The most challenging part of my book process is also the most basic: the writing of it. Words from my creative mind to the page--yeah, that's the hardest. It all comes down to time, and to produce a book I cannot rely on summer breaks only. I must write during the school year. It's either… Continue reading Day 16: Sometimes even coffee can’t help!
Writer's block happens. One day I will be zipping along, with ideas and words flowing. And on the next it's like I'm Christian in the Slough of Despond, mired in the mud and stuck. What? Sometimes the cause is a life block. There isn't much you can do when you are overwhelmed by sickness (as… Continue reading Day 7: The Slough of Writerly Despond
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
"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!
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
I am a collector of quotations. Who better to comment on the writing life than those who have struggled through it, right? Ah, but my high school students aren't so sure, especially at the beginning of the school year. They don't get it. I share a quotation and get blank looks. "So what does this… Continue reading We’re in this writing thing together
This summer I have been in Turbo Writer Mode. Basically, I have July to finish my comic novel, Darcy By Any Other Name. It's a wonderfully funny romp. But it won't write itself. So Mondays through Wednesdays I write 3000 words a day. The rest of the week I'm also writing, but not new material.… Continue reading How to Write 3000 Words
Something Old: One loved-to-death Kindle It's stuck on The Hunger Games. And because I took no other books on vacation, that's what I read on the train. Three times. Something New: A Kindle Fire HD (Displaying one of my books, of course.) Can it be that I'm an Early Adapter? My sons say I'm a… Continue reading The Old, the New, the Remodeled, the Working
Top 'o the morning to you! It's both Monday and St. Patrick's Day---what better time to share useful Irish wit regarding life and writing? You know I have to slant everything toward writing. My students roll their eyes. But they love these Irish proverbs just the same. "You'll never plow a field by turning it… Continue reading O the Wit ‘o the Writing Irish