Music to Write By

What happens to all those music lessons?  When I was in high school, I took piano, violin, and voice lessons.  I sang in my school chorus, the madrigal singers, the school musicals, and recitals.  I played my violin in the school orchestra and in the Macalester College Symphony down the street. My family sang around the piano whenever we had the cousins over, from Verdi and Handel, through Berlin and Rogers and Hammerstein, and onto the Beatles and Webber and Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar.  I… Continue reading

The Mirror Trap

One of the most common ways beginning writers show a character’s physical appearance involves posing the character in front of a mirror.  This setup lends itself to a quick list of eye color, hair color, skin color, and face and body shape, which can be efficient, but it also risks being boring or cliché.  More fun is invading a character’s body, like when Gaia moves through a tight tunnel, bracing her fingertips against the walls, I can give a sense of how that feels for her.  She… Continue reading

Bookish Friendships

My best friend moved in across the street from me when she and I were both five years old. For the rest of my childhood, she was there for me, silly, thoughtful, generous, and ready to play.

We giggled through countless sleepovers and she’s the one who first told me to read Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy. I once asked for a piece of her Hershey’s bar, and she broke it in half to share it with me evenly. We’re still friends, miles apart and decades later.

Today on… Continue reading

Always Learning

Tiburon, California, 2008

There’s this story about a woman in her thirties who wanted to become a doctor, and her mother said, “A doctor! It’ll take you eight years to become a doctor.”  And the woman said, “What’ll I be in eight years if I don’t become a doctor?”

I love this story. It’s about believing in ourselves and planning ahead.  It involves understanding how time accumulates and choosing what we do with it.

Today, my blog tour for Promised begins as Rachael at The Book Muncher asks… Continue reading

Promised Blog Tour!

I’m starting around on a blog tour next Monday, September 24th!  Ten very funny, thoughtful, creative bloggers have been pitching me interview questions and topics about favorite reads, music to write by, what’s changed for me over the Birthmarked trilogy, women’s rights, bravery, inspiration, and whether I’d rather live in Sylum or the Enclave.  They’ve given me the perfect excuse to pause and think about how far Gaia’s story has come, and where it goes from here.  It’s been interesting and super fun to talk with people… Continue reading