Night Hiking & Writing – Facing Your Fears

As part of my son's school curriculum, the entire 4/5th grade classes (about 40 kids) went to farm school this past week in rural northern California, a place where you're more likely to encounter a cow, sheep, or bobcat on the road than a vehicle. Hawks and turkey vultures circled overhead while hummingbirds buzzed about … Continue reading Night Hiking & Writing – Facing Your Fears

Cutting Advice from Patricia Highsmith

I picked up Patricia Highsmith's book on writing titled "Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction" last week for $1.00 at a library book sale. Bargain! The book is entertaining, for the most part, and she tells anecdotes about writing and editing several of her books, everything from the germ of an idea to development through multiple … Continue reading Cutting Advice from Patricia Highsmith

So, How Was Your Day?

Simple question, right? Well, here's last night's dinner table conversation: "What a day it was at work," said my husband. "First, during a conference call with a client, one of our staff got a text that her dog was diagnosed with cancer. She went white and had to leave for the rest of the day. … Continue reading So, How Was Your Day?

Thoughts On NaNoWriMo

So, 321,227 writers participated in NaNoWriMo this past November. I was one of them. No sooner did the month end than a note from NaNoWriMo showed up in my Inbox, asking for my feedback. I'm not sure that they want to hear from the likes of me. Everybody loves a winner, right? Plug in your … Continue reading Thoughts On NaNoWriMo

Message from My Igloo

So I'm sitting in front of the keyboard, shivering and needing to use the facilities, but just can't make myself go out into the cold to do it--meaning leave my office and face the world's distractions.Yes, folks. It's NaNoWriMo time. And I'm working on a novel that's been in the works for twenty years. But … Continue reading Message from My Igloo

Writing, Executive Function, and Deep Breathing

I've written about my son, the reluctant writer, in a few other posts:  Writing as Calculus, Open Mic Fright, Celebrate Illustrators!  And now that he's in 4th grade, the pressure is on to produce even more. So when he came home with an assignment to write a newspaper article, using the "Who, What, Where, When, Why, and … Continue reading Writing, Executive Function, and Deep Breathing

Not Just for Poets

"Halloooooooo!" says Tigger! I've brought in a Caterpillar D-10 to move my email around after hiring a Caterpillar 797F off-road truck to haul it to my office. Each wheel, attached to the axle with 47 nuts torqued to 2300 lb.-ft. each, costs $250,000. Why, oh why, did I ever go on holiday?! Surely not just … Continue reading Not Just for Poets

Nuggets from Squaw Valley Writers Workshop

Well, folks, I have returned from Squaw Valley, but I haven't come down from my cloud--the one with a "9" painted on it. My stellar morning workshop group sessions were led by Peter Steinberg (agent), Lynn Freed (novelist), Ann Close (Senior Editor at Knopf), Amanda Ward (novelist), Louis B. Jones (novelist), and Gail Tsukiyama (novelist), … Continue reading Nuggets from Squaw Valley Writers Workshop

Time Out – Squaw Valley Writers Workshop

I'm heading east on I-80 tomorrow, turning right at Rt. 89 and right again into Olympic Valley, otherwise known as Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. One solid week of writers and writing. Nirvana! I've been busy this past week, revising the story I'm taking for workshop (the one critiqued by the Dogpatch … Continue reading Time Out – Squaw Valley Writers Workshop

Writers and Research

I just watched a YouTube video of a sheep c-section. Oh, what writers will do in the name of research for a story. John Grisham eat your heart out.  You, too, can watch it if you choose, because you never know when you'll need this kind of background info. The music is catchy, too. 😮 … Continue reading Writers and Research