Category Archives: Uncategorized

The power of should

Here’s the challenge: Use the word “should” in a sentence. I’ll bet that whatever came after “should”, especially if you used “I” in front of it, was something less than pleasant. The power of should. Should can suck all of the wanna out of you. For writing, specifically, I wonder if too much should leads […]

On Patience

When I send a manuscript out, I break up with it. Not the dramatic kind of breakup. There are no tears, no threats, no ultimatums. Just a quiet, amicable separation. I wish it well, I do. I think about it sometimes. I fantasize briefly about getting The Call while doing something humdrum – maybe driving […]

Life Cycle of a Rewrite

Since it seems to be all I can think about… Step 1: Receive feedback. Step 2: I need these notes. I want them. They’re good. I must get to work. Step 3: What have I done to this story? This can’t be right. What have I done? This isn’t right. Step 4: This can’t be […]

The Prophecy

I knew it was going to die soon. “That makes no sense,” my husband argued when I confessed that I had received the Prophecy of the Dying Battery. Probably he is right. Certainly he is right. Nevertheless, my truck signals the imminent death of its battery by making the stereo reset completely every time I […]

Falling down

“So if this goes well, how much of the credit are you going to take?” my husband asked me the night before a Very Important Work Event. “I’ve had a lot of great folks working with me. It was a team effort.” “And if it goes to hell in a handbasket?” “Well, then that’s my […]

Who Are You Kidding?

I got notes on my manuscript from my insightful agent recently. As usual, she’s right on and I wind up wondering why I didn’t see the things she mentions in the first place. One sticky part, where a character I love makes a choice I hate. The agent also thought it was a section that […]

Three Things About Writing a Sequel

One: Less flexibility, because you built the sandbox with the first novel and everything that follows has to make sense and follow the rules you made up. Now it’s up to you to build a worthy sandcastle. Confined by the sandbox on all sides, but absolute freedom to build within those confines. Doesn’t mean I […]

Three things about writing

T hink my learning curve looks a bit like this: 1) Writing thoughts smack you in the face when you least expect it. Recent conversation with a friend: Him: “Course, I been swinging a hammer for twenty years.” Me (thinking only, not saying): Anyone who looks at you would know that. Wait, stop. Why would […]

Lifecycle of a story, as told by the Rocky Mountains

Brainstorm   Maybe it’s a good idea. Maybe not. But it’s going to brew until you write it down. You get started So much promise. You know you want to get to But in between there’s And you’re pretty sure there’s And sometimes the words are like But sometimes you feel more like Or maybe […]

Waltzing Matilda

The path is narrow, a thin line dividing uphill and downhill, traced in the rock over the contours of the mountain. Small flowers, delicate and blue and white and yellow, cower in the crevices, hoping to garner enough sunlight and water and somehow keep their fingerhold on the rock long enough to grow the few […]