Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

Writing lesson from Liam’s yellow pages

I’m not talking about the phone directory. I’m talking about what my son brings home, without fail, from his Montessori preschool each day: a small rectangular piece of white paper completely covered with yellow paint.

The first few days he … Read more

 

How to Write a Winning Story

http://www.flickr.com/photos/brianjmatis/6717922457/sizes

Everybody wants to write a winning story, but how do you do it? Some answers here, although not really from me. I have written stories–quite a few, in fact–and they won me some small money while I was in college. … Read more

 

Suffering & joy in the life cycle of a novel

According to popular myths about writers, suffering is integral to the creative process; if you are not in pain, you aren’t serious about your work.

For the most part, I find this notion annoying at best, downright troubling at worst. … Read more

 

In praise of the writer’s notebook…

DvortyGirl: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dvortygirl/2445114424

I’m addicted to my writer’s notebooks. Have been since college. My writer’s notebook is where the ideas that matter (to my books and to my life) start percolating.

How I use the notebooks has changed over time. In fact, when I … Read more

 

My Butterfly Rorschach

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sophiadphotography/7797618058

Butterflies keep turning up in my work, as you can see even from the cover art (and titles!) of What Can’t Wait and The Knife and the Butterfly. Recently I saw a beautiful photograph on Flickr* that got … Read more

 

Now Go Write: Write Blind

It’s a new year, and you are looking to start things off right. Set some goals, sure, but most of all, go write. Here’s a tried-and-true idea you can use.

Take a break from structure and write blind (literally, … Read more

 

Finishing a draft: the moment before the drop

For me a first draft is like that impossibly slow climb to the top of a roller coaster… a roller coaster from hell that keeps getting higher and higher so that you spend WEEKS thinking, I’m almost there… I’m just … Read more

 

How to be grateful (courtesy of Belfast skies)

The skirt of the storm.

Last night I stumbled across these entries written in one of my notebooks during a trip to Belfast in 2005. I’ve typed it up for you because I still feel the same way about skies. And gratitude. Turns out I’m … Read more

 

A certain cowardice: three confessions about poetry

First confession: I used to write poems, but I don’t anymore.

For now, poetry feels too risky, the payoff too uncertain, each poem like stepping from a ledge never knowing how far one will drop. Poetry takes more courage than I’ve … Read more

 

Out of the Closet: My OTHER Writing Self

So… you know what I write, right? YA novels that you can’t wait to get your hands on (and give to people you love). What Can’t Wait. The Knife and the Butterfly.

Well. There’s another Ashley.

Most of the … Read more

 
 
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