Category: musings

On Being a Writer 0

On Being a Writer

Jane Yolen in Take Joy: A Writer’s Guide to Loving the Craft (p.59) defines writer several ways but believes the best to be ‘one who writes’.

At first that sounds silly, but, after thinking about it, she makes perfect sense. For myself, writing is a compulsive act. I become anxious when I’m away from writing more than a day or two. Since, for me, stories come full blown. My fingers itch to set down characters, events and details as a part of my life. Are they good? Sometimes but usually after I work with them, go to critique groups and repeatedly edit them. I wish the definfition of a writer said,’one who writes well most of the time”. Then I’d feel better about what makes it to the page. Maybe next year!

The Winter Sky 3

The Winter Sky

Last night at midnight I stepped outside to see the sky. I’ve often done this in the summer, but wintertime skies are seldom clear where I live. The deck felt cool under my slippers but not icy as I walked to a place where the trees give way to the sky and looked up. I visually lost my balance. The stars were foreign to my summer sky. The dipper hung overhead instead of northwest of my location. One lone sattelite passed overhead. New lines of stars, curls of unknown constellations and pulsing planets spread across the sky. It was as...

Images 0


The race began Albino manes thrust back In the surge to arrive first. Closer and closer, Leaping, tossing aside fear The waves crash against the wintry shore.   Ocean Shores, Washington in the winter has marvelous waves that resemble stampeding horses. The skies are often overcast creating a gray-white light that accentuates the fury in the shallows. Put on your heavy coat, your boots and a scarf to protect yourself from the bitter cold and brace yourself against the winds. Walk the solitary sandy beaches as long as you dare. Listen to the thunder that surrounds you as wave after...

First Draft Idea That Blows My Mind…or…Does it? 0

First Draft Idea That Blows My Mind…or…Does it?

Karen Wiesner wrote First Draft in 30 Days and has these suggestions for the dedicated, determined writer. So, here we are in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). For non-writers, that means kissing your writing friends good-by for 30 days! If you follow Karen Wiesner’s plan, you may need to pick them up off the floor and apply chocolate! (She must have amazing stamina!) After you brainstorm your idea, you begin your month-long draft with these tasks: Day 1– Character sketches, Day 2– Research/Setting, Day 3– Plot Sketches, Days 4/5– Summary Outline, Day 6– Scene notes, Days 7-13– Research, Days 14-15–...

A Pat on My Back 0

A Pat on My Back

A recent critique of my pages ranged from hilarious laughter to dead serious flaws. The laughter was easier to take, the flaws hit me to my core, knocking my breath free during their swift pats of bringing me back to the real world. But, because the critiquers sincerely believe in me and my worth as a writer, I can handle both and will learn from their suggestions. (That deep down hope that one day I’ll get a chapter near perfect and that my critique group will shake their heads in admiration isn’t dead yet, but it does experience monthly setbacks.)  ...

Out to Launch, not Lunch 0

Out to Launch, not Lunch

The appearance of a blog hiatus is really a shift in gears for a few months. It’s been an intensive course in media kit development! I’ve written and rewritten, edited and reorganized the various pages of the kit in an effort to create a thoughtful, informational landing spot for people curious about who I am and what I write. The media kit supports my debut novel, 84 Ribbons, my newest book launch. Since I’ve moved from non-fiction to women’s fiction, my media shifted as well. Now I’ve embarked on a different sort of writing: not non-fiction and not fiction writing....

All That Shakin’ Going On 0

All That Shakin’ Going On

“Like the plates beneath the earth’s crust at the time of a quake, the underpinnings of her life were shifting. All she could do was to take shelter under the most stable structure she knew and wait it out.” Barbara Delinsky, Together Alone p.146 Have you ever thought what your stable writing structure might be when you feel the shaking? It might be sitting and staring at the computer or re-reading what you’ve written or walking away from writing for a few days or weeks. Every shift brings new understandings and new direction when you allow yourself to work through...

Inspiration from Others 0

Inspiration from Others

“(My diary) became a friend, the paper that it was made of was ready and willing to accept anything and everything I had to say; it could handle my fear, my questions, my sadness. I discovered the beauty of writing – when one can pour oneself onto a great white emptiness and fill it with emotions and thoughts and leave them forever.”  written by Zlata Filipovic and shared in Freedom Writers Diary by Erin Gruwell) Passion for writing oozes from Zlata’s words. There are days I agree; when I can’t get words out fast enough. More often, however, my words...

Spring Changes Everything 0

Spring Changes Everything

There is something in the air. It’s spring. Sure we still have rain and storms, but the world feels different in spring. Maybe it’s the flowers pushing up or the leaf buds showing color. It might be the grass looking green and shaggy or the sky a deeper blue. Whatever it is, it inspires me to get outside, to feel a change in the crispness, to investigate the neighborhood, to inhale the changes around me. Regardless of the drizzle,  I know spring will affect a change in my writing. Change is good. Give yourself a pat-on-the-back as you use those...

What Have Y-O-U Learned This Week? 1

What Have Y-O-U Learned This Week?

I’ve learned that: Writing is a much more complex process than readers imagine and often don’t want to know about. Every scene has innumerable plot,dialogue, setting possibilities. I love the parts of the process where I create stories, edit and talk with other writers better than what follows. I thrive on talking with other writers, sharing ideas and becoming inspired by their spirit. The more I write, the more I expect from writers who are published; old favorites dim by current standards. I might take a day off here and there, but I can’t not write! Let’s compare notes. Send...