May 25, 2010

Full Moon Madness

In my footloose and fancy-free days, I called many places home. One of my favorites was a rural housing complex of small cottages and four-plexes formerly used for migrant workers. On full moon nights, the ladies would gather libations, tromp up the hill, and dance.

Now I’m in the outer suburban flatlands and my friends are far-flung but the silver orb still beckons. Even if I’ve retired for the evening, when the moonlight reaches my bedroom window I can’t help but rise up and greet it.

In a previous post about The Moon in Tarot decks, I mentioned how it can represent obstacles. But it can also bring inspiration.

Perhaps that’s why I was up last night, before the moon was truly full. I’ve had a case of the blahs these past few days. Maybe it’s just the rain and wind and pollen keeping me inside. Whatever the cause, I found some comfort sitting in my patio room, letting the moonbeams bathe me.

Which makes me wonder. Webster’s Dictionary defines lunacy as “intermittent insanity once believed to be related to the phases of the moon.”

Hmmm. Well, you know what Aristotle said: all writers are a little crazy.

May 18, 2010


I didn't have critique partners for my first book (which might explain why it's on the back burner awaiting serious revisions) and wondered if I'd find one for my current WIP. Happily, I've connected with a fellow writer who gets my story and can point out its flaws in a truly helpful manner. Huzzah!

I especially like working with her because she’s read Browne & King (see 4/10 post) and can bring up issues they address in their book on self-editing. So when she says to pay attention to narrative distance, I know just what she means.

One of her comments made me laugh out loud. My protagonist has a powerful voice, and the use and abuse of that power is central to the story. But in a scene that should ripple with tension, where any sane girl would be scared speechless, she calls out a warning. Oh dear, the enemy approaches. Whatever shall I do? I know. I’ll burst into song!

I still want to have this character sound the alarm, but I’ll need to rework the scene so it doesn’t come off like a bad Monty Python skit. Meanwhile, I'm grateful for the feedback only another writer can provide. Funny, isn't it, how you can see the gaps in someone else's story and breeze right over them in your own?

May 4, 2010


There's no shortage of theories about writing. Take the one that says you need to write a million words before you’re any good. At 1,000 words a day, every day, you'll need almost three uninterrupted years to reach the million-word mark  (2.70 years to be exact).  

Woe to those of us who write less.

I'd like to propose another theory: Ignore everything that suggests you’re not good enough until ________ [fill in the blank].  Just write. You’ll get better.  Stick with it, get honest feedback, and your writing will improve.

Don't believe me? Find something you wrote a year ago and compare it with what you wrote today.

Told you so.