Thursday, June 28, 2012


  • Have you neared the end of your manuscript and wanted to chunk the entire thing?
  • Reread the rough draft for editing and wondered why you spent so much time on that?
  • Get a few agent rejections and cease trying to send the WIP out?
If so, you are not alone.

THE ARTIST'S WAY explains this phenomenon.
  • "An artistic U-turn arrives on a sudden wave of indifference."
  • "Creativity is scary, and in all careers there are U-turns."
  • "Typically, when we take a creative U-turn we are doubly shamed: first by our fear and second by our reaction to it. Again, let me say it helps to remember that all careers have them."
  • "A successful creative career is always built on successful creative failures. The trick is to survive them."
  • "Creative U-turns are always born from fear--fear of success or fear of failure.
I know these U-turns all too well. Nearly two decades ago, I stopped writing altogether. My SF WIP --THE DAWN AND THE LION--was deepening. I needed mountains of research to pull it off. My ability to describe the many fantastic settings was not good enough. The plot seemed to be stagnating. Even though my history students (who knew math and physics far better than I ever will) were enchanted with the story and had helped me create a simple time dilation equation, I  stopped. Even with a rapidly filling four-inch binder. Writing felt too much like work.

I had no clue then that a rough draft isn't the same as finished. All of them take revision and revision and some more revision. I didn't have a clue what craft skills I needed, but I knew I couldn't do the story justice. At that time, I had no clue where to go to find out about craft skills.

That was then and this is now. Besides having two published devotionals, I have not only the SF trilogy on the back burner, but a rapidly growing comtemporary trilogy that I'm calling women's fiction for the moment. That's subject to change. But far more importantly, I know that this isn't a quick job, and I know where to find instruction on craft--both in books and on line.

My U-turn is over...for now. ; ) I know I'll see a more down the road, but I won't stop this time--not now, not ever.

What have your creative U-turns been?
How did you get back on the road?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yes, You Can!

How many days have you talked yourself out of writing at all? Or only a little bit? Too many? We've all been there. But the truth is, we have no excuse.

My buddy, Diane Quimby, can teach you how to keep going. She is a survivor of Traumatic Brain Injury and has a wonderful story of persistence through pain that can inspire anyone. After working on her memoir--Head Lights for Dark Roads: Packing Humor and Hope for the Unexpected Trip through Traumatic Brain Injury--for seven years, she is nearing the finish line. I'm doing the final edits now. I'll keep you up-to-date on the publication date.

Check out her new blog--Head Lights for Dark Roads at I promise you'll be inspired to say, "Yes, I can!"
Who inspires you to keep going?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


The universe is prodigal in its support. We are miserly in what we accept.
~~Julia Cameron, THE ARTIST'S WAY

I'm finding this quote to be literally true to such an extent that I'm almost embarrassed to share--almost. ; ) Synchronicity is the gifts of inspiration that the Creator of the universe puts in our path all the time. I have to admit to many years of doubting them and ignoring them. I've overlooked so many ways in which God has aided my creativity. As of now, I'm opening up to all the gifts--big and small--that come my way.

Here's a few examples:
  • My mother and sister insisted that I read Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDER series. Not only did I find hours of excellent reading and thrilling stories, I was introduced to one of the most generous writers in the world who kept mentioning the Books and Writers Forum. Once I took the time to check the Forum out, I found not only many amazing writers, but also a source of craft skills and exercises that help me hone my writing.
  • On a day trip to Cartersville for the fun of it, I found the perfect vision for Cherry Hill, my WIP's setting.
  • While "wasting time" on Facebook, I remembered one of my former students is a Marine and now I have a source of info for the background of Mack Singer, my retired Marine.
  • During a lunch at Captain D's, I saw little children who sparked a great scene for Book 3 about Laura Grace and her grandchildren. Let's just say, it isn't smooth sailing. ; )
  • Thinking about my Marine, I realized he just might have a tattoo or two. Then I realized that not only does he have a tattoo of the Marine anchor and globe, he has one that pays homage to his lost love, also a Marine. Laura Grace will have something to say about that!
  • And the biggest gift of all: Six months ago, while we were organizing the church's Angel Tree charity, I met the adult daughter of a foster/adoptive mother. She gave me her mother's email. I'm ashamed to say that I've waited this long to try and get in touch with her. The middle of my plot depends on this information. At least I'm started on this source of info now.
How many times to we allow a fleeting thought, inspiration, or plot idea slip by?

What about you? Do you have a few gifts that you've been amazed by?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Write On!

Don't you love my new mug? ; ) It's one of those little things that make writing more fun. You know we all have such. Maybe yours isn't a mug, but what about a special pen, notebook, or journal? We all have little rituals and items we use to help us create. Did you notice the tea bag? It's special, too. Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea. By the way, the mug is available at Exclusive Writer Gifts.

And you guessed it--I have a special pen, too. In fact, I find writing with anything else to be nearly impossible. I buy the pens two dozen at a time since I draft long hand.

What are your rituals, special tools, favorite pens?
You just might share a new one that we all have to have. ; )