Thoughts on the writing life . . . in this case where Laura may or may not reference weeping guitars, killer fog, moose meat, or the Martian she married.
Laura blogs about writing, publishing and the general craziness of life here, and also at www.penwarriors.com.
I sow seeds around this time every year: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, sweet peas. And basil. Lots and lots of basil. (I make pesto for the freezer in the fall). With luck, some heat, and a little water, a single seed will grow into a large, sturdy plant that will bear lots of fruit. In the same way, the seed of an idea, tended and metaphorically watered, will grow into a book that touches people. When I’m sowing seeds, I’m usually focused on the end product: the book I’ll hold in my hand or the tomato I’ll eat. But lately staying on...read more
My week isn’t complete without a bit of eavesdropping. Not the ‘listen-at-the—closed-door’ kind, but the organic stuff you happen to pick up along the way. Like at the gym. My favorite this week was: I don’t want to be that kind of person. Okay, so I did linger/loiter (which word is better? The conundrum of a writer.) Let’s just say I lintered. I lintered for a while. But there were no closed doors and it was a public place and I actually did do a few leg presses while I was eavesdropping, even though I rarely use that particular...read more
In January I took an on line social media course. It was an intense two weeks. So intense, the instructor has now decided to spread the same course over a month because there’s just so much to absorb. Social media is a huge, constantly morphing beast. Complicating everything is the fact that a platform that works today may not even exist tomorrow. So what’s a writer to do? Pick their way through the minefield, figure out what feels right for them and take some advice along the way. Or not! Here are the top 11 pieces of social media advice...read more
I don’t remember Martin Luther King Jr. very well. I vaguely recall him speaking on TV and I clearly remember the collective sadness when he was assassinated, though some of that was undoubtedly influenced by the assassination of Robert Kennedy two months later. (In my child mind the spring of 1968 was all about public weeping). While the man wasn’t part of my little girl world, his beliefs and words were. And since January 21st is Martin Luther King Jr. day, I thought I’d share a few MLK quotes that resonate with me as a...read more
With the holiday upon us, I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. It’ll be a little quieter than usual at our house this year but we’ll all be together, and in light of the recent shooting in Newtown, Connecticut I’m aware of just how special that is. It reminds me to appreciate those I love and relish in the simple things in life. It’s a reminder, too, that the best gifts in life are rarely things. The best writing gift I ever received came at a time of high emotion. I was thirty, an established broadcast journalist, but just...read more
Note: Spoiler Alert One Saturday night a while back my family and I rented Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (In an eerie coincidence, we were ten minutes into the movie when an earthquake measuring 7.7 hit a few hours north of us. Luckily there was no damage and I didn’t find out until later about it or the tsunami advisory so my movie watching went on uninterrupted). And I’m glad because this movie captivated me. Set in the near future, the premise is simple. An asteroid named ‘Matilda’ is on a collision course with Earth....read more
This is the season of pumpkins, black cats, and superstitions. Maybe that’s why I’m thinking about writers and their rituals, superstitious or otherwise. We don’t all have rituals, but many of us do. And we’re in good company. Apparently Charles Dickens had to arrange the ornaments on his desk in a certain way before he started writing. May Sarton cued up the 18th century music. Maya Angelou has used the same writing ritual for years: she gets up about five, drives to a hotel and is writing by 6:30 in the morning. Longhand. On yellow...read more
I wasn’t that odd as a child, not really, although if you ask my father he’d probably disagree. I was highly sensitive to my surroundings (especially to the undercurrents of conversations and what wasn’t being said); I was prone to storytelling (others referred to this as exaggeration); and I had three special (imaginary-to-everyone-else) friends. I played with them, had conversations (and arguments) with them and I ate meals with them too. Sometimes, if my father was out, my mother would set three extra plates. I guess she knew I was a...read more
Like a lot of people, I’m big on setting goals. I set weekly goals in the form of my ‘to do’ list and I set long term goals on my birthday which is near the end of August. I’m doing it again this year. We live in a goal-oriented, results-celebrated society. If there was a Goals R Us outlet near you, would you stop by? I would. I’m always up for new goals. Goals are important. But so is moderation. In the past, my annual goal list was pages and pages – the War & Peace of goal setting. And I usually ended up frustrated because I...read more
I’m holidaying at home this year. This is no hardship; I live on an island with beautiful beaches, world-renowned vineyards and award-winning restaurants. Staying home not only deepens my appreciation for the beauty in my own back yard, it gives me more time to read . . . and reading is its own kind of travel. I started the summer with Paris In Love: A Memoir by Eloisa James. In 2009, James sold her house, took a sabbatical from her job as a Shakespeare professor and moved her family to Paris for a year. Her chronicles, told in...read more