Archives of Writing tips

Hang On To the Leash!

Last night I saw a dog walking himself. Really. I was strolling along in our local park just before sunset when a Golden Lab trotted by me, one end of his leash properly attached to his collar, the other end neatly folded between his teeth. There was no master-type person in sight. I watched, transfixed, […]

Backyard Campfire

This week we had a fire in my rose garden. Really. My grandkids (Josh, 4 and Amanda, 6) asked me, “Grandma can we make a fire in the backyard and roast marshmallows?” And I, good grandmother that I am, agreed. First we had to find a safe place to build it. There was a nice […]

Watching For Whales

I just got back from a wonderful writing retreat on San Juan Island,For 6 blissful days, I, along with the other 5 members from our Diviners writing group, spent hours at a time writing. We stayed at a wonderful house that looks out over the waters of the San Juan Channel with Mt. Baker in […]

Vacation Research

Tomorrow I head home from my wonderful San Francisco vacation. The evening sky still glows an azure blue, as I watch the oak trees silhouetted along the top of the ridge outside my bedroom window. I’m thinking of Bree, main character in the novel I’m currently writing. Part of my reason for this visit (besides […]

Bald spots in our writing–and life

My, oh, my–this picture tells it all. My beloved 4 year-old grandson Josh took a pair of kid scissors to his hair this week, and now has an outstanding bald spot. Even the best efforts of Mommy’s favorite hairdresser couldn’t do much about this! Sometimes it’s like that with our writing too. That well-intentioned chapter […]

Snow Day in February

Our unexpected snow storm has me smiling. I love walking in the snow, I love making fresh snow cones, flavored with maple syrup. I love making snow angels and snow forts with my grandkids. But mostly (today) I love that I am snowed in all alone, and everything else I had scheduled has been canceled. […]

Gnomes in the Garden

One week ago Saturday, I stepped into a Story Garden. Immediately, like magic, roots grew down into the ground, connecting me to a rich substrata of writers, editors, agents, all with amazing stories to tell. As I wandered the Story Garden (known to some as the SCBWI Western Washington Writing and Illustrating for Children Conference) […]

Putting the pieces together to make a Story

Okay, so I promised I’d fill you all in on the summer family reunion.True to my word, I did not write this summer, but still the story wove in and out as our family gathered here in my creaky old house with old plumbing. They came from Berlin, Germany, from Santa Fe, from San Anselmo, […]

The Third Eye

Last Saturday I had the great joy of participating in the Northwest Bookfest, presenting a session with my writing buddy Mary Jane Beaufrand (author of PRIMAVERA, and the soon to be released THE RIVER.) Our topic for the session was “How do you get your ideas?” and I had the brilliant (last minute) idea of […]

Tantalizing Tidbits from the Feast

Our Western Washington SCBWI conference is two weeks in the past now, and still some of the wonderful snippets of wisdom and tantalizing tips stick in my mind, and continue to to nourish me. I’ll not forget Nina Laden (ROMEOW AND DROOLIET) reminding us, “If you don’t make mistakes, you may not make anything.” And […]