Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I started out this summer saying I was going to write, write, write first and foremost. Thus far, I am not holding up my end of the bargain with myself. I've procrastinated and tackled everything else but just simply writing. The chaos of summer with three kids in various activities as well as vacations are certainly not helping my motivation either! I am about to embark on a lengthy family vacation and realized that upon my return, there is only a month or so of summer left before the kids go back to school in August. Now, I seem to be modifying my plans to just write, write, write and am focusing on all of the ideas behind the writing. My youngest is about to start Kindergarten this Fall, and I really want to enjoy the remaining summer with the kids. As we've worked our way through some fun summer activities, such as the zoo, I've collected numerous ideas for articles and stories to research and write and hope to do the same on this upcoming vacation.

A quote in Walking on Alligators by Richard Ford helped me feel OK about this current plan: "I collect lines and snippets of things somebody might say--things I overhear, things I see in the newspaper, things I think up, dream up, wake up with in the middle of the night. I write a line down in my notebook. If I can get enough of those things, then characters begin to emerge."

Ideas are found in a variety of ways and places, and my kids and their friends are great inspiration. So, for now, I am looking at my summer procrastination as idea generating research. Hopefully, I will be able to utilize all the scraps of ideas and starts of stories and formulate them into something worthwhile in the end.

How are summer goals going for all of you? I'd love if any of you have any words of wisdom to share.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Voice at KidMagWriters.com

Here is a great discussion about voice. I found it very helpful and hope you do as well. Jan Field's KidMagWriters.com is always full of great information. Check it out at http://www.kidmagwriters.com/index.htm.

Finding Your Fiction Voice

By Bonita Pate Davis

Finding the right voice for your magazine short story could mean the difference between a finished story that really works and one that doesn’t—quite. Take a story, any story, and write it twice. Use the same themes, characters, and plots. But employ different voices. One works; the other doesn’t.

For an in depth review as well as wonderfully concrete examples, please see Bonita's article at http://www.kidmagwriters.com/index.htm.

Monday, June 8, 2009

"Keep on Starting!"

"Keep on starting, and the finishing will take care of itself." I read these wise words on Kristi Holl's blog this morning (http://institutechildrenslit.net/Writers-First-Aid-blog/2009/06/05/unblock-two-techniques/). Kristi shared two great ideas for overcoming writers' block. I strongly suggest you go take a look at her blog (http://institutechildrenslit.net/Writers-First-Aid-blog) as it always has great information and ideas. This morning, I just found it so profound. I've been working on a ms that needs direction. I'm at a critical point, and it has been easier to just move around in circles. I've lost the "Just keep starting..." factor and need to get back to it. Reading Kristi's words this Monday morning were just the motivation I needed to get back on track. So, for any of you out there struggling to just sit and write and see where it leads, I challenge you to just "keep on starting...the finishing will take care of itself." I, for one, am going to get back to business and give it a try. Let me know how it goes for all of you.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stephen King, On Writing

Have any of you read Stephen King's On Writing? I just picked it up to start following many recommendations to do so. A paragraph right in the beginning struck me profoundly: "This is how it was for me, that's all--a disjointed growth process in which ambition, desire, luck, and a little talent all played a part." I most certainly feel I am well within a disjointed growth process mixing in some healthy doses of ambition and desire. Hopefully, luck and a little talent will be parts of the equation as well. I can only hope this mixture will take me just a fraction of where it has taken Stephen King. I look forward to reading the rest of the book. He does say, "This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit...I figured the shorter the book, the less the bullshit." I'll be sharing words of wisdom as I proceed. If any of you out there have thoughts or comments on the book, please do feel free to share them.