Just a Pile of Leaves

  I took this image of a carpet of autumn leaves years ago. I love it for many artistic reasons, but I thought it would be fun to apply the various components of this image to some of the aspects of the creative writing process. It’s a pleasant scattering of leaves, in different angles, layers,…

Dimmer Switch Request

An image on Facebook prompted me to write this blog. The post read as follows: “A writer is working when looking out the window.” “That’s me!” my mind shouted. (I would have shouted out loud, but I was at work and being on Facebook during office hours is frowned upon.) Conscientious employee that I am,…

Where is This Going, Anyway?

There are times where I need to write, and I have no idea where the inspiration is going to come from. What I have learned from these short pieces, is that they’re about so much more than what I thought or originally intended.  I’ll provide a couple of examples – you can read the entire…

How This Writer Writes

  I don’t mean handwriting. What I mean is the journey my story makes from brain to page/screen. The process, rather than the actual act – well the act, too. Perhaps I should explain. When a non-writer hears that I’m going to be spending the day writing, I think they envision me in front of…

Changing Hats

The image of the peddler with the stacks of hats in “Caps for Sale” by Esphyr Slobodkina seems to ring true for me these days. I’m not selling hats, but I am wearing a lot of them (figuratively speaking). They’re not colored, like the peddler’s checked, gray, brown, blue, and red. I guess they could…

When You Have to Kill Someone

Let’s clarify something right away. I’m talking about killing in our story. Please don’t call the cops or report me to the FBI. I don’t want to go to prison or be added to the no-fly list. Now that we’ve that put to rest, I want to tell you how hard it was for me…

The Magic of Inspiration

I never know where or when I’m going to find inspiration – does any writer? Sometimes I go looking, or will it in my mind, but I seem to have the best luck when I leave the door wide open and welcome inspiration on its own terms. I’ve gotten into the habit of taking a…

I’m Glad I Love Research

  I’m fully immersed in my story. I’m in “the zone,” typing madly, but this story is practically writing itself. Then one of my characters hands another a cup of tea (insert sound of screeching brakes). Wait! Did they have tea in 13th century Scotland? Turns out they didn’t. Change tea to honeyed milk. As…

Who Has the Crystal Ball?

I’m a writer. I write about a lot of things, but my primary genre’ is middle-grade. I recently finished the first novel in what will be a series of three. It’s been proofed, edited, and it’s all shined up and ready to go. So how do I know if the time is right, if the…

What’s in a Name?

How do you decide on a name for the fictional characters you write about? I thought about my own process of choosing names – it varies, and it’s complicated.