Elizabeth Barrett

I did not type those actual words, The End, to the final page of my manuscript, but I did finish the book. And rather abruptly, as it turns out. Last week, the morning I left for my annual visit to my mother’s summer place in Maine, I spent an hour or so adding necessary information …

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When I last wrote about my current novel in progress, Time Passages, I was taking a pause before the final round of revisions. I am now so close to finishing. Not that it has been easy. Well, some of it was easy. Obvious spots where I got too wordy, scenes where a character acted, um, …

So Close Read More »

I was reminded in class the other day of a writing exercise that I call Building Characters. The idea came to me from a chapter in a student’s memoir, about a bus trip her family took in Great Britain and Western Europe in the early 1960s. The group was an intriguing collection of characters—starting with …

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For my birthday last year, a friend gave me a book, one that I probably would not have bought for myself because it’s a memoir. I don’t tend to read memoirs. But I loved the title: All the Way to the Tigers. Who wouldn’t be intrigued? And the author’s name rang a bell—Mary Morris. I …

“I’m Doing the Best I Can” Read More »

I am between revisions of my novel, Time Passages. Round three is done—all of the revising and cutting and adding I did, and a two-hour critique session with my terrific readers, Margaret and Ginny, filled with great suggestions (and praise!). Before I begin the fourth, and hopefully final, round, I am taking another pause. It …

Another Pause Read More »

Six weeks ago, I began the third round of revisions for my latest novel, Time Passages. I also sent it to my two best readers, Ginny and Margaret, who are founding members of my much needed support group. Obviously, I would be changing things as they read, but this felt like the most efficient process. …

Another 7000 Words? Read More »

Some writers have told me they dread revisions. They love the initial creation of a work—a poem, essay, short story, novel; that rush of excitement as the ideas flow, as the words pour out effortlessly and they seem to enter an out-of-body state. Revisions aren’t like that. Revisions can mean staring at the screen or …

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Three weeks ago, I finished the first draft of my latest novel, Time Passages. I set it aside so I could empty my brain, get away from the story for a little while, and now I am waiting to begin again. This is always the tough time for me when I’m writing a book—putting it …

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I walk. It’s a defining characteristic, a must-do every day. These are not long walks, they rarely qualify as hikes, but for me a walk is frequently–maybe always–a creative walk. I read this article about walking about a year ago. I nodded in agreement through most of it, but was certainly surprised to learn all …

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The other day, I was waiting in a small parking lot to pick up a friend. A big black truck—so common here in New England—pulled in beside me. I had my car windows down to let in fresh air, but the pickup driver kept his engine running and had his talk-radio station on just a …

Stereotypes Read More »

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