

Author B. A. Paul looks back at how she began, the lessons learned, and what the future may hold. Hopes, dreams, and fears — interspersed with giddy little jump-and-squeal moments — turn her review into part memoir, part writing adventure — with well over a hundred little lessons learned if only for herself and her Little Miss Muse.


For years, B.A. Paul has written a lighthearted blog on what she calls "the writing life." I think of it more as a survival guide with humor. Her book, A Life Along The Way, does one of the most important things a book can do—it makes us realize we are not alone. – Kristine Kathryn Rusch



  • "…Need a little pick-me-up? Read any essay about her cooking. Need a little reality about how we make things? All of the lessons learned apply to anyone who makes anything, including dinner."

    – Amazon Reviewer
  • "Want to know what it's like to live in a writer's head? B. A. Paul has you covered. Figuring out how to write an engaging story, keeping the felines alive, and feeding Little Miss Muse are all essential to the writing life, but keeping the writer fed and the house from burning down is still a work in progress…"

    – R. W. Wallace



Ages ago, I wanted to be an author. Like ages and ages.

I remember sitting at that brown kidney-shaped table in hard orange plastic chairs with my fourth grade teacher tucked into the kidney's bend, classmates sitting to my right and my left, ready for our reading group. She announced a contest that we'd be participating in. Lots of moans all around, including from me. I hated conflict of any kind (still do) even if it was meant to grow me as a human.

Then she announced the name of the contest: Young Authors.

And I was sold. I didn't even know what it was, but at the word "author" I had to check the corners of my mouth lest drool were to slip out onto my reading book and I were to become the "bullied kid of the day/week/month" (holding that honorary position for however long it would take for some other poor child to screw up life).

The teacher held up a blank book, about eight by eight inches with a clean cardboard cover and bright white blank pages. She told us we'd write our stories, then carefully copy them into the "real" book and send them to the contest. I was, however, bummed that she was going to make us illustrate them. I'm about as talented with colored pencils and crayons as I am with spatulas and skillets, but I digress…

I can't remember what I wrote. If I had to guess it was something sci-fi/fantasy—likely with unicorns or aliens. As I type this, I'm trying to visualize my little crayon pictures. I only remember the stress of the art, but the pages are smears of color on the top and penciled in words on the bottom…

I can't for the life of me remember the "real author" who showed up to encourage our tiny school's gymnasium of youngsters. I do remember the buzz in the gym from likeminded students who loved learning and the anti-buzz air of "let's get this over with and go to recess" from those students who'd rather throw spitballs than learn sentence structure.

I do remember I was a finalist. I remember tiny little Beth from the countryside riding the bouncy bus all the way to the next county to meet with kids from other schools who also "won." We walked from that school to that town's McDonalds (we had no sidewalks in the country, and no one ever got to walk to McDonalds, so I was on overwhelm). I ate my Happy Meal with "fellow authors." I remember being too shy to talk to those fellow authors, so I studied the cardboard Happy Meal Box as I ate until it was time to walk back to the school.

I remember reading out loud my story (and isn't this something… I can't remember what it was about. It's killing me…).

I remember the thrill of someone else "getting" what I was trying to say and thinking it worthy of a ribbon.

It's been a tick since fourth grade.

I don't know what happened to my book—likely swallowed up by a basement flood along with so many other precious childhood mementos, the dried flower corsage I wore to my high school prom, and my dad's death certificate.

Fast forward about three decades, give or take, and the explosion of the indie author revolution. The Kindle changed everything, and I heard "author contest" all over again.

Not that I'm competing, but that same drool response began afresh, and after greasing the creative gears with some more up-to-date learning, I started writing again.

Then along came a blog.

And along came this book.

What This Book Isn't

Life Along the Way is not a how-to write book. It's not a how-to blog book. It's not a how-to anything.

As a matter of fact, if any of you are aspiring writers or fellow authors, it may very well be an exercise in counter examples and cautionary tales.

No marketing techniques here. The top ten trending hot-market genres are not mentioned. Eight Ways to Ignite Your Writing Passion have given over to Ten Ways to Become Distracted.

You get the point. It's not a manual.

I'm not aiming to give advice to beginning writers. This is not a do this/don't do that. Who am I to tell you what to do or not to do on your author journey?

That's not what this book is.

What This Book Is

Life Along the Way is about the beginning of my author journey.

When I started the blog, I did so because some piece of advice somewhere said readers need social proof that you're a real person and a way to connect, and proclaim, and market. (The very nature of marketing seems to involve some level of conflict and I'd rather not. But I digress…)

So I bought into that "new author" advice.

I found a Web Guy to help me because I'm about as good with tech-ish stuff as I am with colored pencils and spatulas. I found a quiet spot and wrote a few blogs. All very writing-life heavy.

And then I wondered how in the world I could keep that up week after week and provide something anyone would want to read. And still write fiction. And still have a day job. And still…

Blogging stretched me in ways I didn't know I could—or needed to be—stretched. Through the last couple of years, the blog has allowed me to vent, plan, and dream.

And, yes, it's given me a platform to announce publication dates, upcoming titles, and so on. To do that dreaded marketing routine.

But more than that…

It's taught me how to be more transparent. To own what I love. To write with *somewhat* reckless abandon.

It's allowed me to compose something and then release it for the world to see—if only to be read by dear friends and the occasional passerby. It's out there. Free. Doing its thing.

Maybe "start a blog" is good advice for authors. Maybe it's bad advice. I don't know. I only know my story and what blogging about the writing life has done for me.

Life Along the Way is a compilation of 100 blogs written from June 2018 through September 2020. The first ninety-nine of which will be taken down from the blog to "make room" for the next ninety-nine in cyberspace. So, by the time this book goes live, my blog will be a little more agile.

Any live links, websites, videos, etc., that appeared in the blog posts and that remain relevant are located in the back pages of the book so as not to clutter the text.

A list of B.A. Paul's current titles is back there, too, because, well, you know. Marketing.

I've added a little update at the end of each original blog post, along with a "Lesson Learned."

Those lessons are mine. The lessons aren't meant to be taken as a do-this/not-that finger shake. They're reminders to myself to pay attention or to change something. They can be your lessons too, if you wish. Your mileage may vary if you take any "advice" I dish out.

Many times, a blog title or idea would come to me as a direct result of scouring through stock photos, looking for ideas or cover art for one of my stories. If the content seems "out of the blue," it's likely that I found an image that tickled Little Miss Muse into action. When the image was of utmost importance to the blog content, I've described it in the update at the bottom of the original blog content.

Remember: I consider myself to be a newbie supreme compared to the long haulers like Dean Koontz or even some independent authors who figured out their own lives along the way and made their dream a reality.

I find the publishing industry to be vast and ever-changing, and I'll likely be a newbie ten years from now.

And if I'm not considered a newbie in ten years, I hope I'm still learning (so as not to become one of those spit-ball throwing knuckleheads).

Learning craft. Learning marketing. Learning life.

After rereading 100 of my posts, I saw a pattern.

I saw my excuses for procrastination light up like an airport runway at midnight.

I saw (and on one occasion relived) the pain and grief and tragedy from recent and childhood events—sometimes shared with my readers openly, sometimes kept to myself, but these events brewed in the back of my mind, either fueling the writing machine or clogging up the works…

I was also reminded of the blessings. Writing blessings. Friend blessings. Family. Critters. Lots of blessings.

This compilation reminded me that, above all, I am blessed.

So Life Along the Way is part writing life blog, part memoir, and part "Beth needs to work life out in black-and-white."

My hope is that something tucked in these pages will make you giggle. Make you think. Make you roll your eyes and cringe.

And maybe inspire you to drool over your dreams just a little bit.