The Writer’s Lament: Where Did I Put That?

This month we’re exploring events from our pasts that have influenced us as writers. I have an anecdote or two, but I think I will save those for later in the month. Instead, I’d like to mention a quality that has affected me, not only as a teacher, but also as a writer.

Before writing novels, I taught high school English in a small town in Illinois. For many of those thirty-four years I was a single mother of three children. This meant that besides teaching English—including countless nights and early mornings of grading papers—I was also packing lunches… Continue reading


Yesterday, I beat up my poor husband for taking something out of the car. Needless to say, the pummeling wasn’t well received.  Reception was even worse when I found I’d actually been the one who’d removed the object, a fat spiral ring notebook. The notebook had writings that had to be Xeroxed or entered into various documents on the computer. I’d forgotten to return it to the car, where it resides.

I have 5 of these notebooks, several in my office, one in the car, always one on my bedside table. Each book is optimistically labeled so everything will… Continue reading

The Dream of Organization … a pantser who dreams of being a plotter

I dream of many things … an office full of bulletin boards where I can trace out whole outlines on multi-colored index cards and color coded push pins. I dream of bulletin boards full of images torn from magazines to help me describe the way people dress and what they eat. I dream of time to find the images and index cards … heck to be honest I would like the time to find my office! I know it is somewhere.

I was always the student who bought the organizer, pencil case, and little pouch to hold miscellany items… Continue reading

How Scrivener Saved My Life

Most people in the writing world know of Scrivener by now as a stellar program that facilitates the writing process. There are so many sources of information on Scrivener that I couldn’t begin to compete with them.  Here are several of the better ones I’ve run across.

First, if you don’t have Scrivener and want to try it, go to the following link and download the 30 day trial. Read the excellent manual and tutorial, and visit the users forum. The people who staff the forum are fantastic. How many programs can you say that for?