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Showing posts from April, 2010

Hearing Voices

I've just started reading Anna Quindlen's new book, Every Last One and have Yann Martel's Beatrice and Virgil waiting for me at the library. Each of these books reflects the author's ouevre, that vein in which they mine stories which reflect their perspective of the world. I read reviews of both books around the same time and quickly ordered them from the library because I am a fan of both authors.

These disparate books got me wondering about how an author chooses their slice of the universe, whether in form of genre or theme. Anna Quindlen's literary career has been built on novels that explore the world of home and the dramas of everyday life. She scrutinizes the mundane, often unobserved moments, and describes how sudden events can change the otherwise well-managed course of our lives. Yann Martell creates stories with a fantastic Aesop-like quality where animals step in for humans to present morality tales and explore timeless ethical conundrums.

I understand t…

Into the Woods

Thank you all for your wonderful advice on my plotting conundrum. I've decided to take your suggestion to simply write my way through the woods and see where it takes me. This morning I opened my novel's file and began where I left off...and before I knew it, I'd quickly written two pages.

I'm still without clear direction on the plot, but I believe that will work itself out as I go along. It simply feels great to be writing again.

Another discovery. I've found that I write best first thing in the morning before I get to work on anything else. This week I've been working on a small freelance writing project and each day promised myself that I would get to my novel after I'd completed my other writing. Of course, the result was that by the time I'd finished with my work, I was too tired to contemplate facing the blank page. This morning I put my foot down and decided that I'd just write one page in the novel before starting my 'regular' work…

I've Lost the Plot

I've been working on my novel. I even like what I've written. In fact there are moments when I am scrolling through the already written pages and I just sigh at how much I LOVE what I've written. I actually think to myself, I'd read this book!

A little background might be in order at this point: I began this book a few years ago. It's segmented into sixty-six chapters, told in alternating voices of the protagonist in Moscow and a year later in a small village near Lake Tahoe. I wrote the first half of the book, then jumped forward and wrote a few bibs and bobs of scenes toward the end of the book. Then I put it away for a year. I am currently at 60,000 words of what will be a 100,000 word novel.

In January, I opened the file again and started writing. Over the past three months, I've made progress and enjoyed the fact that I am writing again. There's just one problem: I've lost the plot. Ostensibly, I'm writing a murder mystery. Unfortunately, I hav…

The Unexpected Book

Yesterday I stopped by the library to pick up the books I'd ordered online and which sat waiting for me on the reserve shelf. One of the things that I love about the Evergreen library is that they actually trust you to walk up to the shelf and take your own books. At my former library in Fort Lauderdale, you had to go to the check-out desk, present your library card, recite the last four digits of your phone number, and only then would the librarian turn around and pull the books you'd ordered from the shelf behind the counter.

There are a few other things I love about my 'new' library: they have a coffee machine that provides your choice of a variety of free (!) caffeinated beverages. In my old library you weren't allowed to bring liquids of any kind into the library, as if they expected patrons to spill said liquids onto the books as they were suddenly and inexplicably caught up in wild spastic fits as they careened among the aisles.

The third thing that I love a…


"Good morning, Pooh Bear," said Eeyore gloomily. "If it is a good morning," he said. "Which I doubt," said he."Why, what's the matter?""Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it.""Can't all what?" said Pooh, rubbing his nose."Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush."

- Image and quote thanks to

Remember when WWJD was all the rage? Every kid on the block had a colorful rubber bracelet with those initials, which stood for: What Would Jesus Do?, a potent reminder to consider what the Savior would do if He were in a similar situation. I like to imagine that this slogan was meant to inspire us to act in a manner that would be pleasing to God, but it might also be a reminder for us to act in a way that was consistent with our best selves, if we are indeed children of God.

A few weeks ago, when I was feeling rather Eeyeo…