Category: Writing Process

  • Where Words are Born

    Where Words are Born

    I want dark frayed linen and mismatched china on the windowsill. Woolen socks drying on the line in early morning, meandering fog and dried nailed lavender above the sink. I want stone hues, silk scarves that always seem to stay put, and the slow drip of a copper faucet. People walking bikes along the path…

  • No, Artists Don’t Have a Creative “Sixth-Sense.”

    No, Artists Don’t Have a Creative “Sixth-Sense.”

    When my daughter was a newborn, I’d wake up in the middle of the night just a few moments before she would. From perfect sleep, my eyes would flicker open to the dark silence of a still room. Then, after a minute or two, my daughter’s little body would sidle back and forth, and she’d…

  • The Race of Faithfulness

    The Race of Faithfulness

    I’m reading my book. Not as in, my book of the month, one I pulled off the shelf at the charming but over-priced bookstore on Main Street. (Yes, my town has a true-blue Main Street, that is in fact the main street on which to be). I’m reading my book. I’ve finished my novel, you…

  • My Top 5 Books for Any Aspiring Writer

    My Top 5 Books for Any Aspiring Writer

    photo credit @1924usWhile the writing world is divided on prefaces, I’m going to start with one. Mostly to say that when it comes to writing, the best thing to do is to write. “How-To” books, in-person seminars, online courses, critique groups, and even brainstorming walks to the ice cream shop all serve as a means…

  • What Grey Clouds Can do to a Routine

    What Grey Clouds Can do to a Routine

    “Motherf*%$er.” I mumble under my breath. I hear my one and a half year old daughter give the word her best try from her car seat behind me. “Dammit, Collette,” I think, careful to keep this one to myself. I’ve just pulled into the gym parking lot, only to realize I’ve forgotten to move the…

  • When the Work Might be BAD bad.

    When the Work Might be BAD bad.

    My mother has finished reading my novel. She is the first person to read the whole shebang. Of course she is: these are the kinds of things only mothers can be counted on to do (just ask Gustave Flaubert). What’s Lizzie’s great line? “I am half agony, half hope.” That’s me. It’s a first draft,…

  • Where Would we Be Without Martyrs?

    Where Would we Be Without Martyrs?

    The Documentary that Got me Asking I grabbed the slender black remote, nixed the television, and leaned back on the couch to wipe my eyes. My heart was heavy–broken. It may seem strange for a heart to break over someone I don’t know, but I know the blocks that built the body of the stranger.…

  • The Writing Truths we Forget to be True

    The Writing Truths we Forget to be True

    I can see him: the genius writer. He’s holed up somewhere with the kind of light that makes your eyes go bad and the kind of weather that makes you crave a good knit cardigan: oversized, of course. Outside, the wet clouds clap as he crushes out another stodgy cigarette. He hasn’t left his room…

  • How the Scroll is Undermining One of Our Most Important Writerly Duties

    How the Scroll is Undermining One of Our Most Important Writerly Duties

    “Writers pay attention,” she said. I thought for a minute. Do I pay attention? I thought I did. Maybe? No–I did; I certainly did. I’m self admittedly nosy. That’s what happens when you love a good story, whether it’s one you overhear at length, catch a snippet of, or even just a glance at. I…

  • When to Shut Up and When to Talk: The Key to Character Description

    When to Shut Up and When to Talk: The Key to Character Description

    I’ve been thinking a lot about my main character lately. I’m writing a novel. Did I tell you that? And it has a main character, and I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately. Mostly, how much to say about him. Not his internal state, of course, or else we’d have no novel. It’s his…