INSPIRED: Poetry on a sea wall

You have to love a place that puts poetry on the town sea wall. Queenstown, a pretty resort town set on Lake Wakatipu in New Zealand, has a long stone wall that separates a tiny lakeside beach from the Marine Parade. (Isn’t that a great name for a walk beside the water?) The poem chronicling the…

WRITING: Go away, favorite words

It’s down to the wire for my first book. It’s been read, re-read, critiqued and a couple of editors have given it a quick look. Everyone has their favorite word, one editor told me. Mine is “felt.” So I’ve gone through my 70,000 words, changing or at least thinking about changing every single one of them. Most…

READ: Frontline Angel

I almost didn’t read Frontline Angel by Genevieve Jordayne. I’ve been living with a Civil War nurse for more than a year — she’s the main character of my upcoming novel. But in the end, I couldn’t resist. And I couldn’t resist from the moment I opened the first pages where she’s trying to figure out…

INSPIRED: #amediting

I’m busy editing the manuscript of my Civil War novel. Cutting and pasting, rewriting and rethinking. Oh yes, and occasionally cussing over why I can’t keep things straight in Scrivener. (I’m learning!) So I laughed when I came across this photo from my visit to the Morgan Library in New York last December. When Lord…

READ: Between the Lines

If you ask a writer about her characters, she just may speak about them as if she could call them on the phone and discuss weekend plans, or the next twist in the plot. They’re as real as Facebook friends, blog followers and long-lost relatives who connect every Christmas. Maybe more so. What if a character…

WRITING: ‘Contract offer’

Now I know what it feels like to get a book contract. Heady. A thrill up there with winning the lottery or taking an exciting new job. Scary as any step into the unknown. And it came as I spent a day in bed, sick as a dog. About 3 p.m. I felt well enough…

INSPIRED: A Tweet

Usually, I wander idly through Twitter. It can be amusing or enraging. I laugh at the funny tweets and retweet the occasional brilliant ones. Sometimes, though, one sticks with me. This one did. “The first draft of your story is the story you tell yourself.” I never thought of that. But it’s true. My first drafts…