Friday, September 30, 2011

Love That Girl, Love That Dog

Again: the photo says it all.

It needs no words. . . but it also inspires words. What is the story of this girl and this dog and this place?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Love that Boy, Love that Dog

What can I say?

I mean: really.

Did you have a dog when you were young? Do you have one now?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


When students say, "I don't have anything to write about," I think What? What? Are you kidding? You just need to look closely at something. Anything at all. Your hand. An eye. A leaf. A mushroom. Just lean in and focus. . .

The strange, stunning, giant yellow mushroom in the photos here was in our yard this morning. I've never seen anything quite like it. Had to get down and look closely. Had to grab a ruler so you'd know I wasn't exaggerating.  Look underneath:


Of course, then I had to mess around . . .

'Night all.  May you dream of stunning yellow mushrooms, but don't be afraid . . .

Saturday, September 24, 2011


On the kitchen counter, this scene (above). There's a story there, many stories, yours for the telling.

When the grandchildren visit, we make up the story as we go along, like this:  "One day a grandmother was out in the mint forest and she came upon . . ."

There are scenes like this throughout the house. Must be a compulsion: to set up scenes and tell the stories, mm?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Anatomy of a Sunset

When I'm writing, I'm not aware of time passing and am surprised when I look up and see visible signs of that lapse.   I took this set of pics over the course of an hour while I was also writing. (The yellow globe in these photos is the reflection of the interior light, not an errant moon.)

The photos remind me of successive drafts of a work in progress: the layering and deepening of the story with each draft.

With care and luck, that final draft might be a thing of beauty, rich but subtle?

But then, that is for the reader to judge.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Observer

Sometimes when I am writing, I'll pause to allow the next part of a scene to unroll in my mind. I look out the window, gaze at the lake.  Yesterday, I saw a groundhog sitting tranquilly in the yard, gazing at the lake. Was he, too, pausing in his work to let his thoughts realign? Or simply to contemplate the serene lake?

I thought about layers: I was watching the groundhog watching, much like I, the writer, observe my character, who is observing/thinking/acting.

Later in the day, I noticed the groundhog had turned around and seemed to be watching me.

Odd feeling, that.  Sometimes when I am well into a book, I get the eerie feeling that the main character has turned to me, as if to say, "Well, now what?"

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Children with New Puppy

The grandchildren got a new puppy. 

They'd been hoping and dreaming and wishing.  

Look at these faces.

Lucky children.

Lucky dog.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Catching Bats and Ideas

I took this photo last night at sunset, trying to capture the bats flying just below the branches, black flashes silhouetted against the lake. There were about a dozen of them zinging back and forth.  I took six or seven photos in quick succession, sure that I had caught them, but I don't see them now.

When I am in book-writing mode, I often try to capture quick flashes that flit through my mind–a scene, an image, a snip of dialogue–but sometimes they elude me, like the bats. I know they were there, but where have they gone?

Friday, September 9, 2011


I've just discovered quilling. Please, please do not let me become addicted.

Check out this 40 second video:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Writing Day

We've had a week of rain after a dry spell, and the roses in the garden are loving it.

In the shower this morning, the next two chapters of current work-in-progress revealed themselves to me.

Just like that.

All that pausing for paws (last blog) and flowers and what-not, watered by the shower, must have nurtured the story.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Writing Pause for Paws

I'm working on a story.

I'm sitting dutifully at my desk and my fingers are tapping out words.

Out of the corner of my eye, I sense something waving at me.


Having a picnic on the deck.

Making a bigga mess.

What was I doing
What was I thinking
Where was I . . .?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Why It Takes So Long to Write a Book

Sure, there are the normal things like cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, doctors, dentists, children, spouses, friends, family that need attention.

But then, also: there is the pale moon framed by branches


the flowers waving



and so

you have to stop

and pay attention


Thursday, September 1, 2011

On the Desk, Part Two

More things on the desk . . .

Above, the essential computer plus a couple lucky turtles.

Dozens of family photos . . ..

Flowers from the yard (these are Rose of *Sharon*) 
in Ikebana vase

Mini-dark-chocolate Milky Way


And oh yes, the manuscript-in-progress:
66 pages of rough draft prose

And observing me and my desk is this squirrel
three feet in front of me
eye level.

Is your desk near a window?