Unlikely writing places for insiration? I’ve got tons. I write best in unlikely places, and I’m always looking for new ones. I’m also a peripatetic writer: Have Laptop Will Travel. Soemtimes changing where you write changes everything about what you write. Weird ones that work for me: the shower (I need a waterproof phone), my inside stairs (Christopher Robin complex?), the closet (see the movie THE MUSE). Yours?
I asked myself today why I’m writing a blog — and these words popped into my mind: inspiration, ideas, empowering your creativity. I write this as a writer’s journal, not a how-to write, not craft articles, and not how to query agents and get published. You can find better authorities on those things. This is where I accumulate my own personal sources for inspiration, ideas, and empower my own creativity. This is my personal writer’s diary, where I can refer back to things I’ve learned or found. The DIY Staycation Writer’s Retreat. All the romance novels set in Italy. Magical realism in poetry and fiction. Read More “Inspiration, Ideas, and Empowering Your Creativity”
Teaching a Child to Write — How I Began As as Writer
How to teach a child to write? — by early reading. I’m living proof. I gained my desire to write from my mother, who read aloud to me and my brother every day. She also often took us to the library. When I was ten, she took me through a magical literary portal — a fantastic and immense bookstore full of used books, Acre of Books in downtown Long Beach, California. I remember holding her hand and walking into a warehouse sized space so thick with dust that I instantly sneezed.
I was thrilled to be part of the first Women’s Fiction Writers Association quarterly Author Happy Hour, sharing secrets of success — and lots of the struggle along the way — with three other wonderful novelists who have recently published books.
Click the link above to watch the Youtube!
We laughed and talked about the whole process of writing and publishing, the writing life, and our own unique formulas for approaching the creative act. Read More “Author Chat – Four Womens Fiction Writers Sharing Secrets of Success”
Many people haven’t been to Italy, and without visiting there, it’s almost impossible to see the work of Gianlorenzo Bernini. My time-travel novel, The Renaissance Club, (now available for pre-order on Amazon in either paperback or ebook) features not only his art, but Bernini himself. It’s set in five Italian cities rich with art and beautiful architecture: Rome, Assisi, Siena, Florence, and Venice. Rome especially features his expressive, passionate art. He’s the genius artist of the 17th century, and the idol of the protagonist, young art historian May Gold. Their meeting through the shifting folds of time occurs often near one of Bernini’s artworks.
To help you see the places and sculptures in the book, I created The Renaissance Club Pinterest Illustration Board, illustrating my time-travel novel and has sections for all the cities May Gold visits on her tour of Northern Italy with her Renaissance Club colleagues. All the Bernini art she sees is included, along with places and art associated with time adventures by other characters.
Take a tour of Renaissance Italy — in both May’s contemporary time, and Gianlorenzo Bernini’s 17th century — while you read The Renaissance Club.
I never thought I’d be writing about thriving in National Novel Writing Month, but November 2016 changed my perspective on what I could do in my writing life. I learned the discipline of trying to write an entire novel in one month. I had had nothing but challenges trying to find a publisher for my first novel, The Renaissance Club (forthcoming January 16, 2018 from Fiery Seas Publishing). They say the best thing you can do to sell your book is write a new one. So on a reckless whim, I signed up for my first #NaNoWriMo.
How did I find a way to thrive? By plunging into a daily word goal of 1,600+ words. What I learned is that I love s challenge, and word count made me compete with myself, I was not only reckless to enter #NaNoWriMo, I wrote recklessly. Thirty days later, I found the partial novel draft full of life, and for the last year I’ve fleshed it out.
NaNoWriMo for Pantsers
If you’re an outline-averse writer like me, the idea of entering a force writing march with a precise outline of who, what, when, where, why feels like closing the door to inspiration. Charts like that shoo away any muse I have wooed close. So what can I use as a guide, other than my vague idea that my sisters would be like those in Sense and Sensibility (did I mention that I have two complete sets of Jane Austen novels, one for upstairs, and one for downstairs?).
Someone in one of my writing groups asked what makes a great first page. It’s an excellent question, and no two answers will be alike, despite what the bestseller lists and books on writing “the breakout novel” tell us.
Character always draws me into a book. I don’t read many thrillers or fast-paced stories. Someone reported the advice that a first line of a novel should make you nervous. I think that works well for readers who love suspenseful stories. I’m not so reeled in by suspense, but a great character in the book’s opening — even an unappealing person — will catch me.
A Man Called Ove did this, with the most unique character I’ve ever read about. I kept reading just to see who was going to punch him in the face. Here are three book openings whose characters, sketched nimbly in first paragraphs, hooked me. And the books proved just as good as their openings!
I’m calling mine a StayWriCation, because I plan to host my solitary writer’s retreat here in the most comfortable, lovely place I can work — home. Many writers escape to rural retreats where they often share solitude (how is this possible?) with other writers in an unplugged, calm setting, in order to make progress on […]
It’s the best of times — having a book or two or more out in the world, for people to read. It’s the worst of times — feeling the constant pressure to get books into readers’ hands and Be An Author, publicly. I’m feeling the best and worst times right now, as I prepare to […]
This is La Spezia — one of the locations in my work-in-progress novel, The Romantics, the story of two half-sisters, their dispute over an inherited cottage in Italy, inhabited by the ghost of the poet Shelley. This is where I wish I was living, even imaginatively. But I’m stuck dealing with the hassles of publishing […]