Thursday, August 28, 2008

Being Brave

Recently, two people I know (one a professional colleague, one a relative) allowed me to read some of their writing....actually, believe it or not, theyasked me to read their manuscripts. I was so jazzed. Why, you ask? Aren't you a writer? you ask. Isn't that what you do?

Well, I am going to admit something here. I am the biggest chicken when it comes to sharing new stuff. When I finally do work up my nerve, I usually hem and haw around until I have sufficiently embarrassed myself and if I don't share then, I look utterly foolish. Sooo, it was a nice lesson for me, to have these aspiring authors so bravely share their work with me.
(Because, folks, sharing writing is HARD sometimes, especially if you really care about what you wrote. What if someone doesn't like it??)

But these two writers, man, what courage! Throwing caution to the wind and being brave.

Courage. Wow.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I took my girls to Disneyland yesterday. There's something so inspiring about being in a place that was created for the sole purpose of encouraging people to believe in magic....or rather helping people remember that magic does exist.

I always feel like writing when I get home from Disneyland. There is such a celebration of imagination within its walls. That is my goal as I work with young writers this find more ways to celebrate imagination. Just like the guy in the cool shoes and awesome hair above said,
"Imagination is more important that knowledge."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Okay, so it is Surfer in more than one. And that's all I am going to say about that right now. It's in the drawer for a couple of weeks to await the fresh eye of revision.

On another subject, I am constantly amazed by kids' writing. My daughter Cali has taken up spontaneously writing stories when she is bored. (That is the thing I really loooooooove about summer, the chance to get bored. I think that every good writer was bored as a kid, at least some of the time. When the world isn't creating excitement for you, then it's your turn to create excitement for the world.)

Anyway, Cali's writing has been a source of amusement for me in the past few weeks. It started with a few paragraphs about an "elephant with social problems". Seriously, I am not making this up. The elephant has a therapist! (Too much TV?.........this is the question I am asking myself.) Then she went on to write about a fairy that got placed with foster parents during a fairy war and she doesn't really know she's a fairy......good stuff, here.

What I like about reading Cali's stories is how fearless she is. She tackles interesting situations and already has her own narrative voice.

That's the lesson for today, kids: Write what interests YOU. That's the best way to tap into your unique voice.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Okay, I couldn't resist. I was sitting around, having a little fun in my writing book, when the thought occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, there was more than one Surfer Chick....maybe Surfer Chicks. Soooooo....I wrote one more draft, with three surfing chickens this time. (Man, I hope I can let this idea go soon. I have other stuff I need to be working on. But when the muse speaks, or rather the chicken peeps, the smart author listens.) For example, my first draft of Good Knight simply had my armor-clad hero walking around a castle bidding the royal subjects to have a Good Night.....and that was about it for plot. Thank God for the second and third drafts!!

It might sound a little freaky-weird, but a story kind of tells you when it's done. If I find myself writing about the same thing over and over and over, well, it's just telling me that it's not done yet.

(goes back to writing book, listening for peeps....)