Little steps add up

I saw my middle son off to school today. This time there were no tears because, well, he is 27. As I write this he is eating breakfast with students in his cohort and listening to orientation speeches. Heady stuff. Almost two years ago I watched him start out along this newfound path. He stepped … Continue reading Little steps add up

Time to Grid!

I'm editing this week. And oh boy, I've found solid help. Interested in checking this out? Here is the link to all five parts of Shawn Coyne's mini-course: The Story Grid. I've learned how to use a Googledocs spreadsheet and everything. So much easier than my poor handwritten "map." That thing became so unwieldy … Continue reading Time to Grid!

Garaged and never driven?

So I'm stuck at home on the sofa, convalescing. (I know, right? Still. Oh, sigh). Tell you what, I am bone weary of television. But there are life lessons to be gleaned, even from daytime TV. Yesterday's episode of Chasing Classic Cars delivered a stunner. In it Wayne Carini, host of the show, purchased a … Continue reading Garaged and never driven?

Hooray for “Creative Procrastination”!

What's not to love? In this four-minute video, screenwriter Mike White (School of Rock, Nacho Libre) gives you permission to "live and breathe" your writing project, using cycles of work and "creative procrastination." Don't miss his yoga session with an apple fritter (or is it a burger?) in hand. This is my idea of multitasking!

Mapping it, more or less

In the journey toward my book release, I feel like a cat chasing his tail. Round and round I go. First this, then that. Crank out another chapter, then tighten up the outline with the changes. Pesky story elements keep popping up like weasels. Events that I foreshadowed in earlier chapters and forgot about. I … Continue reading Mapping it, more or less

Quantity, not Quality, Time with the Muse

When my sons were little, the debate over Quality Time versus Quantity Time was in full swing. The idea was this: if a parent spends meaningful time with a child, then that cancels out the need to spend large amounts of time together, right? Umm... Having worked in daycare, I already knew the answer: Quantity … Continue reading Quantity, not Quality, Time with the Muse

Power to the Pomodoro!

"The hardest part is getting started." That's what my aunt, a self-made multi-millionaire, used to say. It certainly worked for her. "The next-hardest part is staying focused." That's my corollary for the busy age in which we live. So many distractions (like reading this blog post), so few of them productive. Send in the tomato! … Continue reading Power to the Pomodoro!

A dream is a wish your heart makes…

So sang Walt Disney's Cinderella, and as little girls we loved it. But artistic dreams? Those need more than wishing to come true. Persistence, determination, and focused attention, these are the tools the grown-up uses to make dreams a reality. I bet Walt would call them his magic ingredients. At this time of year I … Continue reading A dream is a wish your heart makes…

A “rubber ball” writer am I

So a friend and I were talking over our NaNoWriMo results. You know, the "something is better than nothing" evaluation. Oh, sigh. Am I a fair-weather writer? I write often, but I become easily overwhelmed. I seem to do my best work in focused gusts. My creative brain has a limited attention span? Dang. I'm … Continue reading A “rubber ball” writer am I

Benjamin Zander and Reducing the Impulses

Sometimes it helps to cross-train with artists from other disciplines. Today, a TED talk from conductor Benjamin Zander. As always, he is a delight. He transforms the way we see classical music. And, I hope, the way my students see the craft of writing. "Observe his performance of Chopin," I tell them. As writers, what … Continue reading Benjamin Zander and Reducing the Impulses