Archive for August 2013

A snail’s pace: better than no pace at all

It’s been another crazy week in a summer full of them—which is good news for my bank account, but bad news for my middle grade novel. I’ve been busy with teaching and manuscript critiques, and this week I had a book deadline Tuesday, with two more next week—and I just got the specs three days ago. Yikes! [Lest I mislead you into thinking that I can leap tall buildings in a single bound, these are very short books for second and third graders that I am doing on a work-for-hire basis for an educational publisher.]

I like being busy, but I had hoped to have my usually lazy summer so I could finish up my middle grade novel. No such luck. It doesn’t help that although I can write non-fiction any time, anywhere, and do it in a flash, when it comes to fiction, I am glacially slow. I am beginning to feel a little desperate, not only about ever finding time to do this, but also about ever finding the peace and quiet I need to concentrate.

Then I saw this little guy on my walk yesterday morning, and I remembered—in writing, speed doesn’t count. What matters is that you keep adding to your story, one line, one word, even one syllable at a time.



Sooner than I’d hoped: second article in POV series is here!

As I sit here awaiting a group conference call with four editors and a host of my fellow wizards on another fast-and-furious book project for an educational publisher, I couldn’t settle down to work on my novel. I realize this is a major character flaw for a writer, but I need a huge clear zone of “headspace” in order to concentrate on fiction. Whereas as a former newspaper reporter, I learned how to write non-fiction anywhere, anytime, no matter what natural disaster or manmade calamity was raging around me.

So a lot sooner than I’d hoped, today I was able to post the second installment in my series on demystifying POV. It will probably be at least two or three weeks before I am able to write #3, but for now, I hope you enjoy Confessions of a Single-POV Puritan.

First installment of new series on POV

I’ve long wanted to write a series about POV, but this summer has been anything but lazy. I’ve barely had time to enjoy what sunshine we’ve had because I’ve been surfing a tsunami of work. But today I woke up and discovered that I’d finally reached the shore: there’s another huge wave coming next week, but for one day at least I didn’t have a single deadline staring me in the face, and I was actually all caught up.

So I was finally able to sit down and write the first article in the POV series, one entitled Who’s Wearing the Glasses? If you’ve ever been perplexed by the seemingly infinite subtleties and complexities and variations of viewpoint, I hope this series will help.