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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Just a thought and a hint for today...Bruce Hale, author of the popular Chet Gecko mystery series for kids, has an informative newsletter that he sends out. His Chet Gecko series is very funny, Bruce has an amazingily sharp wit; but his newsletter is full of information that writers of all genre can use. Check it out at Subscribe to his newsletter for a bucket full of great hints. Anything written for kids needs a little humor in it somewhere.

Monday, April 26, 2010

I have started a new story...or let's just say I've taken a story that I started awhile ago and decided to try and finish it. There was a time when ideas for stories were flowing like rain. I started a few of them. Some went nowhere. The ideas just did not develop. Others had promise. This is one of those. It is about a young Hopi Indian girl, Kari, who searches for her true Hopi name, and thus, her true self. I wrote down an "idea outline", listing all the ideas about where I wanted the story to go and how I was going to get there. Now I just have to flesh out the details. Ay, there's the rub. But the more I write, the more clearly I see Kari and what she must endure to find her true self, alone in a vast desert. It's where we all are at times...out in the desert searching for ourselves. This is true, I believe, for most teens. Sometimes it just feels to them as though they're in the middle of a dry, empty desert looking for answers. Hopefully, I will be able to help Kari find what she seeks.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Usually, just the thought of editing, revising, rewriting, or rethinking a manuscript would almost send me into the streets screaming. I think to myself, "Look, you've spent so many months/years on this thing, how can you possibly go over it again?" Well, it really pays to look at your manuscript just one, maybe two or even three more times. There are things we all miss just because we've been too close to our story for so long...things we just don't see. My friend Rita did me the great service of pointing out some things to me that I missed in one of my stories. We should all have friends like Rita. Historically, I have been impatient with myself and everything around me. At my age (64) it's time I began practicing patience. It really pays off - especially when it comes to writing. Slow down a bit and take one more look...just to be sure.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I've come to the conclusion that I'm just not in to hyper media for kids: hyper books, hyper video games, hyper-hyper action movies. I'm much more in line with the Fred Rogers way of communicating with kids, e.g., thoughtful, introspective, one-on-one communication. I don't know how to write a book where each page is packed with tension and fast action. That seems to be the trend in today's super-charged media market for kids. Glad I'm not a kid these days. When I was first learning to love books, I loved them because they let me think about what was going on; let me guess what might happen in the next chapter; led me on with subtlety rather than break-neck action. I'm sure that many kids love the comic book, action-in-every-frame story. But I know that there are still a lot of kids out there who want to - need to be talked to quietly, slowly, so their head wraps itself around a story without their pulse going sky high; lets them try to guess what's going to happen instead of having it thrown in their laps. They say 'write what you love'; and so I do. Hope you create what you love, too.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My good friend Linda Rinehart Neas is a gifted poet and an exceptional human being. Her first book of poems, Winter of the Soul, was self-published in April, 2008. She has just announced the publication of her second book, Gogos Dream: Swaziland Discovered. She describes her book as "...inspired by the work of my friend Dr. Maithri Goonetilleke and the volunteers who work with him caring for the peoples of Swaziland, most especially the AIDS orphans." All proceeds from Linda's book will be going directly to Possible Dreams International, a non-profit organization that Dr. Goonetilleke founded. Linda's book is available at I hope you will take a look.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I'm not sure just what drives artists to do what they do. I, for one, was reluctant to ever call myself an artist. The word conjured up images of James Joyce...a place I knew I would never be. Yet, I do create art through my writing. And so does anyone who struggles to create something beautiful. An incredible book that inspired me to keep writing and to consider myself an artist, is Julia Cameron's The Vein of Gold - A Journey to Your Creative Heart. She also wrote a book that I am about to order called The Artist's Way. These books were recommended to me at a time when I wasn't sure if I should continue to write or call it a day. Cameron is a wonderful motivator. Her books are worth what you pay for them. And I believe with all my heart that there is an artist of some sort in all of us that only needs to be discovered. Go for it!