Happy Birthday!

Today is my granddaughter, Lola Mae’s, third birthday. I’m jazzed to have her in the world and in my life. See that look in her eyes? That’s the look I always want to see when a kid listens to me read one of my books…heck…any book. Those inquisitive young minds need stories that will transport…

Sketching for Writers

Originally posted on Bespectacled & Bookish:
Fresh back from teaching Mastering Setting with Kelly Going (K.L. Going), I am excited about a concept that arose and wanted to share it with my writing peeps. On Friday evening, we were fortunate to have Melanie Hall as a a guest. Melanie is an illustrator whose work I…

Deep Peace

Sometimes when I sit down to write my mind is still. Totally at peace. My life right now is virtually stress-free, filled with leisurely moments (and long hours) of contentment. I have all I need–a home, plenty to eat, and the love of my life finally showed up to joined me. I live in the…

The Problem with Series

I love series…and I hate series. A great series has characters and settings to fall in love with and get to know. There’s edge-of-your-seat anxiety as the plot heats up and unfolds, and you can’t wait for that oh-so-satisfying conclusion. Here’s what sets my teeth on edge: a great series has a completely satisfying conclusion…

Why Sketching Matters

One of my wonderful writers shared with me something picture book author Candy Fleming told her: to keep in mind that most of what we write will be crap. Natalie Goldberg and Julia Cameron also remind us to feel free to write the worst garbage in the world, especially first thing every day. What I…

Sketching for Writers

Fresh back from teaching Mastering Setting with Kelly Going (K.L. Going), I am excited about a concept that arose and wanted to share it with my writing peeps. On Friday evening, we were fortunate to have Melanie Hall as a a guest. Melanie is an illustrator whose work I would characterize as musical and flowing….

Chocolate Whipped Cream

Today I’m thinking about chocolate whipped cream and that, sometimes there really can be too much of a good thing. I asked the young barista at Bloomsbury Coffee House in Ashland for “just a little” whipped cream. She proceeded to pile a chocolate whipped-cream mountain atop my almond milk mocha. I’m not quite sure why…

Join the Wild Girls

I just finished reading The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy, a writer whose work I had never read. It’s a middle grade novel about a girl who moves across country–from Connecticut to California–the friend she makes, and the stories they begin to write. It’s a book about writers and it’s a book for writers. There…

Grounded (in a good way)

What is it about moving that sets one off track for months? I was thinking about that question this morning, and how since I moved to Ashland I have done almost no writing. I’ve been settling in, trying to master the new job, enjoying the new town, trying to get my (adult) kids on track…

The Prize Egg

So…it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. That’s because I’ve been bogged…down…with…moving and settling in. I’ve just begun to feel a bit settled, although maybe the sunshine filling the valley this morning has perked me up. The hills outside my window are spotlit with morning sun. Clouds hang low, tickling the ridges awake. The puddle…