Showing posts from 2018

When Your Book is on One of Those Lists...

It's weird, you know, when you see your book on one of these library "issues" lists. It's cool, of course, to know that someone actually has a hard copy on a shelf somewhere. But there's always a part of me that wonders two things: (1) Is my book really just about an "issue" - because, when I wrote it, I was thinking about siblings and families and music and high school and growing up you know? and (2) If there are teens who face these issues in their lives, is my book doing them good? Which brings me to the larger question: Are the books in which we most clearly see ourselves the ones that inspire, guide, speak to us most deeply? Could my book be balm to the soul of a person trying to understand the meaning of loneliness - the differences between need and love? When you think of the stories the touched your heart growing up, were they stories about the "you" that existed, the "you" of your most secret dreams, or a "you"

Scrivener Revisited

Backstory: It's been a fallow year for my novel-writing career (intentional rhyme) but a delightful twelve months at the day job. I'm learning, creating and indulging my passions for consonance, rhyme and catchy turns-of-phrase. All of that above paragraph has been filed under notes in - yes - Scrivener to which I've returned after much avoidance and denial for my new young adult writing project. I've tried Scrivener before, largely inspired by  Justine Larbalestier's comments  about writing her amazing novel, LIAR, in Scrivener.  Other amazing YA authors, including April Henry, Daisy Whitney, Maureen Johnson and Lisa Yee can all be found gushing on Scrivener's "Testimonials" pages. A few observations I made the last time I tried Scrivener, a few years back... Its components are fairly intuitive or easy to learn. It is useful having organized repositories for backstory, primary and secondary character worksheets, setting pages, and subpl


OR the magical distinction between YA and adult literature OR why Mia Thermopolis is not the same as Lee Fiora The evolution of the YA bookshelf is a frequent topic amongst publishing professionals. We point to Maureen Daly’s 1942 novel SEVENTEENTH SUMMER, the National Library Association’s coining of the phrase “young adult” in the 1960s, and the 1970s heyday of Judy Blume and Robert Cormier . We marvel at Harry Potter and Twilight, and we look uncertainly into the mid-twenty-first century, as “chick lit” and “new adult” came and went faster than the kale fad. Now, we ask ourselves, what’s next for YA – and what is (was) it anyway? What, for example, makes Curtis Sittenfeld’s PREP or SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS by Marisha Pessle adult books, while prep school turns by E. Lockhart (THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU-BANKS) or Daisy Whitney (THE MOCKINGBIRDS) are intuitively placed on the young adult shelf? It’s an oft-posed question about the genr


Saturday, May 12, 2018 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM Second Saturdays Writing Program at Woodinville Library  17105 Avondale Road NE, Woodinville   Join me for an interactive workshop on writing a 250-word book pitch. We'll discuss how this exercise can help you identify plot and character questions, guide early revisions, and draft an irresistible query letter (er, email) to send to agents. This class is designed to benefit both beginning writers and people ready to submit their work. The workshop is free and registration is not required.  For more details, click here . 

Words & Taxes

April is so many things. National Poetry Month , middle spring, tax time... Somehow the confluence of rhythmic prose, daffodils, and mathematical percentages always leads me to reconsider the path of the fiction writer. Do you have a particular time of year when you wonder what and what-if and whether you should keep on logging word after word in hopes of creating a story worthy of sharing with the world? January, maybe? Are you a New Year's Resolution-maker? Or perhaps each November you delve into the dizzying challenges of NaNoWriMo . I believe that taking an honest look at your writing life is a worthy practice. Not for every day, but occasionally, at that certain season. And I hope that you find the desire to keep going still burns like the sting of writing that tax check or digging your hands into newly-thawed soil I do.


Saturday, April 14, 2018 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM Second Saturdays Writing Program at Woodinville Library  17105 Avondale Road NE, Woodinville   Join management consultant and science fiction writer RORI SHAY for a lively discussion of how to understand your manuscript’s place in the market, and identify its genre and readership. Give your work an honest analysis and use this information to research best agents, and create a submission plan. Come ready to write, discuss and plan. This workshop is free and registration is not required.  For more details,  click here . 


SATURDAY, March 10, 2018 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM Second Saturdays Writing Program at Woodinville Library  17105 Avondale Road NE, Woodinville   ONE PAGE SYNOPSIS INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP   with  Kimberly Derting ,  the amazing author of THE BODY FINDER and THE PLEDGE series and much more!  BRING YOUR ONE-PAGE SYNOPSIS—whether it’s ultra-rough or close to complete—to submit (anonymously) to the group. After a lively discussion of what makes a strong short synopsis, you’ll hear yours read aloud and receive constructive feedback for making it more compelling…more powerful…more p itch -able! This workshop is free and registration is not required. For more details click here .    

FREE CLASS THIS SATURDAY AT KCLS WOODINVILLE: Writing to Make a Difference with Laurie Thompson

SATURDAY, January 13, 2018 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM Second Saturdays Writing Program at Woodinville Library  17105 Avondale Road NE, Woodinville   Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, the subjects and themes of your work can help you make a powerful connection with your community and world. Exploring these deeper elements enriches both your writing practice and the shape and style of your manuscripts. Join award-winning author Laurie Thompson (TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE, BE A CHANGE-MAKER, EMMANUEL’S DREAM) for a discussion of writing as an act of empowerment—and a series of writing exercises to help you feel a stronger connection to your work-in-progress.   This workshop is free and registration is not required. For more details,  click here .

Resolutions...? Rats!

It's 3:58 pm on January 1, 2018. I've done the grocery shopping, gone to the gym, and thought (a lot) about writing. I'm intimidated already. My unspoken New Year's writing resolutions feel unreachable before I even open a Word file. I have the urge to run the vacuum cleaner which, to anyone who knows me and my lack of interest in housekeeping, is a clear sign of avoidance. Are you with me? Have you clicked your way here to my website because it's as close as you've been able to get to actually writing today? Computer on, searching, scouring, reading as if the more keys you touch the more you can pretend to yourself that you're getting something done, or at least trying? Admittedly, I am in a meta-state of denial because, obviously, I am writing this blog post. But it doesn't count. As much as I value sharing my thoughts via this cozy little web nest, these words move me no closer to the goal - 'The End' - in old school Times New Roman
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