Tag: novel writing

One foot at home, one foot in the Abbey

It has been terrifically challenging to fold back into day-to-day life after three days at the Abbey. I know – the math of that statement doesn’t make sense. Three whole days versus my entire life? Nonsensical. And yet, that’s how I feel. Each day has been a careful step into what I hope will be my new normal. Less noise,… Read more →

See you in August

Tomorrow morning I leave for a brief retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani near Bardstown, Kentucky. While it is home to 40 Trappist monks, there is also space for people to come and find peace. Until a year and a half ago, I didn’t know the abbey existed, but in the span of one year, two people who have no connection to… Read more →

Update on Novel No. 2

At least once a week, sometimes more, someone asks me, “So how’s your novel going?” Here are all the things I don’t say:  “It’s going really well! I’m so pleased with my work.” or “Oh, everything is just falling into place perfectly. I couldn’t be happier.” or “Every night is another chapter!” or “My character development is spot on and… Read more →

Big Magic for NaNoWriMo

On October 21, in the middle of a crazy busy week, Lesli, Susan, and I met in Nashville to attend an event on Liz Gilbert’s book tour for Big Magic. (Book review coming soon.) The night was an informal discussion between Liz and fellow novelist Ann Patchett. Their conversation centered around creativity – how it manifests and what to do with… Read more →

Research trip to Franklin, Tennessee

During our drive home from Chicago after Thanksgiving, the idea for my second novel was born. I would be remiss if I didn’t credit Chuck with helping to plant those plot seeds. We talked at length about a potential plot and once the conversation ended everything exploded in my brain. Names, places, ideas. It all flowed. The characters started introducing themselves,… Read more →

“I’ll remember your name.”

After church on Sunday I met a friend for lunch. It was the sort of lunch that excluded spouses and children because we both needed to divulge feelings and thoughts without self-editing. I needed to tell her that I’m feeling low, like a dark cloud is coming and I’m well aware of it, that I knew this road would be long… Read more →

A love letter to my husband

Dearest, You were already a long-suffering, understanding husband and now your wife wants to be fiction writer. God bless you. You’ve been supportive and encouraging, wise in your advice and patient in the process. So when you received my text message this morning saying I’d just gotten my sixth rejection, no doubt you felt my pain. You know these rejections are little… Read more →

A Game of Hope and Fear

I wish I could be one of those sorts who is endlessly positive, overflowing with optimism and possibility. Annoyingly so. Alas, that’s not me, not even close. It’s only when the calendar turns from one year to the next that I get of solid whiff of that glorious mindset, a brief taste of believing this could be my year. And… Read more →

And the bloody execution begins.

I’ve got good instincts, so when my first professional(ish) critique on the first chapter of the novel came back yesterday, I knew what it was going to say: There are too many characters introduced in the beginning, the toggling back and forth in time needs to be rearranged, and my point of view needs to be better defined. None of her… Read more →

Insert panic here

Suddenly we’re at the end of October. As I type, my bacon and goat cheese grits aren’t sitting well as my stomach is turning inside itself with worry. I have six weeks left in the semester, which means I have six weeks to finish the novel, edit it, design the front and back matter, write a synopsis, and complete a fifteen-page… Read more →

School update and a book review

We’ve begun our second week of school and if the boys keep at this pace we’ll be finished by March. Not really, but they are zooming through the first few units of math. Things will slow down when we hit fractions and multiplication hard core. Jackson dances around saying, “Multiplication is easy peasy,” but he’s only started with zeros and ones.… Read more →

Hello, 36.

My birthday came ’round while in Santa Fe. It’s the one day of the year when Facebook is really lovely. For all of it’s annoying-ness, more than a hundred birthday well wishes on FB put a big smile on my face and my heart swelled with gratitude. The trip out west was a huge gift. It was a strain on the family budget,… Read more →

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