SNIPPETS

This week I confessed to a writer friend who lives in Mexico that I’ve been working on my current novel in five- and ten-minute increments. I’m no stranger to writing on the go. I always carry something to write with and something to write on–tiny notebooks, recipe cards, old receipts and gum wrappers. I’ve been known to call my home phone and leave myself “writerly” messages: a few lines of dialogue, some character notes, the sketchy highlights of a pivotal scene.  I often suggest to clients who are over-scheduled and/or phobic about facing the blank page, that they send me …

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Tricksters, Saboteurs, Gremlins, and Other Early Risers

You wake early because you’ve highlighted two hours in your schedule and you’re going to work on your book. The last time you sat down to write, two days ago, the words flowed effortlessly and you felt elated. Now, you touch your fingers to the keys, but instead of joy, you feel a chill at the base of your neck. You are not quite present, a bit out of sorts. You try to shake off the shadow, shake the mood, but you find yourself forcing the words onto the page. You persevere for another ten minutes but it only gets …

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FLASH FICTION, FLASH MEMOIR!

Writers of full-length narrative may easily be enticed by the extreme brevity of flash fiction. A story with a word-count of 250 to 1000 words forces its creator to dive right into the thick of things. And what a joy to complete a story in minutes instead of months.  Now, writers of memoir can join in the dash. Recently, the magazine More encouraged its readers to write and post a six-word memoir. Their example: Revenge is living well, without you. —Joyce Carol Oates, from Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure. To read other six word memoirs and …

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LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF

A wise and gifted writer friend recently reminded me of an exercise designed to provide new perspective on one’s life. I have used variations of this exercise in my workshops. I find it especially useful when a writer wants to attain some breathing space around a particular subject or some distance from a particularly challenging experience. It can also be useful in developing a fictional character. The following has been adapted from the book Cancer as a Turning Point. Part One: Imagine you are a child again, you at age ten or eleven, and you receive a special letter. This letter …

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Making Creative Time

As a professional writer and writing and creativity coach I am constantly juggling time and space for writing and revising my own books with the work I do with other creatives. Add to the schedule parenting our almost-four-year-old; time with my husband when we actually get to play; time with friends; and time to get on the trail with the dogs. I am no longer juggling, I’m a one-woman circus: lion tamer, clown, trapeze artist, elephant girl, and barker rolled into one. This brings me to the importance of getting away-even when you don’t believe you can. 1) Make plans …

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