Archive | The Big Picture

The Big Blue Beastie: Writing for the Market

The Big Blue Beastie: Writing for the Market




Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel



I was sitting with a delightful group of published novelists recently and the conversation turned to complaints about the market: why must everything be novel-length? What if you’ve written a novella and don’t want to do more? Why must stories be linked to get any attention? Etc. etc. If you spend any time with writers, you’ve heard some version of the conversation. It boils down to a lament that the market wants a voice in shaping MY art.

Look folks, said I. The Sistine Chapel masterpiece had to fit on the ceiling. Shakespeare’s plays had to have five acts and keep standing crowds happy enough that they wouldn’t throw tomatoes. Art has never functioned independently of the market.

And most of the time, we are the market: we are those finicky readers who want to be pulled into a story as much as we want the language to thrill us, who go for the buoyant luxury of a full-length novel, rather than the crowded diversity of a gathering of stories.

We writers want to be read but then we act as if our readers should be devoted in the manner of parents—indulgent, blindly convinced that we are brilliant. And yet, most writers I know are highly accomplished people who’ve found ONLY IN WRITING a place where they have never quite mastered it once and for all, where they can always do better, always do more. And much as we all complain, I venture to guess that it is that challenge that keeps us all here, sweating and bleeding onto the blank page.

What inspiration do you get from the market? Do you thrive on challenge?

Posted in Main, Marketing, The Big PictureComments (0)

“Morning Pages” with a Twist for Fiction Writers

“Morning Pages” with a Twist for Fiction Writers

journalJulia Cameron’s popular idea (featured in her book The Artist’s Way) of writing three pages each morning–just dumping on the page–can teach a lot of things about writing.
1) The habit can teach you that the world will not end, your vacation companions will not abandon you, your children will not starve, if you write three pages before you get out of bed.
2) You will learn that you have an endless stream of words running through your head and that any “block” is about the arrangement and worth of those words (not to be belittled, those things, but good to shelve at certain times).
3) True for me at least: whatever you do first thing in the morning is the one thing that always gets done each day.
So, what if you want to write more than a fragment of last night’s dream, a harried “to do” list in narrative form, and grousing about your date last Friday? You need “Morning Pages with a Twist.” Give yourself a little loosening up room–a page, say, to moan, rant, angst, mumble . . . and then switch gears: Focus the rest of your morning pages on the project you are actually supposed to be writing. Start by writing about it. If you wrote two or three pages about your book every morning, you’d get farther than you can imagine. Then move on, as you feel moved, to sketching particular scenes, capturing images that arise, and so forth.
What to consider writing about your project:
1) Ideas you have for plot, character, setting, etc.
2) Concerns or stumbling blocks: what about . . .? what if . . . ? (Write: Maybe . . . and then list various ideas. Have a conversation/ brainstorm with yourself.
3) A specific breakdown of your goals–page counts, planning, daily chunks that will rise to weekly sections that will lead to monthly achievements that will contribute to successful completion.
In sum: start by writing about whatever’s on your mind. Then write about writing. Then write about the fictional world you are developing: about the people and what they do. Voila–you’re writing scenes!

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When You Need a Miracle: For Writers Wearing a Lot of Other Hats

When You Need a Miracle: For Writers Wearing a Lot of Other Hats

XmasTreeThis is a magical time of year. Everyone in my family has a cold; I can’t hear anything except the sloshing in my head. It snowed this year, but most of us in Berkeley weren’t dreaming of a white Christmas, and the idea that global warming might in fact be leading to strange climate change haunted the ecstasy of building small snow-people with my children a mile from our house. My clients are panicking, packing, moving (more than one!), trying to pull of being Santa (even the Jewish ones because everyone’s in an interfaith relationship) and vaguely wondering how writing is supposed to fit into all of this celebrating.

Here are five sure-cure tiny miracles, when the colorful lights glimmering in the distance hail from the top of a police car:

1) Write a sentence. Just one. You can do it on a post-it if you want to. Or in your journal, if you can find it. Or on a napkin. Just. Write. One. Sentence. Ah . . .

2) Give someone a sentence as a gift. Say, “I wrote this sentence for you. Here.” Then read it to them.

3) When your hands are full–of groceries, plumbing tools, children, tissues, moving boxes–daydream about your book. Ask your storyteller for a little tale about your characters and let it wash over you. The world in your head is still growing even if your manuscript is not.

4) Ask for time as your holiday present. An hour in a cafe with your laptop. A bubble bath with your journal and favorite pen. Ask your partner, ask your children, ask yourself. Take the yes and run with it!

5) In any given moment when your story world seems miles away, take a moment to discover three things:

1) human passion, right there in the room with you, in the fight between your kids, in your partner’s insistence on checking email, in the way the dishes stack up because of our ceaseless and delighted appetites.

2) obstacles, the meaty stuff of plot, right there in the street with you, in the bus that doesn’t stop, the parking place that doesn’t emerge,

3) human dilemmas, the choices that seem insurmountable in the grocery store, in the few minutes and many responsibilities of your day, in the way that you are pulled in so many directions because you want to write and want to pull of your holiday celebrations and even want something to make for dinner tomorrow night . . .

You are learning and growing as a writer all the time. See? To master creating trouble you have to live through some and keep connected to your writing self  . . .


What miracles do you want? What miracles have you stumbled across?Please post a comment and let me know!




Posted in Main, Momentum, Mothering, The Big PictureComments (2)

Five ways to brainstorm creative solutions

Five ways to brainstorm creative solutions

mind mapBrainstorming: when the storyteller rushes the brain for as many ideas as possible. Requires getting past the censors–the modest censor and the critical censor–and letting it rip. Here are five ways to move past stuck.

1) Mindmap. Put each idea in a circle with related ideas connected by lines, and sub-ideas coming off of the main idea like petals off a flower . . .

2) Make lists. Don’t cross off while brainstorming. Just put everything down. Organize and cull later.

3) Draw. Use pastels or crayons and big paper and let your intuitive “child” brain figure it out through play.

4) Write the five worst ideas you can think of–what you DON’T want to write. Then look at the specific opposites of each of those ideas and see if they appeal to you.

5) Borrow/ steal. Use models–books and movies you love–for structure ideas, and insert your own original content. It worked for Shakespeare. Come up with several models, not just one.

Posted in Imagination, Main, Momentum, The Big PictureComments (0)

Three Inspirations

Three Inspirations

Poppies


When I am teaching (as I am all the time now), I tend to think more conversationally than when I am abiding inside my head, spinning tales. Lately, it seems there’s been a lot I’ve wanted to share that’s excited  and inspired me. Here are three of those items:

1) Haruki Murakami’s memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

At first, I was almost disappointed in the fit-of-my-shoes and tracking-of-miles-run-in-a-month mundanity of the book. But after I finished it, the full impact of his practice as a runner, his inevitable decline in the face of the body’s mortality, but his perseverance nonetheless, gave me the triumvirate of the writer’s being: the brain (lover of plot and planning, of revision, perfection and an impossible certainty), the storyteller (crazy, intuition-driven, passionate troubadour, who can do everything you hope and more if the brain will shut up), and now, the athlete. This is the writer who knows that how it feels to get the words down is irrelevant. The key is to put in the miles, to go the distance, to establish and maintain daily routines.

2) Robert A. Heinlein’s Five “Rules for Writing.”

1) You must write.

2) You must finish what you write.

3) You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.

4) You must put the work on the market.

5) You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.

In a remarkable little essay, Robert J. Sawyer then takes us through each rule, showing us how fully half of all people who want to be writers fail to follow each rule. He adds a sixth, too.

(I’ll spend more time on this at another point, but let me say here that knowing what it means for a particular work to be finished—Rule #2—will make it possible, I think, to follow Rule #3 with success and a sense of integrity.)

3) A writer friend forwarded a “weekly reflection” from Mark Nepo about the long and material apprenticeship various cultures expect of their various artists and craftspeople. A perfect counterpoint to Heinlein’s light-a-fire-under-your-derriere Rules, Nepo’s gentle reminder pointed to a love of the process, of making progress rather than arriving. It’s not on his web site, but a bunch of his writing and information about him is there.


Posted in Main, Models, Momentum, Publication, The Big Picture, Writers and Other PeopleComments (3)

Mathematician Writes First Novel: A Guest Blog

Mathematician Writes First Novel: A Guest Blog

perspectiveDavid Woolbright is a Professor of Computer Science at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia.  A mathematician by training, he’s taken a couple of writing classes over the years at Davidson College and Oxford University. Last year, he wrote a novel. I’ve read the first couple of chapters, and it’s really good. Here’s what it was like to accomplish this:


I didn’t expect to write a novel.   And I only had a couple of vague ideas in the back of my head about possible novel topics when I signed up for Elizabeth’s first writing course at the suggestion of a friend.  I did have some free time, and I thought her course might help me learn how to build a plot for a short story, or perhaps a first novel that I might write sometime in the future.

I really had no idea that the first course was preparatory to writing a novel in the 2008 NaNoWriMo write-fest.  So when Elizabeth suggested we decide on a topic for the novel that we would write in November, I complied, but I never seriously believed there would be enough time to complete such an ambitious project.  I would enjoy the first, preparatory course and bow out.

Somewhere during that first course I changed my mind.  I found the writing exercises that Elizabeth prescribed were just what I needed to free a creative urge which I had long ignored and suppressed.  Amazingly, I learned to build a plot – and not simply the plot of a short story, but the plot of a full-length novel.

The online community of fellow writers who were enrolled in the course was especially encouraging.  We cheered each other on in our virtual classroom.  By the end of the month I decided to take the NaNoWriMo plunge and write a novel.  It was now or never.  Stopping at that point would have meant letting down my classmates and myself.

November was grueling.  Writing sixteen hundred words a day is not easy to do.  But I did it.   And in doing it, I learned that the most important thing is to keep writing and never look back.  Send your inner editor on vacation until the task is done.  Edit later.  I wrote so many words in November!  When I reread the novel it was like reading something that another person had written.  I didn’t remember much of it.  The interesting thing is that I liked what I was reading.  It was far from perfect, but I wasn’t embarrassed by it.  In fact, I was proud of it.

I can highly recommend Elizabeth’s courses as a way to get moving, no matter what  your level of expertise as a writer.  She has an amazing literary sensibility that you can leverage for your own work.  Her courses are crafted with just the right number of exercises, phone calls, and encouraging words.  The sequence of courses flow seamlessly to help lead you to a finished work.

I wrote a novel last November – looking back I find it hard to believe, but I did it.

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Gestating a Book: Guest Blog on NaNoWriMo with a Twist

Gestating a Book: Guest Blog on NaNoWriMo with a Twist

blocksAmy Truncale is a self-described “wife and mother in the Bay Area who loves to write and dream.” She dreamed up an amazing story last year, and here she tells us about the experience of writing a book in less time than it takes to make a baby:

Last year I wrote a novel in the month of November during the annual NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I was seven months pregnant and had been stuck on a book I started writing six years before. I hadn’t even looked at it in a couple of years, so I decided to write it over from scratch without referencing the old material in any way. I wanted my original inspiration back.

NaNo sounded challenging, fun, scary, impossible and wonderful, and it inspired me. A door banged open in my soul with the fresh air of possibility. That may sound a bit dramatic, but the thought of doing NaNo made my eyes wide with anticipation. It was an opportunity I had to take. There was another very important reason I wanted to undertake this task at that time. Simply put, I wanted my daughter (still in utero at this point) to have a mother that would model having the courage to do what she loves. That was a powerful motivation for me. I’m wise enough to know that she’s much more likely to do what I do, rather than what I say. So with that arsenal up my sleeve, I set out on a journey of creativity.lisad_2303

As I mentioned previously, I had been stuck in my writing for a long time. I needed to do something different, something I had never tried before. I had employed different techniques to move my writing forward in the past but always seemed to end up in the same place – inertia. I was looking for a new internal paradigm. NaNo happens in the 30 days of every November. Coincidentally, it is said that it takes 30 days to break a bad habit and replace it with a healthier one. I wrote a never-ending river of words last November that created a new mental pathway. The flow of momentum broke through little dams of dry twigs (I’m stuck) and brambles (I don’t know how to do this), rats’ nests (I can’t) and garbage that was previously creating blocks and distractions, making it difficult to write anything. Plus, I gained confidence as I experienced success! The goal was to write 50,000 words, and I did that. It doesn’t say to write 50,000 perfect words that create perfect sentences that make a national bestseller (although that possibility is open to you), it just says 50,000 + new words, period (well, not just random words – but you know what I mean).

In retrospect it still amazes me how easy I was on myself during this process. I always thought taking on a commitment like this would be painful, that I would have to chain myself to the desk and force myself to do it at knife point, sweat beading on my brow. Maybe being pregnant had something to do with this new gentle feeling towards myself. It forced me to slow down and take it easier than I ever had.

All I did each day was read what I had written the day before and then keep going. I did not critique anything. Previously crippled by my perfectionist left brain, I embraced the idea that it could be as bad as it needed to be – and sometimes it really was – but occasionally it was even good. My main goal was to KEEP GOING, not to write well. I had never let myself off the hook this way before. It was more than a revelation. Once I had accomplished the goal of just getting words on the page, I could shift my focus to creating quality through revision.

There are many books on writing on the market. I know because I own quite a few of them. There is some great advice for how to go about writing a book, yet most concede there is no direct ‘how to’ guide. I suppose it’s because of the nature of novel writing; that is, it is a different path for everyone. What Elizabeth Stark has created in her Book Writing Cycle is nothing short of revolutionary, and I have never heard of anything else like it. I honestly could never have done it without the support of this class/group, specifically designed to coincide with NaNoWriMo. It’s a tremendous resource for writers, and I am grateful to be a part of it. Writing a novel is about following your dreams. Whether the path is symbolically straight as an arrow, meandering through meadows or jumping into the abyss with arms stretched like an eagle, all that matters is that you take a step, and then another…

Posted in Imagination, Models, Momentum, Mothering, The Big PictureComments (1)

Guest Blog from Devi Laskar: Mom of Three Wins NaNoWriMo

Guest Blog from Devi Laskar: Mom of Three Wins NaNoWriMo

kids under a treeDevi Laskar is an old friend of mine from graduate school. She took last year’s Book Writing Cycle course: planning, writing and revising an amazing novel. (I just got to read a good chunk of it, and I was blown away. You’re sure to get a chance to read it yourself in a few years when it’s a NYTimes bestseller. You heard it here first.) While Devi has not one but two master’s degrees, including an M.F.A. in Writing from Columbia University, she faced her own challenges while writing an entire book last year, as you shall see:

I think moms are some of the most creative, resourceful people on Earth. They are able to multi-task (it is practically a prerequisite of being a modern mother to be able to talk on the phone, make a sandwich, change a diaper and tie a shoe simultaneously!) and accomplish so much for their families during the day. Every day. But it is a thankless job and if you’re successful at it, you’re taken for granted. Unfortunately, it is the same in the vast world of creative writing – some of us are able to multi-task and get “things” done but we (the writers) often take ourselves for granted at the end of the day, and leave our most creative ideas swirling inside our heads and not on the page.
As a mom of three girls, I have found it to be challenging to get my brilliant future-Pulitzer-prize winning thoughts on to the page some years. Yep, I said it: years. When my oldest was merely an only child, I was writing so much – especially when she took naps and at night when she was asleep. I was organized, I was motivated, I was in charge. I was making time for myself, even if that time meant a half-hour here and a half-hour there. A few years later, I had three little girls and I was lost in the vacuum of diaper duty and late-night feedings, and chained to the vacuum cleaner, too.
My daughters are now a little bit older, they go to school and I’m back to writing again. It is a matter of consistency. Just like we make time to eat and sleep and take showers, we writers must make time to write. I was very proud of my family last year when I told them I was going to participate in NaNoWriMo – they knew I had to write 1,700 words a day and they left me alone for those few hours when I did it. If they caught me slacking off, they’d offer me alternatives: “Hey mom, can you fix A….” or ,“Hey mom, can you make B….” or, “Hey mom, why don’t you drive me to C…” and quickly I’d scurry back to my writing table and churn out more sentences. I finished NaNoWriMo, got my 50,000+ words and gained so much more confidence – I felt I could go back to older projects that had been languishing in my desk drawer and finally finish them.
I feel the Book Writing Cycle was a real asset. It was great to be on a schedule and to have a community to commiserate with – we checked in with each other frequently and our conference calls with Elizabeth helped immensely. I felt as though I started friendships, and the course helped me to focus on the book at hand.
And that leads to me to my most important point: it’s about quality, really, not quantity (although if you have both, it’s great to have both). There are plenty of writers out there who are lucky enough to be writing full-time and they are constantly stuck. If you are a busy mother, like me, eek out that 30 minutes or one hour during the day and make it YOUR TIME. Put it on the schedule of your busy day, sometime right after the early morning shower and before the dinner dishes are put away. Start slow. Buy a cheap spiral notebook and a pull out a ballpoint pen that comes in a package of ten. Tell yourself that all you have to do today is write 10 sentences in the notebook, and then you can go do something else. After a month, you’ll find your notebook is full and you have a wonderful go-to source of inspiration that’s all your own.

Posted in Models, Momentum, Mothering, parenting, The Big PictureComments (1)

Dear Writer: Why Start with a Frame for Your Book?

Dear Writer: Why Start with a Frame for Your Book?

journalThe following is the letter I wrote to the brave group of folks who started–and yes, finished–books with me last fall. I thought it might be useful to anyone gearing up to write a book. If you want to join my group, check it out HERE.


Dear Book Writers,

Why a Frame? Why are we starting with plot (and character)?

It has been my experience that the hardest thing to go back and put into a novel after it’s written is a strong plot based on a deep sense of character. In other words, actions must grow out of the motivations and psychology of your character.

Now, you can create a character who will, by nature, do the actions required of him or her in your plot, OR you can create a plot that grows, naturally, out of the will of your character. In either way, you want a character with some serious motivation and a backbone (even if it’s initially hidden from us or from him- or her-self).

Writers can work for years on books, so there are very many things one could do in preparation for writing a manuscript. In fact, I urge you to write at least a page every day where you are just thinking on paper (or on screen) about your novel. Writing about writing is actually a much more powerful planning tool than simply thinking about writing. It’s the power of the keyboard or the pen–the power, if you will, of writing.

In these pages, you can think about your characters’ histories, about the setting of your novel, about images that move you, fragments of the world that inspire you. Think about the underlying idea or theme that drives your story.
By the same measure, when you are writing 1670 plus words a day in November, you will be thinking and writing about these things all the time. That’s what’s so powerful about NaNoWriMo and the writing life itself. Right now you are tilling the fields.

Together, we are going to have three intertwined foci:
1) Building a strong, logical, exciting plot
2) Based on a motivated, backboned, interesting character
3) While revving the engines by inspiring each other and addressing any real questions or fears.

For some of you, this may be so effective that you will always use this approach in all future books that you write. For others, you may learn that you want to start with place or imagery, that your plot grows more naturally from an exploration of other material. For now, I ask you simply to respond to all the challenges: to try. Anything you do will move you further down the path of your writing life, which is to say, the project of creating worlds.


JOIN THE BOOK WRITING CYCLE HERE.


Warmly,

Elizabeth

Posted in Momentum, planning, Plot, The Big PictureComments (0)

70th Post: Confessions of a Writing Entrepreneur Mom

70th Post: Confessions of a Writing Entrepreneur Mom

What makes a blog both exciting and dangerous is the immediacy of the format. Confessions, passions and urges are typed onto a little box on a screen, one rectangular button with the corners worn off is clicked with a tap of a key, and those confessions become public.

I’m a person with three novel manuscripts waiting perfection. I’m not impulsive about getting my work out before the public eye because I’ve been wounded by the public eye, been overly-sensitive to what others wrote about my work or thought about it. The blog format, therefore, is good for me. In many ways.

But it is still dangerous, and right now I’m aflame, in a quiet and deep way.

I just crawled out of bed after a long “nursey-nappy” with my family, a nap I spent finishing Po Bronson‘s excellent What Should I Do with My Life? The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question. He’s got quite a target market there: anyone who’s ever wondered, Is That All There Is?

But what made me LOVE this book was first, the excellent writing. It’s just so well-written. If you want to know what good writing is, read this book. It’s not flowery, pretentious, or even poetic. It’s honest, articulate, driven by a voice of intelligence and integrity.

If I knew Po Bronson better, which is to say if I’d ever met him or met his cousin or seen him do a live reading, say, I’d call him up right now instead of blogging, and I’d run my ideas past him. But you, dear reader, are being asked to stand in. Here’s what I’ll do to help you out. I’ll quote a few lines, and you see if you can take up the spirit of the voice of this book and answer me back, okay?

He writes:

So finding your calling is not “the answer.” Callings are vehicles that help us let our real selves out; callings speed up the process. You can find your calling, or you can find your people, or you can find an environment that nurtures you–they all lead to the same place. Many people get there without ever finding their calling. Head in that direction. (p.390)

And then he writes:

A calling is not something you know, it’s something you grow into, through trials and mistakes. Work shouldn’t just be fun. Work should be like life–sometimes fun, sometimes moving, and defined by meaningful events. Attack your fears, rather than shy away from them. Bring what you do in alignment with who you are. (p.391)

And just one more:

You can get good at what you need to to serve what you believe in. . . . Nothing helps like knowing you are not alone. (p. 391)

Okay, go buy this book! And then come back here and listen to me confess.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been studying marketing with Michael Port, and that I appreciate that he emphasizes love and integrity. In fact, our last class, in which he made good use of a book called Love is the Killer App, by Tim Sanders was mind-bogglingly wonderful. It focused on the idea that networking is the process of taking care of other people by sharing your intangibles.

What are your intangibles? Your network, your knowledge and your passion.

Meanwhile, I’m reading Po Bronson at night, surrounded by babies, with my little clip-on reading light fading mightily. I got to the end of Ch. 46 last night and it was late for someone with two little guys who wake up before the birds around here, and so I switched off my sputtering little clip-on light, but I couldn’t sleep for two more hours. I was thinking about what he wrote at the end of Ch. 46.

And I’m working out who and how I want to teach, who and how I want to edit. I love teaching and editing; I love being good at making connections, pushing people toward their strengths, teaching what doesn’t seem to be taught much–craft, for example, close attention to words; how to write the books you write best, better. And how to finish things . . . write a whole book and then rewrite it, and write another one. What if people left an M.F.A. program with two complete, book-length manuscripts?

So I’m thinking about how to build my teaching and coaching and editing business, how to serve the people I’m meant to serve. But at the same time, of course, there’s something else: I want to be a writer.

I’ve known this for a really long time and it keeps not changing. I don’t like growing in public or marketing my wares-cum-deepest creative efforts. But I keep pulling past those blocks, changing my mind, being willing to figure out a new way to be willing to grow in public and to see selling my wares in a different light.

Add to the mix that I’m raising two kids, and that I want to raise them. I want to be there for the rolling out of the new words, for the jokes they make and the dance moves they invent and the art they create that, frankly, blows my mind.

So that’s business, writing, kids, in no particular order, and not to mention my relationship, my friends, and my voracious appetite for reading . . .

And each of these items has a few sides to it.

Because besides the amazing sentences my boys utter and the laughs they earn and the hugs they give, there are also endless meals to cook, surfaces to wipe down (counters and bottoms and floors) and dishes to clean and toys to pick up off the floor–again–and laundry to do and baths to be given and hair to be washed and no one likes to brush teeth, it turns out . . .

And writing comes with building a platform and collecting rejection slips, which means addressing and stamping and mailing envelopes (or is anybody even doing that anymore?) and researching markets and proposing articles and books and then convincing other people to buy them . . .

And building a business comes with letting other people know about it and developing products and courses and trying methods of outreach that fail, and doing taxes, and keeping books and records and mailing lists and returning phone calls and emails . . .

Everybody else just woke up, and I was planning to drive the point home if I could, but then people needed dinner and a lot of attention.

So . . . where was I? Oh yes, all the pieces of a whole and the many wholes that compete for attention.

Here’s my immediate, not-yet-digested idea after finishing Po Bronson’s book: I am going to structure my courses and coaching to support my–and hence my clients’–writing life. Perhaps a first-thing-in-the-morning group check-in to rev us up and get us going? Followed by a three-hour writing block. A lunch hour course rotating between planning your book (Mondays?), writing your book (Wednesdays?), revising your book (Thursdays?).(Clients can move among them as needed.) The craft course to keep all of us in the best shape possible for writing great prose . . . And then afternoon coaching sessions for people who are ready to soar.

This is a work-in-progress, but at its heart is my belief that serving others can be done best when I am serving myself. And as I learn about building a platform using all of the exciting media options available, as I create tours and promote books, I will share this information. I want to help apprentice writers become professionals, and professional writers become stars. Myself included.

What do you want? What is your driving passion? What should you do with your life?

Posted in parenting, Publication, The Big Picture, Writers and Other PeopleComments (4)

Related Sites

  • 1st Books: Stories of How Writers Get Started See my blog about the wonderful Meg Clayton. The blog is guest authors’ tales of their tales
  • A Bit of This, A Bit of That Prolific, intelligent and quirky blogger and lover of all things bicycle . . .
  • Jamie Ford: Bittersweet Blog The author of The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (2009) shares the journey; lots of fun.
  • Koreanish A wonderful, helpful blog by the great writer Alexander Chee
  • ReadingWritingLiving Susan’s Ito’s wonderful blog on “trying to do it all: reading writing momming daughtering spousing working living” plus great insights into adoption and other stuff
  • SethFleisher.com Seth is a very good writer–and he’s got content: international politics, being a dad, and, of course, writing . . .
  • Sports Race Politics America Gretchen Atwood is working on an exciting book about the integration of pro-football. Here’s one to watch.
  • Towers of Gold Frances Dinkelspiel’s engaging web site about California history, economics and other important ideas.