Tag Archives: writing

Magic People

“For a few brief moments he had touched with the very tips of his fingers the edge of a magic world.”        –from George’s Marvelous Medicine, by Roald Dahl. I have lingered over that sentence for days. It’s about more than just George and his story; it’s about childhood itself. When I was a girl, I […]

Guest Post: Heather Demetrios

Lisa Says: Friends, as you my know, I’ll be speaking at NESCBWI14 this weekend. My talk is called, “The F-Word: Failure, Rejection, and the Power of Persistence.” Let’s face it: Failures (large and small) and the revision that comes with it are simply part of the process of getting to your best work. Still, many […]

How to Be A Creative Genius

I am currently working on a story that features a coffin factory. Everyone loves this little touch. “How did you think of that?” people have asked. “It’s so atmospheric and creepy and perfect!” When I hear things like this, I just say, “Thank you,” and try to smile mysteriously, as if I just can’t help […]

Are Your Characters As Memorable As This Cat?

  Wow. This cat is a character. You can tell just by looking at his face. Are your characters as memorable as this cat? And, if not, how can you make them unforgettable? One of the writers I admire most is Charles Dickens. His characterizations are incredibly economical–he packs a ton of meaning into a […]

Secrets of a Prolific Writer

  Recently, a new friend admitted to me that she has a writer hidden inside her. “Oh, I’ll bet it isn’t hidden that far,” I told her. The next time I saw her, we chatted a bit about writing, and my new friend admitted feeling discouraged because “all of the books say that you should […]

Chickum

When Chris Tebbets and I sent in the first draft of the manuscript for M or F?, we were pretty excited. We were strangers before we began the project, but working together had bonded us. We had a similar sense of humor and quirky way of looking at things, and we started to think of […]

How To Write A Blog

When I was a kid, I was entranced by the idea of a diary. It felt like something that creative yet organized people do. I imagined that I would record the details of my daily life and someday, maybe years after my death, someone would find it and think, “Wow. I am so lucky that […]

A Pothole Story

A few years ago, I heard a strange noise while I was stopped at a stoplight. Across the busy intersection, a man in a wheelchair was bellowing for help. One of his rear wheels was stuck in a large pothole at the edge of a restaurant driveway–right at the place where it met the road. […]

The Genius Myth

Yesterday, I heard from an old friend. She told me that her daughter had dreams of being a writer, but felt discouraged. She isn’t even in high school yet, but doesn’t feel that being a professional writer is a realistic dream. I know this feeling well. When I was in college, I applied to be […]

The Six Questions to Ask About Your Character

I snort when I laugh. A lot of people think it’s funny. Some people even find it cute. I don’t mind it much—except when I’m in, like, a business meeting or Yale interview. (Didn’t get in. I’m convinced it’s because I not only snort/ laughed, but did so while drinking a glass of water—which spurted […]