Friday, March 09, 2007


Bad news for author Jeanette Winterson whose new book due out in the fall got left at Balham station in south London.

Winterson novel found in London station

Winterson is an award-winning author and although this is not like Harry Potter 7 got left out for someone to find, it's still not cool.

Friday Fun Post

So, it's time to show you my office. It's a wonderful picture of my brain.
My office shows what kind of week I've had and what kind of weekend I will continue to have. Too much to do to wind down today. I'll be working over the weekend!

The piles are because I'm behind working on my 2007 filing system. I am using David Allen's Getting Things Done, so am still looking at a lot of paper. And I've emptied filing cabinets in order to review the contents.

You'll see my busy week sustenance here--in the form of M&Ms (Costco bag).

I'm actually piling projects on the floor right now until I get some filing done. No worries, I can find my way around this office blindfolded . . . and find exactly what I need!

This is my reading corner, surrounded by bookshelves and down behind the chair is my YA, middle readers, and kid's books, well some of them.

I'm continually sorting and decluttering my work areas and shifting priorities, but I do get quite a bit of work done in this office. If it were all clean and tidy, I'd be too intimidated to work in here. The clutter calms me down and reminds me that I can dream whatever I want to accomplish.

Does my office look like anyone else's? Cluttered, or am I the only one who thrives in this?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Being an Intermediate Writer

Ever notice that most writing books are geared to new writers? And the really good classic reference books are geared to advanced writers? I've been looking for intermediate books for years, until suddenly, I realized something last night while reading William J. Blundell's The Art and Craft of Feature Writing.

What a book! If you have ever been curious how the Wall Street Journal writes such intriguing (at least I think so) business stories and how they come up with that imitable nut graf, Blundell's the one to tell you.

But, his range and scope of feature writing is so beyond mine, well, let's just say he's got a trick or two up his sleeve. Nowhere before have I seen insights like these. And I'm so intrigued, I stay up and read until past my bedtime. There are other books on writing that are advanced, as well, but I'd like to point out one thing about how an intermediate writer such as myself can utilize these advanced tomes to our advantage.

1. I don't have to use all of the advice right now. Later, as I write the five stories that have been assigned, I'll reread and pick up more.
2. I can just use one good thing (I call it the one true thing) that I've learned to good effect. That WSJ nut graph rocks MY world.
3. The thing with advanced writing books is that they make you feel inadequate. That's the wrong mindset, people. You must reach higher and farther than you've reached before if you're going to improve. You can't have things handed to you on a platter.

Thus, intermediate books should not exist, in my opinion, because what pulls a writer from new to intermediate is the realization that one must think for themselves. And that's writing.

Working on a ton of writing projects today. Hope you're writing too!

Keep at it!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Writing Wednesday!

Yeah, so yesterday, I totally slacked off on this blog thing. Why?

Well, I nabbed a couple more writing assignments and then had a brainstorm for today. Of course, a client calamity is preventing me from writing right this minute, but if I can work enough ahead (client is in India) today, I can write later. Whee!

Work on American Masquerade is moving along great. I should finish on time on March 21. I finally finished reading Jane Smiley's Thirteen Ways of Looking At the Novel, what a great book. I haven't plugged it on this blog much, but wow, if you want a rich journey through 100 novels, read this. I am reading her list of 100 novels, and the first book is The Tale of Genji, which was written 1000 years ago. Incredible book, especially the translation I highlighted here.

And if that doesn't provide me enough inspiration for my own writing, I've got the new Jodi Picoult on its way! I can't wait.

Have a great writing day. It's raining in Seattle; what a perfect day to stay home!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Happy Monday!

A very busy weekend working on my WIP, American Masquerade. My hope is to finish the first draft by March 21st. I should make it.

I'm also chock full with copyediting work and working to get booked up with writing assignments (five so far!).
Also, I am writing one essay draft per day. I have this insane list of over 100 essay topics that I've brainstormed over time and writing on one idea each day keeps me from getting jaded. Plus, I then have tons of material to send out or to use in my book writing projects.

I've been thinking a lot about Resistance (if you yet haven't read the War of Art by Steven Pressfield, you should!) and how it affects my writing. I've been writing my entire life. Each time I get back into it, there are things that I enjoy and things that I don't enjoy. I now see that the things I don't enjoy are acting as an active Resistance to my writing. I'm using them as a crutch to not write more. How sad.

Why would I let myself be held down by stupid, silly little things?

It makes no sense to me either, but it was not until I read "The War of Art" that I realized, and my husband realized, how we were letting our stupid fears ruin our life goals.

Yet there is hope.

Steven Pressfield insists that if you fear it, you're to DO it. Hate is not the opposite of love; indifference is. If I did not care so much about these things, they would not cause me pain and I would not fear them.

Now there's something to get the writing engines going today.