Last night, I dreamed I was reading a novel synopsis on the cover of a book. I woke at 2 a.m. with the words of that synopsis echoing in my head. I lay in a half-sleep thinking, “That sounds like a good book, I should really read that one.” Then it occurred to me the synopsis had come from my head, not from any now-published novel, and it hit me: I’d better write that down!
I tapped my tappable bedside lamp for some light, reached for my bedside pen and notebook, and started scribbling the words from that dreamed synopsis before they could dissipate into the night. I filled one notebook page then, thinking I was done, put it aside and shut off my lamp. I thought I would drift back to sleep. (more…)
It’s funny how I write a lot of poetry when I’ve been reading a lot of poetry. I don’t really read much of it at all, unless I have to for school. But this month, several of the blogs I follow have been posting poems as part of the Poem-a-Day Challenge. So, here I am, popping out poems when I should be working on my novel. But I guess I could use the distraction. Who knows, maybe my prose will be the better for it.
Here’s my latest:
Love Long Distance
ever noticed (more…)
My six-year-old paid me a visit this morning as I lay in bed considering which part of my creative thesis I should focus my efforts on today.
Do I work on the POV shifts I don’t completely understand and try to muddle my way through filtering my entire story strictly through my protagonist’s POV?
Is it more important to focus on the much-needed world-building? My fantasy novel so far takes place in a jumbled mix of worlds that I don’t completely understand myself. It’s no small wonder my first reading left my thesis advisor feeling confused. (more…)
I know I’ve brought this up before, but I really wish people would spell-check their Facebook posts. I don’t know about you, but rotten spelling on Facebook has caused me to hide more than a few ignorant Facebook friends from my News Feed. Okay, so maybe you know that red squiggly line under half your words means you’ve misspelled them, and you’re just in too big a hurry to fix it at the moment. But do you realize what your momentary laziness says about you to your 437 “friends?”
I’ve been zipping through the story line of my novel for the past couple of months in an effort to get the entire story on the page without worrying about revisions. I’ve hit 46,472 words, and I’ve been feeling pretty good about the whole thing. That is, until a few days ago when I got the idea that my story line had somehow veered away from where I wanted it to go.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m open to changing direction when it’s appropriate. However, it seems like this time I have turned down a dead-end. The story train has derailed, and I’m left wondering how to pick up the pieces of the train wreck and put it back on the right track. (more…)
When we were kids,
we were made of rubber.
We just bounced when we hit the floor.
The harder we hit,
the higher we bounced.
We fall down now,
and we just break.
By Mandy Webster (more…)
Last year was my first shot at National Novel Writing Month. I didn’t get very far at 11,654 words, but I still found NaNo a valuable experience. As I mentioned in a previous post, last year’s NaNoWriMo really pushed me to look at my writing process and figure out this whole outlining of the novel business. (more…)
It’s hard to believe summer is over already. So much for all of that writing I meant to do this summer. I only taught one course over the summer semester, and that was online so I never actually had to BE anywhere. I did a bit of freelance writing, but the work was hard to get this summer for some reason. I had a lot of time to write, yet somehow couldn’t ever seem to get anything done. Now that I’m back to school with a full-time teaching schedule, I suddenly have all sorts of material begging to be written. It seems I need chaos in my life in order to write. (more…)
When I was a kid, my great grandma, Wilma, always had a quilt in the making, stretched out in her big quilt rack. She probably made hundreds of quilts in her lifetime, but I unfortunately never got my hands on one for myself.
Last summer, at my family’s annual Christmas in July celebration (there’s too many of us to try to get everyone together around the holidays… July just seems to work better for us!) one of my aunts came armed with a box load of Grandma Wilma’s quilt blocks, all framed, as gifts for the family.
My aunt had come across a box of unfinished quilt blocks and had thought long and hard about what to do with them. She wanted to share them with as many of us as possible, so putting them together into quilts was out of the question. Like I said, there are a lot of us (my dad has 11 brothers and sisters living… I think… I always lose count!) (more…)
If you’re a teacher or student (or both, like me,) your head is probably about to explode from all of the recent end-of-year academic activities. So, for today’s Wednesday Writing Prompt, I thought it might be appropriate to pick something fun and light to write about. Of course, if you’re in the mood for deep and dark, you could probably take it that way too. Here goes:
Without looking, reach into a drawer, any drawer, in the room in which you are right this moment. (If you’re in a public place or someone else’s home, you may want to ask for permission first.) Pull out the first item you can get your hands on. Remember, don’t look in the drawer or look for a particular item. Instead, I want you to grab one random item (more…)
As a high school student, I always hated it when my literature teachers insisted that we identify the themes and motifs of the stories we read. However, as an adult, I have found that my life is laced with a few distinct recurring themes and motifs.
For today’s Wednesday Writing Prompt, I invite you to take a look at your own life and consider what themes and motifs seem to appear most frequently. Then choose one of these themes (and/or motifs) and write an essay, short story, or poem that explores the impact of this theme on your life.
You might also consider how the themes and motifs from your everyday life influence your writing in general. For example, do you often find yourself incorporating these same themes into each piece? (more…)
Do you consider yourself a “real” writer? Why or why not? What makes a writer?
Earlier this week, my 12-year-old came home from school with a booklet of poems he’d written for his English class. They’d read the book, Far North, by Will Hobbs, and had to write several poems about the book in a variety of forms.
I was more than just a little impressed with some of the poems my son had written, so I asked him if I could share one on my blog for Poetry Friday, which is sponsored this week by Random Noodling. This is the poem he chose for me to share:
Clint (a name poem)
Could you see that plane fly by
Like a bird
In the sky
Now the plane is going down
The bush pilot Clint was never found
~By Corbin DesJardins
And I wanted to share one more. This place poem was one of my favorites in Corbin’s collection: (more…)
It’s April. The poetic vibes fill the air as our collective minds turn themselves to poetry for National Poetry Month. I haven’t shared anything for Poetry Friday in several weeks, but I’d like to get back in the habit, at least for this month.
I wrote a lot of poetry last fall while taking a course in writing poetry for children and young adults, but I haven’t written much since. I’ve noticed that if I’m reading poetry regularly, the poems flow from my pen (or keyboard) with little effort. But, when I’m not reading poetry regularly, I just get the occasional snippet. And if I don’t sit down right away and work that snippet into a full poem, it just sits in my pretty poetry notebook and goes to waste. (more…)
For this week’s Poetry Friday, hosted by Writing the World for Kids, I am sharing another original poem. This is a rough draft I think could use some revisions, so I would love to hear any feedback you might have on how to make it better. I am especially having some problems with the rhythm in a couple of these lines. Please post your feedback in the comments below.
Church on Time
Red painted church marm in a
white Grand Prix
squeals around the corner and
glares at me. (more…)
Today I’m writing a story about something that happened to me about 13 years ago. I don’t know how you feel about the passing of time, but for me, 13 years is a LONG time ago. So, I can remember major details, but some of those minor details have me questioning my memory. In this particular story, there is a nasty fight and an unfortunate incident with an apple pie. But I can’t, for the life of me, remember which happened first. Dilemma, dilemma.
So, what do you do when you’re writing about something that actually happened but can’t remember such important details? And what if you can remember the details, but the story works better if you rearrange events? I’m not writing a memoir, simply using actually happenings as the basis for a short story I’ll pass off as fiction. All names will be changed to protect the identities of those involved, of course. (more…)
Like waves, we lap
upon the shore,
of life. (more…)
As another National Novel Writing Month wraps up, and NaNoWriMo participants around the globe rush to validate their completed novels, it is time for me to admit the fact there will be no NaNoWriMo “win” in my near future. But while my current 11,654 words do not a novel make, I am not quite ready to concede defeat.
Regardless of the fact that I will not have 50,000 words of a novel written within the next 2 days, I still view this year’s NaNoWriMo event as a success. In fact, I’m quite certain I got far more from the event this year than I have put into it.
For example, NaNoWriMo inspired me to get organized and create a complete novel outline, something I have never before managed to accomplish. So even though my novel is nowhere near complete, I have a solid outline to work with in the coming months. What I got out of NaNoWriMo this year is the knowledge that I do have what it takes to sit down and plan a full and complete novel, including a beginning, middle, and end. I also feel like I have worked out a process that I can use again and again for future novels. (more…)
Isn’t it just like me to change my mind at the last minute and start over from scratch? Well, that’s exactly what I am looking at, Day 1 of NaNoWriMo. After all the preparation I did, planning for my original novel, I was having a very hard time being passionate about the story. I think I had some good ideas, but I really wasn’t happy with where the story was going. I was dreading getting up this morning to start working that outline into a novel. (more…)
Happy Halloween! This is your last day of relative sanity before the frenzy of NaNoWriMo. Are you taking a deep breath and relaxing today or rushing to get your loose ends tied up before jumping into your NaNoWriMo novel tomorrow?
I have a huge pot of chili bubbling on the stove already this morning, so I at least have my meals planned out for the week. Otherwise, I’m just now remembering all of the little details I meant to take care of the past few weeks so I could concentrate on NaNoWriMo… the KTG blog posts I meant to write in advance and schedule to post on their own while I’m busily typing away at my novel… the lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations I meant to throw together for my classes, the poems I meant to write in advance for my poetry class… you get the picture, right? Are all writers this discombobulated or is it just me? (more…)
Friday rolls around once more, and once more, I am attempting to participate in KitLitoSphere’s Poetry Round-up. If only I had a poem ready to share this week. But alas, I have yet to look at my homework for my kids and YA poetry class. I did just check out my syllabus, and it looks like I need to read pages 87-99 in Mary Oliver‘s Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing and Reading Metrical Verse. So, I think I’ll talk about this for now instead of trying to pop out an off-the-cuff poem that will likely just fizzle and flop.
In addition to Rules of the Dance, we are also reading Mary Oliver’s A Poetry Handbook. Each week, we must read a selection from one or both of these books, and then write a poem based on the reading. For example, last week I had to write a metered poem (didn’t go so well, in case you’re wondering.) This week’s reading will require even more metrical verse, and this is why I’m not in a hurry to try to pop out my poem for the week. This is going to take some time and thought. (more…)