Connections are made slowly, sometimes they grow underground. You cannot tell always by looking what is happening. More than half the tree is spread out in the soil under your feet. Penetrate quietly as the earthworm that blows no trumpet. Fight persistently as the creeper that brings down the tree. Spread like the squash plant […]

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Weathering Uncertainty

The writing process is, by nature, imbued with uncertainty. How could it be otherwise? Every time I’m struck (either by lightning or with a leaf) by an idea, I have the tendency to want to enshrine it–to make it something that by nature it is not. The idea leaps whole and fresh out of the

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Characters: Going Deep

What is the relationship between going deep in myself, and deep into characters? Going deep in myself means letting go of all the usual frames of reference in order to experience a reality that is transcendent of ego and attachment. Going deep implies liberation from usual, entrenched patterns of self. I am in a place

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“It’s a funny state. It’s not as if you’re falling asleep at your computer, but neither are you brainstorming. You’re dreamstorming, inviting the images of moment-to-moment experience through your unconscious…the state of communion with your unconscious–the zone I’m trying to describe–is absolutely essential, absolutely essential to writing well in this art form.” —From Where You Dream by

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The Next Big Thing

I’ve been tagged by Kris Waldherr, author and illustrator of Doomed Queens, The Lovers Path, as well as many other fine books, in the online game of “The Next Big Thing.” In this game, authors talk about their current work-in-progress.   What is the working title of your book? The Almost Hippie Girl   Where

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The obstacle is the path

This Zen saying is pinned to my bulletin board, above the outline (on index cards) for my current novel-in-progress. Five words on a thin strip of paper pinned at a cockeyed angle, waiting and ready as a reminder anytime my eyes chance to glance its way. I just did. Then I looked away, at all

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The Way We Word

When do words come to you? By surprise, like the locust carapaces that litter the sidewalk at this time of the summer, or the first red leaf on the neighbor’s Japanese maple?  Do they come by effort, after a long time of waiting, when everything seems dry as sand–and suddenly, the first sentence of a

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