Work in Progress #18: The Moving Light at the End of the Tunnel

I am three quarters of the way through my Emily Post biography…maybe (dare I hope it???) even further.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Except for the fact that writing a longer piece always goes slower and slower the further I proceed because I realize with every sentence I write… [Read More]

Work in Progress #17: A Quote File

I keep a quote file on my desktop where I can record interesting tidbits from the things I read. I’ve developed a list of categories to file them under so that I can access them when a particular subject comes up in a piece I might be working on:  “aging,” “being/becoming,” “freedom,” “history-writing,” “self,” “superficiality,”… [Read More]

Writing and Talking

Awhile back, I wrote a blog (“I Don’t Talk – I Just Write”) about how terrified I was when people discovered I was a published writer and started asking me to do talks. Today I can tell you that not only did I overcome that initial fear, but the talks I do for various audiences… [Read More]

Common Core State Standards and My Writing

When Publishers Weekly asked public librarians to name the “big issues” they are currently talking about, Common Core was at the top of the list. These librarians see Common Core as an opportunity to spotlight the great nonfiction young library-users have been overlooking for years.  You might want to take a look at their comments… [Read More]

Work in Progress #14: Mini-Timelines

As I emerge from the holidays and sit down at my computer again, I find it takes a long time to even remember where I was when I left off. I had written the first few paragraphs of Chapter 7 but stalled out for some reason. As I reread those paragraphs I find I don’t… [Read More]

Work in Progress #10: Writing and Living

I finished chapter 6 at a week-long writer’s retreat where I was happily holed up in a cabin in Pennsylvania and had no distractions. There were no “real life” things to do like dishes and laundry and I was surrounded by thirteen other people, busily writing in their own cabins, which spurred me on. The… [Read More]

Work in Progress #9: Here to There

I finally finished my narrative outline for chapter 6 last week and sprinted through the actual writing of it. A confession: I cheated a bit! There were supposed to be two major “points of focus,” two major events, that were to form the basis for the chapter. When I actually did the writing, the first… [Read More]

Work in Progress #8: Through the Nitty Gritty to the Good Stuff

I’ve hit yet another “thin” place that I’ll have to thicken up with more research before I continue with my narrative outline of chapter 6. My subject took a “motor” trip from New York to San Francisco in 1915. It seemed like a bit of a lark that had nothing significant to do with the… [Read More]

Work in Progress #7: Writing Thin

As I was plugging ahead with the narrative outline for Chapter 6, I discovered I was “writing thin.” As thorough as I try to be with my research before sitting down to write, there are numerous spots along the way when my writing gets “thin” – it becomes hesitant, tentative, and starts to sound like… [Read More]

Work in Progress #6: Snails Take Heart!

I am a hopelessly slow writer. I set aside three to four hours each morning for writing and on a good day, I have one and a half typed pages to show for it. On a bad day, I can have two paragraphs. I never sit and stare into space. My fingers are always on… [Read More]