History Class, Storytelling, Uncategorized, World War 2, Writing Tips

Exploding Rats Didn’t Fit

"And remember, lecture is the least effective method of teaching." My class dutifully noted this point, then settled in to listen to our professor's extensive lecture on the other methods we ought to use. The temptation to slip into lecture-mode is strong for experts on any subject. This includes writers. Who doesn't like to go… Continue reading Exploding Rats Didn’t Fit

Life, Poetry, Storytelling, Uncategorized

Great Blue Heron

Teaching Creative Writing was an excellent excuse to play around a bit with concrete poetry. (i.e. poetry where the shape of the text can be as important as the words in conveying a message.) The text is below, in case it's to difficult to read, though I do like it less without the proper shape.… Continue reading Great Blue Heron

Music, Publishing, Storytelling, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration, Writing Tips

Via Jean Lee’s World: Writing Music to celebrate Fallen Princeborn: Stolen’s ARC Giveaway Countdown

I’m always fascinated by the writing processes of others. Author Jean Lee often shares music that inspires her writing. Today’s post caught my eye, as it shares songs that inspired her soon-to-be- released novel. I hope you enjoy! -Anne

Jean Lee's World

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I use several of Danna’s albums when I write, The Sweet Hereafter especially when I need an atmosphere of unsettlement. There is no orchestra here; often only a few string or woodwind instruments play at a time. Percussion is limited. Harmonies come and go like sunlight beneath a breaking cloudbank.

My protagonist flees an abusive home. She finally is in control of her fate…until a bizarre accident wrecks her bus. No one questions the circumstances, nor does anyone think it strange when another bus, empty of passengers but filled with everything the stranded travelers need, just so happens to come along on an otherwise abandoned stretch of interstate. Only the protagonist feels the wrongness of it all, from the ground beneath her to the sudden stillness of the trees.

I could not have closed my eyes and worked this through if not for Mychael Danna’s The Sweet Hereafter. I…

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Books, Storytelling, Uncategorized, World War 2

Five Quick YA Reads for the End Of Summer

The blackberries have nearly all ripened, staining my children's hands and mouths red and begging to be baked into pies or mashed into jam. The sun is more sluggish to rise each morning, and my teaching nightmares have started. Summer is waning. The flurry of activities- soaking up a little more sun, squeezing in one… Continue reading Five Quick YA Reads for the End Of Summer

History Class, Photos, Storytelling, Uncategorized, World War 2, Writing Inspiration

A Photo, A Kilt, An Italian Woman, and Many Questions

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, which works out well for today's post, as the school year is racing towards me and the majority of my words are being soaked up into lesson plans! Personally, I think that this extraordinary shot from the archives of The Imperial War Museum   is… Continue reading A Photo, A Kilt, An Italian Woman, and Many Questions

Life, Storytelling, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration, Writing Tips

Fictional Babies Never Spit Up: On Writing Characters With Children

Ah, details. There's nothing like a detail that's out of place or forgotten for pulling me out of a story. For instance, I have no problem watching a movie about reconstituted dinosaurs walking the Earth. I'll even accept that the characters truly believe that this time having said dinosaurs in a theme park will work out. But… Continue reading Fictional Babies Never Spit Up: On Writing Characters With Children

Storytelling, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration, Writing Tips

The Horror! The Terror! The Author!

Many thanks to author, blogger, and my long-time friend Jon for visiting this week and creating this guest post. Are you ready for THE HORROR???! Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up to see the strangest creature in all creation! Just two bits and you can step out of the midway of this… Continue reading The Horror! The Terror! The Author!

History Class, Short Fiction, Storytelling, Uncategorized, World War 2, Writing Inspiration

Today’s Post Is Somewhere Else

Blogger, speculative fiction author, and long-time friend of mine, Jon Mast, invited me to do a guest post on his new writing site. At "Wanted: One New Earth," Jon takes an unusual perspective to discuss the writers' life. I enjoyed the chance to write something a bit outside of my norm- I hope you can stop… Continue reading Today’s Post Is Somewhere Else

Books, Storytelling, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

George Elliot’s MIDDLEMARCH, and Keeping Readers Engaged for the Long Haul

Eight hundred sixty-four pages. https://www.amazon.com/Middlemarch-George-Eliot/dp/1420953184/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1529675352&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=Middlemarch&psc=1 When talented photographer and fellow blogger Arti announced that she would be hosting a "Middlemarch in May" Read-Along, I couldn't resist. I'd never read anything by George Elliot, but Middlemarch was ranked as the best English novel of all time. The full list of "best 100" included some of my favorites, and… Continue reading George Elliot’s MIDDLEMARCH, and Keeping Readers Engaged for the Long Haul

Deepest Fears, Publishing, Querying, Storytelling, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

Writing the (Gulp!) Love Scene

I do not come from an emotive people. I’m a Midwesterner by birth. The joke goes that there are three standard responses in our conversations. #1: “That’s not too bad.” This is suitable for any event from neutral to amazingly super awesome. #2: “That’s not too good.” This choice works for anything from a minor… Continue reading Writing the (Gulp!) Love Scene