Friday, March 29, 2013

Writing can make me sad

Sometimes, what I write makes me so sad. My current novel includes a character who is homeless. She has made the cemetery her home. Dead people aren't mean and they don't make fun of her. And they don't call her crazy. Here's a paragraph I just wrote to give you an example.

When she was younger, she had dreams. But she stopped dreaming long ago. They never came true anyway. At least not for her. And she figured when she did dare to dream, she always heard the voices, telling her she was no good, worthless, a whore, scum. And she figured the voices knew better than she did. After all, they made her do things, even when she didn’t want to. They were in control, not her. No, dreams were for other people. Regular people. Not people with demons in their heads.

Does your writing ever make you sad? How do you deal with this? I've tried to explain it to people, but if they aren't writers they don't seem to get it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Zombie symposium at York College

Saw this and wanted to share with all my writer friends who live in the world of zombies. It's a Zombie Symposium at York College. 

The FREE event begins at 9 a.m. April 6 in Humanities Center Room 218.

According to the press release: 

"The symposium will feature presentations from faculty members and students from area colleges and universities who will discuss philosophical, cultural, and literary aspects of zombies. Arnold T. Blumberg from the University of Baltimore is scheduled to deliver a keynote address in the afternoon. He teaches a course called “Media Genres: Zombies in Popular Media” and is the author of "Zombiemania: 80 Movies to Die For." 

Steampunk at Gettysburg

Check out this Steampunk at Gettysburg film art and music festival. The events will be held at Gettysburg Wyndham Hotel, 95 Presidential Circle,  March 29-31. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Peeps diorama entries make me smile

Sharing some of this year's Peeps diorama entries

The Walking Peep

Peeps in Candyland

Peeps Supported Agriculture

Monday, March 11, 2013

Characters are like tributaries

They came to me in the shower – Willow, Peter and the Old Woman. I saw them at the cemetery: the Old Woman watching from the bushes, Peter staring from a few graves away and Willow playing the violin to her child who was dead. And thus began my writing journey of "The Christmas Violin."

It’s a wonderful yet difficult journey, and it’s far from over. It’s challenging bringing together three characters that are fighting very different demons.

The characters are like tributaries that flow into a river and eventually empty into an ocean where they twist and turn, rumble and tumble before crashing to the shore. There is enormous power when the wave crashes, but then the water recedes and its force is much weaker than that of the incoming wave.

The challenge is to have the tributaries flow naturally into the river and the river to flow naturally into the ocean.

Water always seemed to find a way. I hope I do, too.   

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hugh Howey's self-published 'Wool' a hit

Check out this Wall Street Journal article about Hugh Howey's postapocalyptic thriller "Wool." 

He self-published "Wool" as a serial novel in 2011 and refused to sell digital rights. He ended up with a six-figure, print only deal with Simon & Schuster.

What do you think?


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Happy World Read Aloud Day

Wishing you all a Happy World Read Aloud Day. Celebrate by listening to my picture book, "One Frog, Two Frogs, Three Frogs, Four."

What is your favorite read aloud book?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

BlaBlaMeter checks your writing for, um, crap

Here's a tool I stumbled across. It's BlaBlaMeter and it checks how much "bullshit" is in your writing. It's simple to use. You copy your text into the white field. It recommends a minimum of five sentences.

Let me know what you think of it.

Monday, March 4, 2013

When readers make me smile

It's always great to hear from readers. It means the world to me that they take the time to share their thoughts. On Sunday, I heard from several readers regarding my column on why I love reading obituaries.

One of the emails I received was from a 52-year-old woman who had lost both of her parents.

"I read the obituaries every night, I always have, and I especially enjoy the ones that  tell us about who the person really was. ... A LIFE is a life, and needs to be shared because of its beauty."

I couldn't agree more. 

She ended her email: 

"Again, keep up the good work.  People who LOVE people are enjoying what you do.  You are a lucky girl to be able to pursue your passion."

She's right. I'm lucky that I'm able to do what I love, and I'm so grateful for that!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Thought for the day

The music waits for you to dance. I hope you dance until you can't anymore. -- Bufy 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Sunday column: Obituaries reveal lives

From my Sunday column in York Daily record:

Their names and faces leap off the page and they become so much more than ink on paper. They become people. Real people, who lived and loved and died.

Read the entire column

Quote of the day

“Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.” 
                                                      ― Richard L. Evans