Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I'm nearing the end of my WIP and I gotta tell you I'm struggling a bit. I knew from the beginning how this book would end, but I can't quite figure out how exactly I want to pull everything together. To be honest, I feel a bit overwhelmed. And I think that my fear of not doing the book justice is definitely not helping the creative process. So I've been thinking about it, working it out in my head, turning ideas over and over in my head. But I think I'll just have to dig in and write. I have to start somewhere, right?   

Do you ever struggle with endings? Do you have a favorite last line from a book? Here are some:

1. He loved Big Brother. –George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
2. And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One! –Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (1843)
3. Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody. –J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
4. "Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day." –Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind (1936)
5.After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain. –Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (1929)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A visit to Borders

I wasn’t ready for it, didn’t expect the wave of grief that washed over me when I walked through the doors of our local Borders. My lips quivered and I swallowed hard, like I was forcing a softball down my tight, dry throat.

Truth is I’m losing a friend – a really good friend – and it completely sucks.

This is the place my teenage sons found refuge on a weekend night and I knew they would be safe nestled in a corner reading a book or paging through a magazine while sipping hot chocolate in the cafe. This is the place where I’d lug my laptop (hoping to find a table by an outlet) to write the day away. A place that’s been my home away from home for so long that I know every nook and cranny.

Everything in the store was for sale – even the shelves. Items were priced at 50 percent off and some were even 70 percent off. I grabbed three neat bags (which I planned to buy and give as gifts) and filled them with numerous items. There was the Hooked on Phonics Discover Reading: Toddler Edition, the Wimpy Kid Scrabble Game, five different desk calendars, eight books and a bunch of other stuff. I figured that at these prices I could do a lot of Christmas shopping, and I did. In fact, I had to ask to leave the three bags that I had filled at the counter so I could continue shopping. They were too heavy to carry.

When I finally checked out, I was happy for all the neat Christmas presents I had bought and the money I had saved, but I was sad for the reason why.

I have so many wonderful memories of Borders. There was the time my sons and I waited with hundreds of other people in the crowded store for the midnight release of the last Harry Potter book. The times I’d meet a fellow writer for coffee and we’d gab the night away outlining our stories, helping each other with plot points and dreaming of the day our books would grace the store shelves.

As I left the store I sniffed and my son asked if I was all right. “Yeah,” I told him. “I just wasn’t prepared for how I would feel. I wish I could rewrite the ending.”

Do you have any Borders memories you’d like to share. I’d love to hear them.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Minute List: Back to school

Let's do a minute list with a back to school theme. You know the drill. Use one word to describe the following. Mine is in ()'s. Copy and paste list into comments and add yours. Should only take a minute.

Backpack (heavy)
Pencil (mechanical)
Teacher (demanding)
Class (boring)
Lunch (expensive)
Bus (crowded)
Cellphone (forbidden)
Dress code (strict)
Test (multiple choice)
Recess (fun)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Getting mixed messages

I read a blog post (or two or three) in the past that cautioned about mentioning new technology or the names of current popular songs, movies etc. in your book. And yet a very popular YA series I'm reading mentions these things all of the time.

So here's my question, what do you do? Do you write cellphone, texting, iPad, laptop, etc.? Would you write that your protagonist went to see "The Help" or had Katy Perry's "Firework" for a ringtone? And does it make a difference if what you mention is a classic, like a Beatles song or a book like "The Catcher in the Rye?"

Would love to hear your thoughts. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back from Disney

Well, I'm back from Disney. We had a great time as usual. For as many times as I've been there I never tire of that magical place. I love the story of Walt Disney, a man who had a dream and never gave up on it despite numerous setbacks and huge financial losses. I love that he remained a kid at heart and admired his creativity, drive, passion, work ethic, optimism and too many other adjectives to list. So I start my way back to work and the blogging world with these quotes from Walt:

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."

"When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable."

"You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."

And for the writers and readers in all of us:

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Unplugged...but I'll be back

Hey gang, I'm on vacation through Aug. 23. I hope that the ink continues to flow and that you have many writing successes. I'll see you in two weeks!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Check out this social media counter

Check out this social media counter. Way cool.

What do you think? Do the numbers surprise you?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Quote of the day

"You must write every single day of your life…You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads….may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." --Ray Bradbury