Daily Archives: September 12, 2011


Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.

Ray Bradbury.

Some days, I lay in bed and think, can I do this? Can I do this today? Maybe I nursed the baby a half hour earlier and my three year old is yelling he wet the bed. Maybe I just realized I forgot to change the laundry and I can already smell the mildew. Maybe my head is still pounding from the headache the night before.

Can I do this?

You know those paintings? The ones with the dots. I like those. I like the little pieces to a great big beautiful whole.

Last night, I stood on my back deck that has melted crayons and corn husk and an apple juice carton. I stood there and watched the rain. Did you know that I am in charge of three people. I’m in a novel and I have three boys and a husband and we live in this house with weeds and grapes and scooters on the sidewalk and some days I sit on chairs and some days I run. And my shirt always has applesauce on it.

Did you know that a few years ago it was just me. I was a girl. I went to work. I went to school. And it was just me. I thought, what is going to happen to me? Who am I supposed to be?

Now this. I couldn’t have imagined how beautiful. all those dots.

Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love and love what you write.

Things go by me slowly and I step outside and I see myself. I see myself pushing the three year old on the tricycle with my foot as I hold the baby. I see myself eating a popsicle with three half-naked kids on our peeling front porch with an overgrown lawn. I see myself sneaking chocolate chips when no one is watching. I see myself.

Do I write something I love, something to live for? Do I? Is this a part of my heart, who I am, what I want? Why am I writing? Why am I taking the time when I could be sleeping. Or laying. Or laughing. Or eating. Or reading. Or watching. Or swimming. Or kissing. Or doing anything else.

The keyword is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.

Do you do that?

Write something you love, something to live for.


Filed under Ann Dee

Writing Exercises

Today has been, wow. Not so good.
So, writing exercises–or nothing at all.

! Use these words in a your piece–use in the first 250 words: pulse, wander, deliver, engage, stop.

Once a famous author told me to start my book stronger. I needed to only get rid of the first line and I had a better beginning. After you’ve written this new bit, look at a way to make the story stronger. Sometimes it’s just a word that needs to go.

@ Finish this in your main character’s voice: “In the beginning . . .”

# In less than 500 words, write the changes your character makes from page one to the end of your novel.

Once I read a book by a not very famous author. At the end of the novel, the main character hadn’t changed at all. Boring! Who wants to spend so many pages with someone who never learns ANYTHING? Okay, there is that ONE famous behemoth, but I’m not talking about THAT because it makes Ann Dee nervous.

$ Write the Who’s Who of your book. Put in every character. Does every one play a part?

Once I read a famous book that most people LOVE and I didn’t like it. Why? Because I felt too much had been thrown into the brew–and the really terrific part of the story got lost in the parts and people the author never tied together.

% Your main character has started biting her nails again. Why? Yes, I’m biting my nails again. And yes, I know why.

^ What is the biggest change in you as you write this novel?

& Use the incident that Kyra wrote about on Friday (the horrible dog story–And she says *I* tell sad/awful/disturbing stories) in your work.

Once, a famous writer (who writes about animals) told me to take a sad animal part out of one of my books. I didn’t. So there.

I got rewriting to go and papers to read, so I’m outta here!

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