Since I finished the third book in the Vault of Dreamers series three years ago, I’ve been writing on my own, not under contract. I’ve been free, in other words, to write whatever I want, without deadlines or expectations to pressure me. Of course, I haven’t had a significant income, either, which is not sustainable indefinitely. I’ve been writing on the speculative, eventual payment plan, working with the firm intention of completing a book that can go on submission. This is very different, however, from writing under contract, when,… Continue reading
As I walked in a nearby park today, I came across a series of chalked messages encouraging us all to smile and say hello. Some messages expressed gratitude to health care workers, truckers, and grocers. One said, if we had masks on, to smile with our eyes. It absolutely brightened my afternoon.
We’re into Week 3 of social distancing, aka distant socializing, and though numbers of cases keep climbing, we’re getting early data about fevers through Kinsa thermometers that shows our efforts are making a difference. April is going to… Continue reading
Whether you’re worried about your daughter-in-law who treats Covid-19 patients in a NYC hospital (like I am), trying to double as a home-school teacher while tele-working, or scrambling to find health insurance when you’re newly unemployed, you’re probably dealing with a lot more stress today than you were a month ago. Even people in fairly stable situations are more anxious and isolated than normal.
In such times, it’s tempting to turn to books for a different perspective. Here are suggestions in case you want to double down and immerse yourself… Continue reading
Recently, I was invited to join the Writers Council of the National Writing Project, and for this I was asked to state why I believe writing is important. It’s a worthy question, and I chewed it over.
As I see it, three facets of writing matter: the original act of getting down a first draft, the revising puzzle, and the chance that a final result might move a reader. They’re intertwined, of course, but the real power lies in those first two stages. When we create and deepen our… Continue reading
Eleven years ago, when my family was on sabbatical in Tiburon, California, I wrote Birthmarked, my first young adult novel. I would often take walks in the afternoon while my children were at school, and my path led me into the grassy hills, past Old St. Hilary’s and copious poppies. Sometimes, when I was stuck in a plot snag, the walking would loosen up a new idea for me to try, and to this day, I feel grateful to those hills.
I returned to the same trail for… Continue reading
If you seek understanding, comfort, or inspiration, slip into someone else’s shoes as Scout did in To Kill a Mockingbird. Here’s a list of 10 recent books that take me deep into the human heart where we bank our love and hope like embers.
When I Was The Greatest by Jason Reynolds
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu
A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy