Category Archives: WRITING

NaNoWriMo: Getting on My Crazy

This is the time of year when hundreds of thousands of writers around the world, including me, get antsy.  Stories flit through our heads, a few characters decide to burrow in and stay a while, and we can’t wait for November 1st to start writing. NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month, is a time when hundreds of thousands of writers around the world get crazy and try to write 50,000 words during the month of November.  We even manage to go to work, school, holiday gatherings, and sometimes even make a few dinners for our families! 1,667 words a day, every day, or catch up on weekends.  If, like me, you take Sundays and Thanksgiving off, it jumps to 2,000 a day.  Why drive ourselves like this?  Jaime Raintree put her thoughts into a brilliant post over on Writers in the Storm, and she not only ticked all my boxes but … Continue reading

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Time, Habits & Investing: Are We Undermining Ourselves?

Like most of the world, my life is filled with good and bad habits, which lead to good and bad situations.  Awesome things like writing a book or helping someone through a tough time are inevitably counterbalanced by things like a chaotic house or the pressure of not enough time. A recent blog post by social media guru Kristen Lamb really struck home with me, not just with writing, but with many of my daily frustrations.  Here’s an excerpt, with Kristen’s text in green: Are We Undermining Our Own Writing Success? I rarely reread books, namely because there are so many new titles I want to consume and only so many hours in the day. But, there are a handful of books I read and reread namely because they are areas I struggle in and so reinforcement is tremendously helpful. The three books I seem to cycle through the most are … Continue reading

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Writing with Latino Youth

One of the great things I was involved with this summer was a twice-weekly writing workshop with Latino youth in Indianapolis – middle schoolers through seniors in high school. As part of their summer program, some of them were excited to be there.  Nervous, yes, but they liked to write and wanted to do more. For others, well, let’s just say they got stuck with their last choice. We used writing prompts in every session, some related to hobbies and some to heritage.  On Wednesdays, a spoken word poet came for the last hour and guided us through memories and feelings to create prose poems. No matter what their attitude when they started, by the end of our six weeks, these teens had produced some powerful writing.  Strong emotions, some lovely phrases, and an amazing sense of empowerment for all of them. One of our early prompts was: “Just because ____, doesn’t … Continue reading

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Shimmer of Time Goes on the Road (and I Do Too)

Summer days are for lazing around the pool, going for evening bike rides, and generally slowing down the pace of life, right? Uh, not here. I’ve actually been extra-busy lately, not only with writing book #2, but taking Shimmer on the road. I had an unexpected opportunity to do an author visit to the Tyson Library in Versailles, which in Indiana is actually pronounced ver-sales, not vare-sigh. Sigh. Regardless of living where they didn’t know how to pronounce French a hundred years ago, I had a lot of fun. It was Tyson Library’s summer reading kickoff and I had an hour to read books to kids from 2-12, so took some favorite picture books, a chapter book, and, of course, Through the Shimmer of Time. I signed books while the kids did crafts and had snacks, and then I taught an hour-long writing workshop to teens and a few adults. We talked about the … Continue reading

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Visions of Today and Yesterday

I feel like I live in two worlds. I recently bought a pear tree (note to self: buy a partridge) and needed to drive slowly along the back roads on the way home. My route took me through the small town of Clayton, Indiana, and my double-vision kicked in. Clayton is a country village a few miles south of the county seat, which is a slightly larger town. The historic homes along Clayton’s main road invited me to slow down and enjoy the sights – spreading shade trees, lovely flower beds, and a woman mowing a yard. Juxtaposed against this, I could also envision women in long skirts and sidewalks walking of boards. Families would have hitched a wagon and taken regular trips into Danville for supplies. The Presbyterian Church has been around since the 1830s, and descendants of the original settlers probably still worship there. Farther on, country roads … Continue reading

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