Perseverance. It sounds like slogging through mud. On an empty stomach. But perseverance also provides purpose and the satisfaction of returning to the same difficult project that gradually yields to the effort. When you build a life around perseverance, if you dare to risk admitting to something so old-fashioned, your truth is so small, day to day. It’s so inconspicuous and personal. It’s a novel coming alive word by word, and then taken apart scene by scene and rebuilt and transformed. It’s finishing that novel and starting, good Lord, another… Continue reading
It helps, certainly. I taught high school English for years, I’ve volunteered with teen writers, I’ve raised my own kids, and I have teenage nieces and nephews. I once was a teen, too, which counts for something. Still, since I’m not around teens on a daily basis right now, I’m conscious of my limits.
For instance, I would not attempt to… Continue reading
I like toys and colorful messes when I’m playing. When I need to concentrate, though, I often have to tidy up a bit so that I’m not itched by tippy clutter in the background. Similarly, I’ll make a list of pesky things I need to do and park them for late in the afternoon so phone calls or errands don’t chop up my writing time.
When I’m starting a new writing project, though, the mess is in my writing. I land in a world I can’t see clearly and start… Continue reading
It’s hard to know where to start these days, isn’t it? Those of us fortunate enough to be well and working from home have seen the isolation of the pandemic’s early stay-at-home orders smear into the social distancing of the summer. The effect is a timelessness that’s difficult to explain or capture.
I’ve attended a couple of protests, an online bridal shower, a virtual conference, and a long-distance funeral, but most of the time, my days are defined by a sameness that blurs them together. I lose track of which… Continue reading
Those of us with little ones who cuddle close know the pleasure of reading picture books in the best company. Though libraries have started opening again in a limited fashion, ordering picture books from them is still a challenge because browsing to facilitate discovery isn’t possible. I’ve turned the recent hardship into a justification to purchase more books than I normally would, and I’m so happy with the results. By perusing award lists and recommended titles, I’ve discovered a bunch of new books that have quickly become favorites. I’ve rediscovered… Continue reading
Peaceful citizens gathered in Willimantic, CT on June 5, 2020 to protest the killing of George Floyd and rally in support of Black Lives Matter. I marched with them and in the days since, I’ve watched as countless protests continue across our country and around the world. For once, I feel hopeful that the voices of the people will affect real change.
Our world is a daunting place these days. It can seem pointless to focus on writing a novel in the… Continue reading