Tag Archives | Writing

Dear New Idea

Dear New Idea,

When inspiration struck, I wanted to drop everything. I promise. I saw those wonderful, perfect stock images and you came to me immediately.

Really, you’re everything I love in a story. Everything. From the books I read to the movies I watch. Except you came together in one image, actually several images, because of course there will be more than one book.

You are more than a one-book idea.

For about half a day, I planned on putting you in the forefront, dropping all the others that have patiently waited their turn, percolating, simmering in the background. You were going to be next.

Then I realized how unfair that is to the other ideas, who thought they were next. I realized that you will be better off for it with time to percolate in my thoughts. The ideas that have waited their turn are more fully formed, the characters ready, the tone ready.

Don’t you want that too? I know you do. You might not think you do, but trust me.

I’m sorry. I know that makes you sad. Fine. Okay. There’s a slight chance, an eensy, teensy chance that you could jump ahead after this next one. We’ll see. I’ll leave you with that tiny bit of hope.

But thank you for popping in. Literally. Soon. Very soon. We’ll chat again.

If you need some encouragement, New Idea, then stick around, because on Monday, you’ll see the cover reveal of an idea that started off just like you. One that had to wait its turn. You guys should grab some coffee or something.


I can hear you grumbling.

Go percolate!

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Hope is like a giant carnivore.

Or I could have said hope is like claws the size of a school bus.

For several years I’ve been searching, hoping for a flicker. Some sign that eventually my nine-year-old son might take even a tiny bit of interest in his schoolwork.

In third grade, when completing his spelling homework, he still wrote large and messy and refused to start the words on the pink line. (Not because he couldn’t but because he didn’t care. His teacher was shocked when I told her last year that he really doesn’t care about schoolwork unless there’s a competition involved.)

Basically, his words were all over the place like a star constellation, scattered here and there, but if you studied hard enough you could find meaning.

Yeah, spelling homework is not supposed to be like that.

He rarely uses capitals and periods and definitely takes advantage of creative spelling.

We made small strides last year. When he wanted to he could write small and on the line. Maybe it depended on where Venus was in the sky or the direction the wind was blowing that day. Who knows?

But the other day, he handed me a gift that sent hope careening through me like the clubbed tail of a monster swinging through a Lego set.

This is part of a story he wrote:

I was sitting at my computer when I herd a cry for help. I went on the porch I could of fained there was this giant carnivore about 20 feet away from me bitting on this guys arm. I took my riffle and shoot it. the guy thanked me and went on. I still thout I was dreming But I wasn’t. I went for a walk but when I got up to Clock Road my mind went black my eyes went blind. I finnley realized what was going on. I was out cold.

When I woke up all I could see were, you know, monster’s yellow teeth, brown skin, and the claws the size of school busses. Then my eye caught something it was silver. I knew what a gun was but this was some other kind of wepon then my mind worked it’s a sword. I saw these in the movies. I ran and slid under the monster’s leg I grabbed the sword and stuck it in the monster’s behind.

The story continues, high in action and incredible detail of fighting this and several other monsters. I loved it. The strong verbs he chose astounded me. The way he fleshed out the scene sent me over the moon and back. And then, he ended with this bit of humor.

I told my dad I want to be a epic phenser. (fencer)

The spelling wasn’t perfect for sure. He threw in minimal punctuation. But the writing was small and on the lines and the story took up almost three handwritten pages. This is summer. No one told him to do it.

Like I said, hope is like a giant carnivore.

Now my hope is that he’ll read something other than Diary of A Wimpy Kid.

Where have you found hope recently?



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Don’t hurry.

It’s New Year’s Eve.

Yes, I’m at home. The fire is going in the woodstove. I have a book ready to read. A part of me is really in the mood to watch TITANIC and I have no idea why.

In the next week everyone will be posting and tweeting about 2012 and their goals. And I’m sure there will be a flurry of posts about how to reach those goals. But it doesn’t matter about the planning – it’s about drive. If you really want to lose weight, you will. If you really want to write 3K words a day, you will. If you really want to learn to ride a unicycle, well, I wish you the best of luck!

I never write down my goals. They’re in my head. I know what I want to do. Every week I re-evaluate where I am and what I need to do differently. I’m just not a big New Year’s resolution kind of gal.

Lots of things will change for me this year. I started with a new avatar – a much needed new avatar. A new design on my blog will be coming – a much needed new design. My writing will take new directions.

The stars are calling me as I strap on my moonboots in preparation for the coming year.

But one thought weighs on my mind. This one thought is like my new mantra and I find myself saying it to people often.

Don’t hurry.

Don’t hurry the writing process or the publishing process whichever route you take. It’s better to do something excellent than just do it. Sure, obstacles slow us down but that’s okay.

Take your time.

Do it right. Do it excellent.

Bake some cookies. Play Monopoly with your kids.

Write and edit a story.

Just don’t put so much pressure on yourself that you hurry.

Here’s to an excellent year!

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Why too many writers is a good thing.

For a while now, many people have noticed the lack of writing skill in high school and even college graduates. And guess where it starts?

In Kindergarten. At home, when a toddler learns to write his/her letters and the mom or dad reads books aloud.

For a while now, I’ve noticed all the moms who first get the itch to write while their kiddos are napping. Some moms need to feel that purpose outside of changing diapers, or it is through their children that they are introduced to the wonderful world of children’s literature and they never look back.

For a while now, I’ve heard some grumbling and groaning about all the people writing novels – more than ever before!

And I say that’s terrific.

All these writers won’t get published but the world will benefit. Because more mommy writers means more role modeling for the kiddos. That means we are able to help our kids with their editing. That means our kids might want to write. And any writing they do early on will help them when they are adults.

So here’s to the future of great writers in this country.

What do you think? If you have kids, do you see an increased interest in writing on their part because of your writing?

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Dancing to Lady Gaga in jammies.

I remember high school. Almost everyone was a brand.

I remember the art geeks wearing black clothes and earrings high in the ear that looked like it hurt and I winced when I saw it.

I remember the football jocks who sat at the popular table, well, not all of them popular, but they liked to think so, or they hoped so.

I remember the popular crowd that started in middle school with only a small group of kids, all kids, all unsure, desperate to find a spot to call their own at the lunch table the first week.

As the years went by, the circle grew, and soon a large crowd of kids were friends by senior graduation. Some of those same kids who in middle school when alone at night in their bed, their covers pulled up to their chin, trying to ignore the tiny squeaking of a mosquito, dreamed of being in that crowd. And they made it.

Maybe it was the casual way they said hello to a certain girl every day after practicing for hours the night before. Maybe it was that they sat behind the right boy in French class. Maybe it was that they copied the clothing styles the best they could of the popular crowds. Who knows? But it happened.

Some never desired to be in that crowd. They were confident in who they were. Maybe their families went out for soft serve ice cream with sprinkles every Sunday night, they laughed, they talked. Maybe they played Monopoly on Friday nights and learned the value of not giving away all their valuables early on. Maybe a grandmother whispered in their ears that they didn’t need the validation of anyone else to feel important. And they believed it.

It was never about being popular even if they were convinced it was. It was about feeling loved, special, that they held a spot in this world and if they left, they’d be missed.

All kids move on from the bubble called high school and they realize it was all a game. They wish they could go back and tell themselves to not spend hours worrying.

Except then they enter the work world and they realize that the groups, the cliques, the popular crowds don’t fade away. They go to the Kindergarten playground and soon realize that certain mommies rule the school, even if it’s not obvious at first. They see it starting with their children, even at preschool, and realize that dealing with people is a part of life.

Maybe late one night, their kids tucked in bed, sleeping, they realize that the game always exists if one wants to play. This time, thankfully, they step back, away from the pressure, and choose their own course, their own happiness.

They stick their daughter’s earbuds into their ears and dance to Lady Gaga in their jammies, not caring if the neighbors can see through the window.

And they decide that’s the best place to be.

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