This Month at The Green Study

The last couple of months have found me desperately trying to keep my introverted self from going off the deep end. I made my local cable TV debut. I talked to a zillion people about voting rights, attended candidate forums, and wrote a lot of semi-political posts. But November is here and with it, some changes to help me regain my center. Writing to My Heart’s Content After convincing quite a few other people to do it, I felt compelled to join in with the NaNoWriMo crew and knock out 50K words… Read More

Marlon James and Notes in the Dark

A good story makes you ask better questions. It’s scrawled twice in the margins of my notebook. I took notes last week in a darkened audience, attending a lecture by the 2015 Man Booker Prize winner, Marlon James. He received the award in October for his sprawling, intense novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings. One of things on my writing hit list this year was to seek out better writers and better writing. I am fortunate to live in a metro area for some of the big name writers who give… Read More

Unraveling: Fiction as Life and No, No NaNoNette

I put my 5th grader on a school bus this week for the first time. It’s not much to parents who have been doing this since day one, but I worked from home for many years. I felt like taking her to school was an opportunity. I got to know other parents and the school environment. Some of our best mother-daughter talks happened in the car and I was loathe to give it up. But for the sake of her growing independence, give it up I did. Six months ago, I quit… Read More

Slippery Pistons and Fiery Cupcakes of Love: Writing Sex Scenes

As I continue to write my second novel, I’ve stumbled into a patch of writing ground that makes me giggle like a 10-year-old or mutter “that’s just gross” under my breath to no one in particular. It is never my intent to write about love or sex, here, there or anywhere, but human relationships apparently involve a lot of both ingredients. And unfortunately, both my novels seem to include humans. If writing what I know is key to authenticity, I am, to use an obvious pun, totally screwed. Not to put too… Read More

The Writer’s Life Day #1: Everything is Awesome

I quit my job. I quit volunteering. I am well-rested. My office is clean. My desk a clutter-free, pristine horizontal landscape. My magnetic storyboard is up. Chapters laid out. Characters listed. My family ignores me. My cell phone is on silent. My email is shut down. Gentle music plays in the background, massaging my brain. My humidifier is ejecting the perfect puffs of mist to prevent my eyes from drying out. The sun is streaming through the study window. Cats doze with tiny snores on the reading chair. My hot cup of… Read More

The Siren Call of National Novel Writing Month

Fall brings the melancholy whisper from writers everywhere: Should I do NaNoWriMo? For those who are unaware of this event, National Novel Writing Month is in November. The Office of Letters and Light, a nonprofit organization, sponsors various events online and around the country to get writers writing. The goal in November is to write 50,000 words, an average of 1,667 words per day. A double-spaced page, average font, has approximately 250-275 words per page. This means 6-7 typewritten pages per day. Two years ago, I met the 50K goal and finished… Read More

So I Wrote a Novel…and Then I Avoided It Like the Plague

And one day, when I’m mere ashes being transported in a tacky vase to my destination of choice (my reading chair, of course), they will rifle through my meager possessions to find a two inch black binder covered in a thin layer of dust and decorated with geometric coffee rings on every other page. There will be notes in red ink hastily scrawled along the margins: Geez, time travel much? Get Strunk and possibly White, this grammar stinks! Schedule mammogram. Look up spelling of onomonopea omonomopia. Bread, milk, canola oil, trail mix… Read More

I Need a Shower

My wrists ache and I have an eyelid twitch. My daughter thinks she lives in a single parent home and my employers wonder if I’ve relocated to a witness protection program. I have finally met the National Novel Writing Month challenge word count goal of 50,000 words. I’m sick of it. Let’s move on to something else. Like personal hygiene. And physical exercise. And possibly some flu-free living. November was a bit of a hell month, but not the same kind of hell month of those hit by Sandy or say the… Read More

Writing Spaz

The National Novel Writing Month deadline is around the corner, Essentially, I’m either screwed or writing like a maniac for the next four days. I’m going with maniac. It’s been a challenging month, mostly because because of the respiratory flu bug that has had its grip on me since the beginning of the month. I still haven’t shaken it, so here I sit at 5am, desperately trying to put more words to paper. My head has that floaty sensation of too much cold medicine, my knee is bouncing up and down relentlessly…. Read More

When the Writer’s Away…

I made the mistake of ignoring my novel, Phoenix Rock, this last week. It’s highly unlikely I’ll meet the word count goal of 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month. I’m going to give it a good go, though, and last night I reviewed my work thus far, so that I could get back to work on it today. Big mistake to leave my characters mid storyline. They’re pissed at me and not cooperating at all. I left my main character, Meg, to an awkward, but happy reunion with her brother, Jamie…. Read More