Showing posts from September, 2012


We saw the movie "Don't Back Down" today and it truly inspired and motivated me both for my job and in my writing life. The story is about a group of parents and teachers who take on the school board in an attempt to make the school more effective. It's based on a true story, one I'm not familiar with and I will do some research on it. I want to know how they changed the school to make it better.

As a school administrator working with a system and bureaucracy that are more interested in saving money than providing services for children, I know what it's like to be frustrated and angered at the powers that be. I know that it isn't easy to make changes. In a time when job security is hard to find it often seems nonproductive to fight the system. How do you risk your own financial security in order to make things better? Better yet, how can you possibly sit back and watch kids continually get short changed? The movie brought a lot of questions. I need time t…


I don't normally like to write outside of my little writing space at home. I've created a nice "room of my own" where I have a computer and a separate desk to sit at and write longhand scenes in my spiral notebooks. I have soft instrumental music playing, not the slam bam of what they play at Barnes and Noble these days. In the past, when I went to Barnes and Noble, soft classical music followed book lovers as they perused the shelves. Now, not only do they play pop music, but shelves of music CDs and DVD movies and a huge bank of nook e-readers have overtaken the space that used to hold books. The books have been pushed back making room for today's vast array of media materials.

Today however I learned something. Barnes and Noble is not a bad place to rack up pages of novel scenes and outlines for chapters. A cup of decaf at my elbow and my laptop opened on the table in the cafe I was prisoner of my thoughts. I couldn't take off and clean, or go watch tv, or…


I've had a novel-in-progress for three years now and it's time to commit to finishing it, revising it and sending it out into the world. I am grateful to my writers' group, Tapestries, for reading and critiquing my evolving chapters, commenting on characters, and helping me find direction. Now it's time to put aside all other writing and be done with this.

I just enrolled in an online writing class on They offer wonderful classes in many genres. I've taken a couple of helpful and inspiring ones on flash fiction and poetry. But now it's novel time.

To keep up my commitment I am going to blog about my writing progress and post bits and pieces of the novel here to tempt whomever might be interested. It's a struggle to write a novel, creating fascinating characters in suspenseful stories and written in an alluring way. But it's also great fun to get into the heads of people you've created. It's magical to get lost insid…


I believe that writer's block occurs when you face the blank white page or monitor and no story ideas flow from your fingers. No characters march, or stroll, or jog leaving plot footprints. No inciting incident startles you, no turning point shows its dramatic face. So I can't say I have writer's block. I prefer to think of this thought bare state as a stall in my novel.

I have characters and plot, the inciting incident has run its course, I know the main character's goal and I know some of the obstacles that will befall her. But still I am stalled. I've revised this story several times and suddenly that goal has shifted. Usually I know where I'm going but have to find the ways to get there that provide a good read. Right now I'm not sure where I'm going. I'm trying several exercises to figure that out.

I'm writing more character profiles and trying to rework the plot trajectory, but I'm not getting too far.

It's at this stalled point in…

The Lost Notebook

I have been working on  a novel, temporarily called "Megan's Gift," for three years. Of course it's off and on so not actually representative of three years' writing. The story itself has changed several times and was down to it's last incarnation up until today. I've gotten up to chapter 25 in the first draft of this present version. Right now I am trying to refine it's final core story so I can finish the darn thing, though I have a few ideas for changes brewing in my mind. The thing is I'm on my fourth day of a four day weekend and just sat down to work. But . . . I lost my notebook.

Don't feel too sorry for me as everything in that notebook has been typed out and backed up. But I prefer to write first drafts in longhand in spiral notebooks and I hoped to pick up where I left off and get a new running start. Now this is my excuse for procrastination.

Losing three longhand chapters, plus the chapter typed out whose pages I stuck into the not…


A commitment to writing is a dangerous animal. It roars and breathes fire that licks at the brain even when you are sleeping. It never leaves you alone and yet it adds a dimension to your life that warms the heart and stresses you to the nth degree. I've written before about my constant genre jumping but lately I feel a pull into a more committed type of writing. It takes work and perseverence which is difficult to do when I already have a full time job, but I have no choice. It is in me and it is what I do.

I have had enough success with short stories recently to know I need to concentrate on that as my writing genre. Of course poetry will still abide as it is my first reading/writing love and my true passion. Why waste all that time on trying to finish a novel that has been in progress for three years now when I have written at least 20 stories this year, and numerous poems. I need to put some time into revising and submitting all that work. Nothing gets publsihed sitting in a b…

More success

Did you ever feel like life was handing out all its joy to you and you alone? That's how I've been feeling. So I have a new car and a new computer. I am married to a wonderful man who adores me and I have a good job, despite the fact that my license plate says, "I'd rather be writing." Who could ask for more? I have more though. Besides cooking and laundry my husband works hard to pave the path for me to get to my writing and it is beginning to pay off.

In the past year I have published two more short stories and a poem. I now have 30% of the stories in my short story collection published and that means I can legitimately submit queries to agents and publishers. I am in the process of refining my query letter with the help of my writng group, Tapestries and Melanie Faith, a teacher I have taken several online classes with. I hope to be sending that query out this week and waiting for responses. It's a long wait, I know, and I want to fill that time with more …