Saturday, November 21, 2015

Read As If Your Writing Depended On It - It Does

It's hard to believe I haven't posted since July 2, but life and writing have continued at a fast pace. After a week in Idyllwild's Fiction Writing this summer, I actually went back to my novel. I should say I re-began my novel and have been at it ever since. Now in the middle of a UCLA novel class with Mark Sarvas, it's all beginning to make sense. His insistence on our reading as a writer has opened up ideas and the realization of how much deeper I have to go with my characters. Reading a book a week is a big commitment but it does pay off. At least in the thinking about the writing. I strongly recommend it. In some cases it may take more than one reading to really understand the author's process, but even in the first read, you begin to see how your own exposition was really superfluous and the scene needs more action or the  backstory should be dispersed where it's necessary and not just a ramble through the character's history. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Keeping the writing flame alive

I've been thinking about the next book for forever it seems, without getting much on the page.  I still have a lot to research it's true, but something keeps distracting me from consistent time at the computer.  I'm sure every writer has had the same problem.  Well, maybe not Every One, but those who are honest will admit to occasional blocks. Writing in public with a friend helps, reflecting back on the proposed characters keeps up the connection, even leading the group of ladies in rehab keeps the writing bond strong, so I just have to trust that this book is taking a longer time to gestate than the first two.  The most hopeful prospect is my upcoming Writers Week at Idyllwild which happens in two weeks.  It's probably foolish to put all my writing eggs into the Idyllwild basket, but I am someone who sometimes needs to be kicked in the rear to get me moving.  I hate being the kind of person who says they're a writer without actually writing.  Past accomplishments don't help.  I have to prove myself today, with this next project. What helps is the encouragement form some of you who have read Sown in Tears and want me to continue the story of the main character.  Leah still lives, if only in my imagination.

Monday, February 9, 2015


I have been wanting to start a writing group for female military vets, hoping that writing their stories might be beneficial to them. After many weeks of research I finally was put in touch with a group (Volunteers of America) who are setting up a housing and full service project for homeless female vets and their children. But until it's actually opened I've started working with a group of women at a rehab facility that VOA also supports. Next to writing myself, I've never had a better time than working with this group of women who after their initial shyness, have opened up their hearts and souls, and seem to be enjoying the process as much I am. Everyone has a story, whether they share it as fiction or memoir, putting it on paper can be so good for them. For the first two sessions, we've concentrated on what they're doing or what memories they have to share. Now I have to make sure I figure out how to keep this all going and keep them all engaged.