Tag Archives: writing

The Joys of the Amateur Writer

  Whenever I hear someone say, “I love writing!” I know that I am not talking to a professional writer. Professional writers do love writing, of course, but they mostly love it in the way that doctors love making people well. There are many, many days that doctors fail to make people well. There are […]

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 […]