• Fashion & Fiction: Why I NEED Some Bumble Bee Tights. Now.

    I open my closet. It’s a sea of black clothing. Black pants. Black tops. Black skirts. Black dresses. Even black jeans. I wonder what in the hell I’m doing wearing black all the time. I know I’m a writer, and writers love to wear black, but this is getting absurd. I have to fight to believe that my personality is not reflected in the drab colors and style of the clothes I wear. But it’s always black. Gloom. Doom. Snape-like. Johnny Cash-ish. Elphaba without the green face. I’m drowning in a vortex of black. And then a fictional character enters my world and I no longer want to wear black.…

  • The Worst Part About Writing

    * * * Yes, I’m still at tonight. Working diligently on my collection right now. However, the worst part about writing is that you get attached and stupidly emotional about the characters you create. Why? Because sometimes they are loosely based on people you know, lessons you’ve learned, the ways you have grown. You are reminded of things and times gone by. And then you read something like this that turns you into a weepy blob: Every individual soul chooses the significant people in that life. Destiny will place you in the particular circumstance; it will dictate that you will encounter a particular person, at a certain time, place.  ~…

  • Make Us Care

    While there are so many insightful tips on how to tell a good story, at the core of it all is to make the reader care. In a 17-minute speech on TED, Mr. Andrew Stanton, Academy Award winning screenwriter for such films as “Finding Nemo,” “Toy Story,” and “Wall-E” who also voices the character “Crush” from “Finding Nemo,” explains his wonderful tips on storytelling. Writers of all kinds should take heed of Mr. Stanton’s advice, which he explains with examples. As my class took notes on his wisdom, I wrote them all down as well; it’s a reminder and a usable checklist that writers can use refer to when evaluating…

  • Carriefully, I Took The Quiz

    Last night, as I was tucking myself in, exhausted from the busy week, I saw my friend Scott post on Facebook that he got Charlotte in the “Sex and The City” online quiz. I don’t ever take these celebrity quizzes, but this one intrigued me because I’ve always thought of myself as Carrie (as do many millions of other women; I am not alone). Nevertheless, I took the quiz to see if what I had in my head about myself matched this celebrity test. I carefully took it, paying close attention to every question and answered each honestly. As an avid “Sex and The City” viewer—and someone who owns the…

  • Come And Woo Me, Woo Me. ~ Wednesday Wisdom

    * * * Shakespeare was no fool, people. He knew exactly what he was doing when he created Rosalind, an important female character in “As You Like It.” Rosalind’s best qualities are that she is witty, intelligent, scheming and lively. She makes the above remark to Orlando, her suitor, when she says, “Come, woo me, woo me, for now I am in a holiday humor, and like enough to consent.” Wikipedia calls Rosalind “the main character of the play who extracts the clarity of important traits in other characters.” As a writer, I like to suppose I have the same qualities as fictional Rosalind: the ability to extract nuances and…

  • On slumps, in baseball and in writing…

    Last night after my son’s baseball game and in the middle of a post-game, in-depth discussion about baseball bunting, I told my kids to hold it a second. “Let’s call Charles and ask him what he thinks about bunting.” I’m not a fan of bunting, though I do realize it has its benefits. I dialed Charles’s number, and he picked up. This, in itself, is miraculous. Sometimes he is just too busy to chat. Charles currently works for the Boston Red Sox, is a brilliant, creative mind, and happens to be one of my former bosses from my days at the Orioles.  He also is one of those dearest of…

  • The Importance of (Character) Names

    * * * I’m still giggling this morning. Last night on Facebook, I asked my FB Friends for a little help in naming a character in my latest work—a new novel of fiction about a girl who works in baseball. Now, I know; this plot sounds like it could be autobiographical, but it’s not. Not really. The main character is going through some tough things in her life. I’ve spent the first 20,000 words building her character, and allowing you to get to know the pain she’s going through. Then enter a guy—an attractive, young sports reporter who is nameless right now. I’m having trouble writing him because I want…

  • Be Careful Or You’ll End Up In My Novel…and other thoughts…

    *** Sometimes I want to toss my novel out the window. I completely understand what Dorothy Parker meant when she said, “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” I’ve been working on Beneath the Mimosa Tree for so long that I would be lying if I didn’t say I could throw in the towel. Writing is painful sometimes. We are hard on ourselves. But then I think of what Raymond Carver said: “Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder.” Luckily, I have the passion. I could put my novel out…