Tender Age Five

Several days have passed since I wrote the previous post, the one that shared our book’s nagging little issues but expressed optimism that every missing word and extra comma would be taken care of in no time flat.  I’m still optimistic, but now I’m adding tired to the list.

Who knew that editing could be so grueling, especially the third time around? Every new set of eyes spies something that others have missed. Thanks to Nick for spotting the tiny missing word in this sentence: “In 1947, at the tender age five, my best friend and I were playing ball in the yard.” Can you see what’s missing? Would you believe that five or six people had already proofread this piece before it went to press?

So today finds me back in the trenches. Naturally, our writing group wants to turn out a quality product that will be enjoyed by all of our would-be readers, so I’m going through four lists of errors submitted by group members and deciding which can and will be corrected and which won’t. For instance, I can turn WWI into WW I, but I can’t change the font or caps of captions in Word. Okay, maybe I can, but I can’t stop this train for a tutorial, especially when there are more major, yet fixable, mistakes.

This evening I’ll be changing concoction to confection and concocting to creating. Until we had read the anthology from cover to cover we didn’t realize how many times some version of that concocting word had been used. Still, it’s a labor of love and one that we’re all committed to sharing in the most perfect way we can.

On the plus side, we got a lot of positive comments on our cover at the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop Conference this weekend. I wasn’t in the session in which it was projected on a screen for all to see and critique, but from what I heard, the presenter of the session had only one suggestion: too much blank space on the front. People noticed the excessive pixelation but weren’t put off by it.

I now have a 300 dpi version of the cover photograph, an idea of how to jazz up that blank space on the front, and an awareness of the “should should” on the back cover. By the time Serving Up Memory is again available on Amazon (October 30), the cover will speak to the reader’s soul in a way that says home, hearth, warmth, welcome, and love sweet love.

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that I was a bit tired. One of the Conference presenters, Bob Mayer, said that sometimes you just have to let it go and send the work out into the world. You can tweak, proof, rewrite, correct, and reread a manuscript to death, but there comes a time when you must walk away from the computer and let it go. That will be this week.



Posted in anthologies, books, reading, self publishing, stories, writers, writing, writing groups, writing life | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s A Wrap

memory cover

This post is a continuation of Monday’s and is about creating and publishing a book using Amazon’s CreateSpace. All things considered, it was a delightful experience despite our several challenges. What made the process more pleasant and doable was the customer service we received from CreateSpace.

I’ll share more on the exceptional cadre of young men and women who guided us, but for today, my goal is to wrap up the telling of our experience so that I can move on to the book itself: why we did it and why you should and could do it too.

After our marathon day of reading, editing, and correcting, we took a two-day break and met again. This time the number of proofers had fallen to three, mainly because we were confident that we had this thing in the bag. How naïve we were! We three actually thought we were practically done.

As we proofed and revised that afternoon, we found several tiny but significant errors that had to be corrected. For example, I had put the wrong verse for a scripture in Hebrews, and if Doug hadn’t caught it, a reader might have gone to the source and discovered something entirely different. At last we adjourned, and Kathryn and I set a time to meet the next day—and then the next and the next.

Towards the end of the week (it’s all a blur now), we thought, “It’s a wrap.” Gleefully, we uploaded the manuscript to CreateSpace, and all was going smoothly until we came to the cover step. Since our cover was in three PDF files instead of one, our cover wouldn’t work—no way, no how. Our cover creator was in Chicago, so we tossed around some ideas and then decided to call it quits for the evening.

The next morning appeared, bright and beautiful and crisp, and our enthusiasm waxed strong. At long last, we uploaded a fine cover to accompany the anthology and pushed the magic button, the one that sets a manuscript on its way to publication. After 24 hours we learned that the document had met the publication standards, and Kathryn ordered copies for an upcoming SCWW conference and for our group members.

Many of us received our copies yesterday, and we LOVE them. Yes, there are a few niggling issues, but they are all easy to fix. The cover photo looks too pixelated, should is written twice on the back cover (should should), and a few places need to be bolded. None of these errors are huge, but since we want our book to be one that everyone who reads it will enjoy, we’re going to correct everything next week.

About those corrections, one of the many things I like about self-publishing is that the author can revise and re-upload as many times as her heart desires. While that might seem like a hassle to some people, my writer friends and I feel that it’s preferable to having obvious errors. I’m not saying Serving Up Memory will be absolutely perfect this time next week, but I am saying that it will meet our tough standards.

My next post will be about the motive for writing this book and the reasons why you should consider writing one too.

Posted in anthologies, books, self publishing, stories, Uncategorized, writing, writing groups | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Cheers, Dears!

It’s done! Cheers, Dears. Yep, we “put the baby to bed” last week, the baby being the anthology that our local writers’ group has been working on since January. Were there trials? Yes. Was it hard work? Another yes. Would we do it again if we knew then what we know now? A resounding yes.

The seed for Serving Up Memory was planted last October at.the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop’s (SCWW)  annual conference in Columbia. In addition to soaking up some good information in the sessions I attended, I also chatted with Steve Gordy, a member of the Aiken Chapter of SCWW, and gained some inspiration for a writing project.

Steve was quite enthusiastic about a book his writing group, The Aiken Scribblers, had created and published. As soon as he showed me the cover of Nights of Horseplay, I knew I had to have a copy of this fascinating collection of stories compiled by the group. From Amazon: You say you don’t believe in magic? Then come along with us and you’ll find yourself in a place where magical experiences are a part of the fabric of life.  

Lucky for me, Steve just happened to have a few copies for sale at the conference, and as I thumbed through one, I became intrigued with the idea of the Camden group producing its own book. I asked Steve a number of questions to which he graciously replied, and while chatting with him, I began to think, “We can do this.”

Steve promised to be of assistance if we decided to tackle the project, and with that promise in mind, I approached the group with the idea. It was November by this time, and everyone was busy with seasonal activities and disinclined to even think about putting a book together. Unwilling to let the idea die, I brought it up again, and soon we met for a brainstorming session one Saturday morning at Kathryn’s house.

Kathryn was familiar with the Foxfire books that originated with a high school teacher’s writing assignment, and she suggested that we look into that approach. Other people suggested a book of holiday memories. And then the artist of the group suggested inserting photographs. Before we went our separate ways that chilly day, we were unsure of our specific focus, and yet we were united in our desire to just do it.

Submissions for our book began to appear during the spring, and we set early August as the deadline for manuscripts. As work flowed in and members critiqued one another’s work, we saw a pattern developing. Many of the stories had to do with hearth and home, the ties that bind. Most stories took place in the South, but one took place in Germany and continued to live in the heart of the Camdenite who wrote about it.

A Saturday in September brought the group back to Kathryn’s house to consider organization of contents, set up a strict timeline for completion, and choose a title. That day, Laura and I divided the manuscript into four chapters; a few days later Kathryn and I revised it into six. After choosing the contents for each chapter, we then decided it would be a nice touch to have an opening photograph with each chapter title. And why not a quote too?

The gun went off, and the race to meet a specific deadline was on. I felt excited, nervous, and a little whelmed—not overwhelmed yet, just whelmed. As the days turned into weeks, there were moments when I wondered why I had introduced the idea. But then I’d read something that a writer had submitted and think, “This is a story that needs to be told.”

I’ve read that 500 words is tops for a blog post, and since I’ve already crossed that line, I’m reluctantly ending this tale for today. I’ll continue the group’s march towards publication tomorrow, and hopefully, you’ll be inspired to create your own book.

Posted in anthologies, books, reading, self publishing, stories, writers, writing, writing groups | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossing Over

I’m pretty psyched up tonight. A little anxious too. Tomorrow I’m going to speak to a group of men about what it takes to be successful in a two-year college. Although I’ve talked to students about college success for decades, tomorrow is different in one major way. The men are using Crossing the Bridge: Succeeding in a Community College and Beyond as their text.

The program coordinator and I have talked several times, and what he’d like for me to speak about tomorrow is the importance of personal choice and commitment.

“No problem,” I assured Mr. Murphy. “I latched on to Sartre’s, ‘I am my choices’ 40 years ago and have never let go.”

He also wants me to elaborate a little on being intentional. Although dictionary definitions vary, my use of intentional means purposeful and deliberate. From Crossing the Bridge, here are the chapter openings:

  1. This is your life. Be intentional about discovering the attributes that make you unique, the ones that will help you to choose the right college major and live a more effective and satisfying life.
  2. An education is the ticket to a better life. Be intentional about getting the right degree or certificate from the college that will best prepare you for your future.
  3. Don’t be lukewarm or lackadaisical about taking that first step. Regardless of obstacles, be intentional in doing the things you need to do to begin your college career.
  4. You’ve come a long way to get here, and now it’s time for class…and for homework, studying, and time management. Keep your end goal in mind and be intentional about earning your degree or certificate.
  5. What you do outside of class is just as important, if not more so, than what you do inside of the classroom. Be intentional about using your time wisely to prepare for class and practice good study habits.
  6. Academic knowledge is essential for success, but practical intelligence, also known as street smarts, is equally vital. Be intentional in learning and applying those “life laws” as you cross the bridge to the professional world.

Like me, Mr. Murphy likes the symbolism of the bridge, and he plans to incorporate it into every session this year. A bridge symbolizes a transition from one place to another. I chose the Cooper River Bridge for the cover photograph because of my numerous experiences in crossing it on foot. Always a challenge, crossing this bridge requires preparation, motivation, and determination, many of the same characteristics needed to succeed in college.

Crossing The Bridge eBook Cover2

Regardless of discomfort or discouragement, the traveler, like the student,  has to keep on moving towards the other side. That’s where the goodies are, the rewards that being intentional and staying the course can provide.

I hope the men in the workshop will realize that it’s their choice. As Jack Canfield once said, “We blame our parents, our bosses, our friends, the media, our coworkers, our clients, our spouse, the weather, the economy, our astrological chart, our lack of money—anyone and anything we can pin the blame on. We never want to look at where the real problem is–ourselves.”

Posted in books, college students, college success, personal choices, psychology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Little Booklet??

You’ve heard of Elizabeth Gilbert, right? The woman who wrote Eat, Pray, Love? She wrote other books too, including The Signature of All Things. (I just downloaded it to my iPad.) Yesterday I listened to a podcast featuring an interview with Gilbert, and she said that although The Signature didn’t do as well as Eat, Pray, Love, she was okay with that.

She then went on to tell of a conversation that took placed years ago when she was a 22-year-old diner waitress (her words). She and a professor from the University of Pennsylvania were discussing James Jones, author of From Here to Eternity. An aspiring writer, Gilbert admitted that the book was phenomenally successful, and then wondered aloud why Jones had never written another masterpiece.

In talking with the erudite professor, Gilbert scoffed at Jones’ “one hit wonder.” That’s the last time she ever made that mistake. Immediately the professor “schooled” her when he began to ask a series of questions. What was her objection to Jones’ work? Does a person have to keep producing best sellers to be considered gifted? Shouldn’t you applaud people who keep producing their work? Encourage those who put their work out there?

Gilbert felt little as she considered the arrogance of a 22-year-old unpublished waitress who had dissed James Jones. After all, what had she done (in the writing arena)? Who was she to say such an audacious thing? One hit wonder indeed.

Decades later, Gilbert remembers that diner discussion with the prof and asks, “Even if it’s not a masterpiece, so what? Shouldn’t people keep on going? Keep on writing?” (Paraphrase)

I have no aspirations of becoming rich and famous through my writing, and neither does anyone else in my writing group. Most have been published, however, and a couple have won prestigious awards for their work. At the same time, we all have stories to tell: tales of woe, wonder, happiness, relatedness, horror, disappointment, humor, hope, adventure, and astonishment. You name it; we’ve got it.

We’re putting together an anthology of some of our stories, especially those of the nostalgic type, and we hope to have it available by the end of October. Today as I was describing our group project to a would-be writer, he asked, “So y’all are going to put together a little booklet or something?” A little booklet????

“Yeah, or something,” I replied serenely, remembering Gilbert’s conversation with the professor. Shouldn’t you encourage people who put their work out there? Do you have stories to share? Why aren’t you writing them?

Posted in anthologies, books, stories, Uncategorized, writers, writing, writing groups, writing life | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bears, Raccoons, and Elephants

One by-product of semi-retirement is I don’t have as much structure to my days. I don’t have to get up at 5:25 to make sure I get on the road to Sumter to teach a class. Or as in my earlier years, to feed children, make sure their books and essentials were together and their socks matched before heading out to take them to school and preschool.  After dinner (we called it supper then) each evening, there were dishes to wash, homework to supervise, baths to give, and studying to do.

In case anyone thinks I’m complaining about the crazy busyness of those years, I’m not. I’m merely emphasizing the structure and tight schedule.

I still study. Or rather, I read. I read whatever I want to. It doesn’t have to be strictly related to my work (teaching psychology). I refreshed my knowledge about narcissistic personality disorder the other day, but that’s because I wanted to and not because I had too. And since I ‘m teaching Human Growth and Development this semester, I’ve been reading updates, and wow, there’s new information on a daily basis, especially in genetics.


Now that I have more time to read for pleasure and information, I learn new and fascinating things every day. I just finished Jessamyn West’s The Friendly Persuasion and learned about life in a Quaker community of Indiana around the time of the Civil War. It was a simpler time when we didn’t know so much about the crazies of the world …or the evil either.

I picked up a book entitled Rules of Thumb by and learned these interesting tidbits:

  • If you like your Granny Smith apples extra tart, choose the ones with speckles and red patches. James Turner
  •  Effortless prose generally takes three or four drafts. Dr. Paul Trotman
  •  Bears can outrun, outclimb, and outswim a human. Your only chance is to run downhill; the bear’s center of gravity makes it difficult for it to follow.
  •  Raccoons feed heavily 48 hours before the approach of a large winter storm.
  •  The African elephant has ears shaped like Africa. The Indian elephant has ears shaped like India.

I learned that John wrote Revelation while in exile on the Isle of Patmos about 96 A.D. He wrote 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John sometime between 100 to 110 A.D. while still on the Isle of Patmos. Even though Revelation was written first, it was placed after the Johns. I bring this up because since Revelation comes last in the Bible, many people assume that it was written last. These same people delight in letting LDS people know that Revelation states that no one should add to its words.

I skimmed a travel book that I wish I’d read before going to New England last fall and learned that Maine has more obese people than any other NE state. It has more cat owners than any state in the nation!


From Ellis Nelson’s Into The Land of Snows, I learned at least a dozen new words, my favorite being Bardo, a  temporary state of the soul between death and rebirth. It could last up to 49 days, and the eventual reincarnation is governed by the person’s karma in his or her the past life.

I know many of the above findings might seem weird to some people, but it’s a great big world out there, and if we only know and learn about the little spheres we’ve been plopped into, we can become pretty narrow-minded.

But that’s not my main point. What I’m getting at is that I learned all of the above because of  my ability to read. It’s a privilege that many (especially females) in the world don’t have.


What’s something you’ve learned from reading just this last week…or month? 

Posted in books, psychology, reading, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

More Than Fruitcake

I’m super excited about the anthology that our writing group is putting together. We saw that other groups in South Carolina had created such volumes and thought, “Why not?” Still, we were a little slow in getting started, and then we saw Nights of Horseplay, a book of equine fantasies created by the Aiken chapter of the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop. That did it! If the Aiken Scribblers could do it, so could we!

I talked to Steve Gordy, the writer who spearheaded the Aiken project, and his excitement and encouragement were contagious. After a tiny bit of prodding, everyone in the Camden chapter was “in.” Steve and the Scribblers had snagged the topic of equine tales because of Aiken’s thoroughbred reputation, and we decided to write a book of nostalgic recollections about Camden.

We ran into a little challenge right away. Since some of the members are from Wisacky, Bishopville, Dabb’s Crossroads, and Germany, the stories needed to represent those locales too. We soon realized that regardless of a person’s geographic origins, some experiences and emotions are universal.

At first, we were thinking primarily of holiday memories, especially those centered around hearth and home. Gift book! Or so we thought. But as the weeks rolled by and we began submitting our manuscripts for critique, our original focus started to change. We had holiday memories, yes, but we had much more. There were recipes, photographs, sketches, pithy advice from yesteryear, and poems. A couple of “boy meet girl” stories were submitted for review.

We must have copies of the book in our hot little hands by October 20th, so that means we’ll be working diligently to polish our pieces, organize the content, format the chapters or divisions, and upload it to CreateSpace. I guess we could wait for a traditional publisher, but since we want you to have your copy by Christmas, we’re going the self-published route.

Everyone is supposed to work on the same fun assignment this week:  find some photographs to complement our submissions, come up with the perfect title, and decide on a cover. More Than Fruitcake is our working title, but whether we’ll keep it depends on how things progress in September. In any case, we’re planning to serve squares of that delectable dessert at our signing. And Cowboy Cake too.

Are you a part of a writing group? Have you  worked together on a group project?

Posted in books, stories, Uncategorized, writing, writing critiques, writing groups, writing life | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

From the Himalayas to Arizona


Yes, yes, I’ve been writing, but today I’m posting brief reviews of two books I’ve read lately. I learned something from each one of them, about writing and about the world and the fascinating people who inhabit it.

Into the Land of Snows, Ellis Nelson


This book met two of my major criteria for a book to pass the so-called litmus test. It was both entertaining and educational. Blake and Ang, the primary characters, held my interest throughout the novel, and their experiences and encounters were captivating, dangerous, and sometimes magical.

Blake is a teenager whose parents have divorced, and he’s feeling lost and a bit sorry for himself. He’s now in Base Camp at Mt. Everest with his father, a busy, busy, busy doctor who doesn’t seem to have any time for Blake. Soon after Blake’s arrival in the Himalayas, there’s a dangerous avalanche, and because of his fear for Blake’s safety, his father sends him away with Ang, an experienced and trustworthy Sherpa.

Ang and Blake have several interesting and sometimes harrowing experiences. In fact, I wondered whether it was realistic for a 16-year-old American teen to be tested and tried in such dangerous situations. After weeks of exploration, the two travelers return to Base Camp where Blake and his father reunite. Blake has matured during the interim, and the reader senses that his attitude towards his father has softened.

Never having traveled to the Himalayas, I learned quite a bit about the land and its people. Truthfully, I didn’t even know what a Sherpa was before reading this book, much less a Rinpoche, tumo, yidams, or stupas.

I liked Into the Land of Snows so much that I was sorry to see it end. My only issue with was the believability factor. Could this have really happened to an American teen? Still, it’s a book I enjoyed and would recommend to anyone with an interest in mysticism, Himalayan culture, and adventure.

The Orphan Train, Christina Cline

This was one of the most thought provoking and heart wrenching books I’ve read in months. Thought provoking because I never knew about the orphan trains that took approximately 250,000 abandoned and neglected children from Eastern cities to new homes in the Midwest from 1854-1929 and heart wrenching because of the absolute cruelty that many experienced.

There are two “girls” in this saga, Molly and Vivian, whose lives intersect at a crucial time for each. Their relationship proves beneficial to both. Molly is a young teen at a crossroads in her life, and Vivian is an elderly woman who supposedly needs help in organizing her many possessions.

After she loses her family in a tragic fire, Vivian is alone in the world at the beginning of the book. Soon, however she and Dutchy and dozens of other unfortunate children are placed on a train bound for homes with people who are looking for slave labor. Their train stops in various towns, and the children are cleaned up and marched on stage for interested townspeople to inspect both visually and physically.

The Orphan Train is a well-written, fascinating, informative, and interesting book. Christina Kline successfully managed to inform this reader of a huge social phenomenon AND weave a story (several actually) from it.

I have two chapters to read before finishing Jessamyn West’s The Friendly Persuasion, and I find myself procrastinating…not sure why. Maybe I just don’t want to say good-bye to the Birdwells. At night, I’ve been enjoying State by State a compilation of essays about each of the 50 states. I’m loving it!! Naturally, I started with South Carolina, and last night I read Arizona’s entry and loved it. Here’s the last sentence.

“This valley tells me that when it’s time for me to die I don’t need to be afraid. I can die happy , because the world is stunning and the sky will go on forever.”

What about you? What’s on your bookshelf? Have you read any of the above, and if so, what did you think? Please share.

Posted in book reviews, books, reading, stories, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sudden Shifts

I’m trying to practice the concept of The Daily Post, and here’s a recent prompt.

You’re at the beach with some friends and/or family, enjoying the sun, nibbling on some watermelon. All of a sudden, within seconds, the weather shifts and hail starts descending from the sky. Write a post about what happens next.

The older I get, the more lessons I see in just about everything, and an adventure at the beach with my daughter Carrie and her four children four summers ago was no exception. Within the space of 30 minutes, I was reminded of a host of things.

On our way to the strand, we rode in and out of sunshine. Carrie expressed concern over the overcast skies, but I reminded her of how things could be sunny on the beach and raining like crazy of blocks away. We found a parking place at a beach access area, and within minutes we were basking in the Carolina sunshine and getting our feet wet in the warm water.

Carrie was snapping pictures right and left, and all was grand. Then suddenly, she shrieked, “It’s raining!” I turned around to see her gathering up our things, and about that time the sky fell in…or seemed to. Blinding sheets of rain pelted us, and wherever I looked, I saw people trudging, heads down, as fast as they could towards shelter. Then the wind picked up, and sand stung our legs.

In all of my decades of coming to the beach, I’ve never experienced such a deluge of rain and wind-borne sand. It was more than a little disconcerting, especially when I saw my little granddaughters, Emma and Brooke, screaming as they tried to wrap their towels around their tiny bodies. Around and around they spun.

Their older brother Braden didn’t look too happy either, but he managed to get his towel around his torso, thus protecting his skin from the stinging sand and pouring rain. I had the baby in my arms, and all I could see were his blue, blue eyes searching my face as if to ask, “What’s going on?”

Carrie got the truly necessary items, and we left the chairs behind as we made a dash to the car. Once inside, the children enjoyed their Fruit Snacks, and Baby Colton and I shared a banana while his mother closely monitored the weather. As an aside, it’s always good to be prepared for life’s storms.

Within five minutes, the downpour was over. The rain and wind ceased completely, and the sun popped out. The sky was a beautiful Carolina blue with only a few white fluffy clouds. We sat silently for about ten seconds, wondering if we had truly witnessed one of Mother Nature’s wildest and shortest storms or whether we had imagined it.

Satisfied that the coast was clear (literally), we again trudged down to the strand and got set up again. What followed was a delightful afternoon of fun and sun. While I pondered several lessons from experience, the primary one is that storms always pass; that’s nature’s way. This is true for “real life” too. The sun always comes out again, and sometimes the brightness is even more brilliant that before.

Sometimes our trials in life last much longer, but they always pass, and at some time, you’ll see a ray of brightness shining through. Even if it’s just a tiny glimmer, it can give you hope.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Reading to Write

Have I been writing? Yes. In the past, I thought of writing as “working on a book.” Now I think of it in a different way. I don’t have to be working on a big project. I can be working on a scene for future use, recording a thought or memory in my journal, or polishing something I’ve already written. I can even be reading and call it research to improve writing.

Lately I’ve been working on my writing group’s anthology and doing a little of the above mentioned activities. Mostly though, I’ve been reading. I’m amazed at the ways different writers can use words to evoke feelings, describe a setting, or develop character. And dialogue…some of them can write some of the most realistic dialogue I’ve ever heard – er, read.

I needed a beach read the other morning and couldn’t find The Mastery of Love by Miguel Ruiz that I had taken to the strand the week before, so I selected a book off the shelf. My random choice was The Friendly Persuasion by Jessamyn West, and what a marvelous selection it has proven to be.

Ms. West begins the novel with a description of Jess Birdwell’s home, a white clapboard; his family, including his good wife Eliza, a Quaker minister; Jess’ business as a nurseryman; and the land surrounding his home, so beautiful in the fall that “heaven and earth seemed bound together.”

As I read the opening paragraphs, I thought, “This is too good to be true. There’s got to be a fly in the ointment somewhere.” Sure enough, here’s the sentence that informs the reader of Jess’ vague discontent: “Jess wasn’t completely happy, and for no reason anyone could have hit upon at first guess.” Turns out it was music Jess was pining for, and there follows a fascinating story of an organ purchase and a woman who sits on the cold snow-packed ground in protest.

I’m also reading Jane Martin: Selected Plays based on a recommendation by a writing workshop instructor. It’s an awesome book filled with plays and monologues. I’m not planning to write plays, but I would like to try my hand at monologues. Although it’s a tad embarrassing to admit, I didn’t even know what one was until last week!

At night, I’m reading Into the Land of Snows by Ellis Nelson. It’s on my iPad and is an evening choice because of the iPad’s backlight. Reading it has been educational, and I’ve learned about sherpas, monks, yetis, and the Himalayas. Although it seems to be a YA novel, it’s holding my interest.

But back to Jessamyn West’s novel. I found this classic  (my opinion) for $2 at a Friends of the Library Sale a couple of years ago. Lucky me. It’s a perfect book for actually studying the craft of writing. Whether I can improve my own efforts at scene and character description is another story.

What about you? What have you been reading and writing lately?

Posted in books, journal writing, reading, stories, summer reading, Uncategorized, writing, writing critiques, writing groups | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments