Monthly Archives: July 2015

Freaky Friday

For some reason, wordpress wouldn’t let me edit my last post, so I am redoing it.

Not so weird news! No this is great news! About a great friend!

Several years ago I met Luke Reynolds when he asked me to write an essay for a book called Break These Rules. We hit it off immediately and have been friends ever since. You know that feeling when you ‘meet’ someone you feel like you’ve known forever? That’s how it was with Luke.

He has a book coming out any moment now called The Looney Experiment that is terrific. Great voice. Great story.

Luke is a teacher and amazing at that, too.

We met at ALA this last June and I have to tell you, he’s as kind as I thought he was. And when I saw him interacting with the kids there, I was blown away. He was in his element. So natural.

I always feel like there’s something wrong me. I’m the odd man out.

I’ve never felt the way I saw Luke act. He was a natural. Funny. Calm. Pleased to be there. I felt like the kid (yes, I always feel like the kid) who’s so awkward people have to look away.

But not Luke.

You’re gonna love him.

Go to his website. He’s got lots of teachery things there.

Get his new book The Looney Experiment.

Meet Luke Reynolds

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Three Things Thursday


Certain days are life changing. 

The day you start school.
The day you leave home.
The day you get married.
The day your child is born.
But there’s another day that no one ever warned me about which might just too all the others: The day my second child became mobile.
Now he goes one way, and my toddler goes the other. I’m outnumbered, outsmarted, and still not sleeping through the night. I live each day in a permanent state of panic.
If I were a novel, there’s a good chance that this is where I would start.
When does your novel start? It should be, of course, on the day that something changes. But is it a cliche, like the first day of school? Or is it something smaller and yet just as significant?
In her book, The Artist’s Way : A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, Julia Cameron suggests that we, as writers and artists, open ourselves to God, and for those who may be “uncomfortable” with that label for creativity, she further suggests that God is merely Good Orderly Direction.
Her book is covered, chapter by chapter, with quotes germaine to each page, in the wide margins. They come from ecclesiastics, artists of all kinds, famous individuals, who help point out the purpose of each page or subject.
To contemplate just a few:
“The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel.” ~ Piet Mondrian
“Straightaway the ideas flow in upon me, directly from God.” ~ Johannes Brahms
“Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, grow.’ ” ~ The Talmud
“What we play is life.” ~ Louis Armstrong
“Creativity is harnessing universality and making it flow through your eyes.” ~ Peter Koestenbaum
” Why should we all use our creative power . . . ? Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money.” ~ Brenda Ueland
On the same page as that last, I had written in another quote I liked: “If you CAN’T, you MUST! And if you MUST, you CAN ! ! !” Anthony Robbins
What quotes would you put in the margins of your book, if only to look at them again for yourself from time to time?
This morning I had the intense feeling I needed to contact my dear friend, Vickie. Vickie and I have been friends since eighth grade. She winds up in many, MANY of my novels. I love her and miss her.
Who winds up in your books over and over?
Who was in your life when you needed them?
Who influences different characters you put to paper?

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Some important things about screaming in my ears very very loud just because someone across the table is looking at you

Everyone is screaming at my house. Literally. The baby, the two year old, the four year old, the six year old isn’t screaming but he’s playing the piano so . . . . and the eight year old can’t find his Pokemon cards.  And it’s 8:16 in the morning.

I have recommitted to a project I have set aside over and over again. I never know if I keep setting it aside because it’s not what i should write or because I am scared of it or because it’s not a good idea and it won’t work.

My hope is that it will work. I’m going to try again.

My other hope is that I will be able to write amidst the chaos.

My final hope is that Carol will feel better and that kindness will abound and that the screaming will stop and that there will be flowers and happiness and that I’ll wipe up the cereal before it dries as hard as a rock to the table, chairs and floor.

Here is an assignment:

1. List all the ideas you have right now for books.

2. List all the ideas you’ve set aside. Put asterisks by the ones that maybe you should go back to.

3. List all the reasons why you can’t write today.

4. List all the ways you are going to deal with those reasons and carve out time to create.

5, List five things you are going to do for other people.

6. List all the times many people were screaming at the same time and you didn’t lose your temper and join in with the screaming.

7. Make a concrete writing plan for today: time you’ll write, place you’ll write, ways you’ll deal with distractions (see above), words or ideas you’ll write, what you’ll do when you get stopped in your tracks because of a plot issue or character issue or exhaustion issue, and finally what reward you’ll give yourself (though creating itself is the best reward) when you have made it through your writing session (hello chocolate covered cinnamon bears, or tapioca pudding, or a walk, or a book (what book?), or a swim in the lake).

Love and candy, the end.

That’s all for today!

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It’s Monday Again

Several years ago, after losing several important people in my life, and in my children’s lives, I wrote a book called WAITING. I was filled with sorrow and I had to get the grief out. As I wrote, I wept. No. Not like that girl who cries at her own stuff. I wept for all the people who were gone. I wept because I had lost so much. I awoke crying. This time the sadness is different. The heartbreak is different. And my desire to write is gone.

I have plenty of ideas. Those continue to come to me. But.

I know I’ll write again. I have to. My editor is sending me rewrite notes–probably this week. I have two other books to rewrite. And then there are those ideas I mentioned.

Still, I wonder how I’m going to do this, and do it well.


We’ve talked about a Writing Marathon. At this point I’m not so sure I can write with you all, but I know I can encourage people to write. And I think we should do it the end of the first full week of August. Wednesday-Saturday? The 5th-8th? Four long days.



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