Friday, July 30, 2010

Dance (and write?) Like Nobody's Watching

Today at the Stiletto Gang: how good friends prevent a writer from looking stoopid.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

How many words is a picture worth?

I set aside time this morning to drive around a neighboring community and work on my book--in pictures.

I've done this for all of my books. I drive around a new area and take photos and notes, then weave those details into the work in progress. It started as a way to enhance setting. Now it helps with mood.

Look at the details we can capture by exploring this way. I wouldn't have been able to imagine these.

I'm not saying they're all pretty. Just suggesting that exploring with a camera is one of my favorite ways to grab sensory detail.

From this little trip, I drove straight to my local indie bookstore, Murder by the Book, where I had the pleasure of meeting author Tess Gerritsen in person. All in all, a great day for books.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Buzz: Mean Mothers by Peg Streep

Here is a book for women raised by emotionally absent mothers. Peg Streep draws on scientific research, interviews, and personal stories to suggest reasons why unloving mothers might be the way that they are. She stresses the importance of approaching these questions from a multi-generational angle. Most importantly, care is taken to explain how damaged mother-daughter relationships affect the psychological make-up of the daughters. Streep discusses a wide range of emotional unavailability and expounds on what this means for unmothered daughters when they grow up and have kids, particularly daughters, of their own.

The sibling relationship is also examined and explanations are offered for why children from the same family often have wildly different stories about their childhoods and about what kind of people their parents were. Streep points out that some mothers are emotionally available to some children, but not all, and she describes how this factors into the sibling bonds or lack thereof.

The entire presentation is both fascinating and validating. If any part of this summary resonates with you, there is something for you in this book.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mark David Gerson on What's Right for Right Now

I like Mark David Gerson's perspective on the interplay between our writing projects, our timing, and what might be going on when those two things don't seem to play nice.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Find Out For Yourself

I liked this passage from a chapter called "Find Out For Yourself" in a book called "Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen" by Shunryu Suzuki:

The moment you are told something by someone and you think you understand, you will stick to it, and you will lose the full function of your nature. When you seek something, your true nature is in full activity, as if you are feeling for your pillow in the dark. If you know where the pillow is, your mind is not in full function. Your mind is acting in a limited sense. When you are seeking for the pillow without knowing where it is, then your mind is open to everything. In this way you will have a more subtle attitude toward everything, and you will see things as it is.