Monday, April 30, 2012

Worth Reading: 3 Pieces of Writing Advice

Check out "The Only 3 pieces of writing advice you'll ever need."  Two of the three items are verbs. No surprise there, right?

Monday Morning Inspiration: Closing the creative gap

This a fantastic message from Ira Glass on what it's like to be a beginner and why you need to do a LOT of work to close the creative gap.

I found it at my NEW FAVORITE WRITING BLOG Jeff Goins: Writer. He wrote a terrific post titled Why Your Work Never Feels Good Enough and included this video. (Goins' post didn't just speak to me. It SCREAMED to me.)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday Snapshot: Pirates

"Read Janeology or walk the plank! Savvy?!"

Ahoy, there!

This is STILL one of my favorite book promotion shots for Janeology. It was taken at conference in 2009 where this actor gave an award to author Margaret Cezair-Thompson who wrote The Pirate's Daughter  (a truly wonderful tale.)

In case you missed it, here are my other posts of the week:

Books That Comfort Like A Good Friend

Camping With The Girl Scouts

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Books That Comfort Like A Good Friend

A proverb says when a person hurries, the devil smiles. To make him mad, go slow, pay attention, write a page, badly, breathe, carry a pen. - Anne Lamott

I'm reading Bird By Bird: Some Instructions On Writing and Life by Anne Lamott now. I read it years ago in college. It is interesting how her words speak to me in a new way. Back then, I highlighted so many pages. Now, I read it and do a lot of nodding. I say "Oh, yes, I understand what you mean. I've experienced that phase. Thank God someone else understands." 

It is truly wonderful how some books can be like a good friend.

Have you read Bird by Bird? I think it is essential reading for any creative person, but especially for writers. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Camping

This past weekend, I went on a wonderful Girl Scout Camp Out with my girls and about 30 other Girl Scouts and moms near Lake Texoma. Sleeping in tents amongst these trees was a sublime sound to fall asleep under. Also, it rained on Sunday morning and you could actually hear the rain approaching, which is something I'd never experienced.

Our accommodations included tents on platforms. We named ours The Villa.

Another Villa.

My girl taking an archery lesson.

View from my villa.

The girls assembled and painted birdhouses.
Lots of butterflies.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Potpourri: JK Rowling News

In book news, I just saw this little preview of J. K. Rowling's new novel, The Casual Vacancy, due out this fall.



Also, here's something to inspire the Yoda writer in you.

I'm off on an all-weekend camp out with the Girl Scouts. If I come back with tales of Braveheart, it's because we're having an archery lesson tomorrow. This could be fun. Or dangerous. Or dangerously fun. I'll let you know. TTFN!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thing One and Thing Two

Thing One

I want to embroider this on a pillow. If only I knew how to embroider.

"I am a writer who came of a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within."  Eudora Welty

Thing Two

I want you to watch this so you will laugh with me. It's Christopher Walken (or a reasonable facsimile) reading and interpretting Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. You've never heard anythinglike this.

(I discovered this clip on author Ruth Donelly's fine blog READATOUILLE. You should check it out. Really. You should.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On writing local color vs. regional writing

There are years of writing lessons in this single paragraph.

“Local color is writing that is only about difference—what makes this particular place exotic. Regional writing is writing that shows what is distinct about a place—its language, culture and all of that—yet at the same time says something universal. Eudora Welty says it better than I can. She says that one place understood helps us understand all other places better. That’s been a credo for me. I think that if you go deep enough into one place, you hit the universal.” - author Ron Rash

Read more of Ron Rash's interview and details about his new book, The Cove, here on BookPage. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Morning Inspiration

After working on a draft for a new book for three months, I felt a dull sensation that I'd merely written an interesting biography of a character. Here's her family. Here's her strange house. Here's what happened to her in the sixth grade with her science project partner. Those weren't wasted pages, but they didn't comprise a story either. It wasn't until I abandoned those 70 pages (Ouch!) and put the character in a dangerous situation that scared me on page 1, sentence 1 that an interesting story began to emerge. 

So go write a sentence that scares you a little. There are so many possibilities.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Writers' Bedrooms

Hemingway's bedroom

Doesn't this picture fit your idea of what Hemingway's bedroom would look like? Just the right amount of detail and contrast, but not too cluttered - just like his writing. Here's a great series called Literary Style: 15 Writers' Bedrooms. 

A bedroom is really a personal space so this is a very interesting glimpse into the life of artists. I thought about photographing mine for you, but at the moment there's one lazy dog and two cartoon-watching kiddos occupying the space. What I will tell you is that I think my bedroom is very serene. The walls are the color of rain, or what I perceive is the color of rain. I have a chair by the window and it's my favorite place to read.

If you are an artist or writer, tell me: what's your favorite thing about your bedroom space?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Morning Inspiration: Begin

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
Lao Tzu

I just turned in what I hope are the final round of edits for my forthcoming novel. Woo! As it often happens with me after I finish one project, I have the feeling that I don't even know how to write a simple sentence. So I'm trying to focus on taking that first single step. Here I go....