Blog Archive - Writing

Writing Prompt. 1.

December 19, 2020

Photo: Darius Baužys, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It looks like we’ve all got some more indoors time heading our way. I thought I might, over the next few months, share some of the prompts I’ve been giving my students in Creative Writing.

If we gotta hunker, we might as well write.

This month we’ve been writing calligrammes, aka concrete poems. Here’s a charming and quick introduction to Guillaume Apollinaire, who did not invent the concrete poem but most certainly perfected it.

Take a look, for example, at his

Photo: Darius Baužys, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It looks like we’ve all got some more indoors time heading our way. I thought I might, over the next few months, share some of the prompts I’ve been giving my students in Creative Writing.

If we gotta hunker, we might as well write.

This month we’ve been writing calligrammes, aka concrete poems. Here’s a charming and quick introduction to Guillaume Apollinaire, who did not invent the concrete poem but most certainly perfected it.

Take a look, for example, at his

a cellular lesson in love

November 28, 2019

Honestly, in creative terms, I burned down the house and everything in it when I wrote This is Not a Werewolf Story—it’s a bonfire of all that inspires and fascinates me, from medieval French, Celtic, Norse, and Native American legends to the wave theory of light and the tracing of genetic history through the maternally transmitted mitochondrial DNA.

But there was one source I discovered after I had written it.

I was finishing my first major revision when my sister told me a story my grandpa had told her. One of the ones he probably told over and over, but he never told it to me.

My grandpa was born in a town called Welcome, where Mosquito Lake Road meets...

Honestly, in creative terms, I burned down the house and everything in it when I wrote This is Not a Werewolf Story—it’s a bonfire of all that inspires and fascinates me, from medieval French, Celtic, Norse, and Native American legends to the wave theory of light and the tracing of genetic history through the maternally transmitted mitochondrial DNA.

But there was one source I discovered after I had written it.

I was finishing my first major revision when my sister told me a story my grandpa had told her. One of the ones he probably told over and over, but he never told it to me.

My grandpa was born in a town called Welcome, where Mosquito Lake Road meets...

a cellular lesson in love

November 28, 2019

Honestly, in creative terms, I burned down the house and everything in it when I wrote This is Not a Werewolf Story—it’s a bonfire of all that inspires and fascinates me, from medieval French, Celtic, Norse, and Native American legends to the wave theory of light and the tracing of genetic history through the maternally transmitted mitochondrial DNA.

But there was one source I discovered after I had written it.

I was finishing my first major revision when my sister told me a story my grandpa had told her. One of the ones he probably told over and over, but he never told it to me.

My grandpa was born in a town called Welcome, where Mosquito Lake Road meets...

Honestly, in creative terms, I burned down the house and everything in it when I wrote This is Not a Werewolf Story—it’s a bonfire of all that inspires and fascinates me, from medieval French, Celtic, Norse, and Native American legends to the wave theory of light and the tracing of genetic history through the maternally transmitted mitochondrial DNA.

But there was one source I discovered after I had written it.

I was finishing my first major revision when my sister told me a story my grandpa had told her. One of the ones he probably told over and over, but he never told it to me.

My grandpa was born in a town called Welcome, where Mosquito Lake Road meets...

17 Tips to Rock an Author Visit

November 20, 2019

After my first author visit to an elementary school, I asked the teachers who had invited me for some honest feedback. They had some pointers. If you ask a question, for example, don’t feel like you have to call on every single student who raises their hand. And bring visuals.
But then they surprised me.
“We could tell right away that you’re a teacher,” one of them said. “You looked like you knew what you were doing.”
Now that couldn’t be right. I hadn’t felt like I knew what I was doing. I had felt anxious and sweaty.
Sure, I’m a teacher. I’ve been in the classroom for almost twenty years. But most of that time...

After my first author visit to an elementary school, I asked the teachers who had invited me for some honest feedback. They had some pointers. If you ask a question, for example, don’t feel like you have to call on every single student who raises their hand. And bring visuals.
But then they surprised me.
“We could tell right away that you’re a teacher,” one of them said. “You looked like you knew what you were doing.”
Now that couldn’t be right. I hadn’t felt like I knew what I was doing. I had felt anxious and sweaty.
Sure, I’m a teacher. I’ve been in the classroom for almost twenty years. But most of that time...