My Words Fly Up

Waiting on the Fog

Waiting to Begin Again

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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The Creative Walk

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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Big black truck and flowers


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

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Write What You Know

     “Write what you know” is one of the more confounding pieces of writerly advice. It can, unfortunately, be interpreted as “write what you have experienced.” I say unfortunately because, for most of us, that would result in deadly dull fiction. I used to complain to my mother about having been raised in white-bread suburbia.

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Final Round

          No work of art is perfect when first conceived and first worked on. I’ve never been satisfied with a book until it’s gone through at least three sets of revisions. Eventually, though, I reach the final round, and solutions for all the remaining plot and character problems appear effortlessly. The final round can be

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For most of my life, I never went anywhere without a book. I was always a great reader, as were my brothers, and on trips, silence frequently reigned in the backseat as we all read. This habit held me in good stead in college, where as an English major I had to read thousands of

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Be Social


In which I blog about the days I write and the days I don’t write; about teaching about writing; about reading (which is never enough); and occasionally about music, because sometimes a three-minute song can tell as good a story as a novel.

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