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Journey into the Lives of Women, One Story at a Time


Novelist For Hire

Part of the fun of writing Night Magic, the third book in my New Orleans Nights series? I suddenly had a great excuse to visit New Orleans again. I’ve told you some about the trip, but did I show you this photo? A Poet for Hire Isn’t this a cute idea? Poets aren’t the richest people…

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Six Ways to Nurture Your Creativity

Are you working on a book? A quilt? A new recipe? Do you paint, compose, crochet or knit? If you do, you know that some mornings you wake up and nothing’s there. No ideas, visions, plans, and most of all no energy. It’s time to find ways to nurture your creativity. All creative people (and…

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Invention Week at Chautauqua: What Can It Teach Us About Creativity?

Many of you know I spend my summers at Chautauqua Institution, or what I like to think of as Creativity Central. Chautauqua bills itself this way: “The Chautauqua Institution is a not-for-profit, 750-acre educational center beside Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State, where approximately 7,500 persons are in residence on any day during a…

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What Writers Can Learn From The Olympics

There they were, beautiful female athletes from the wide world over, mounting the balance beam at the Olympics to do their routine in front of an arena of fans plus, well, everyone, everywhere, who was watching them. “Whoops, the judges will subtract a point for grabbing the beam that way.” (To keep from falling off and possibly…

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Brainstorming 2015

By now if you’ve followed this blog you’ve probably read about my brainstorming group. I’ve blogged each year after we complete a session, and the process is well described in previous posts. You’ll also see bios of my group if you click on that link. Aren’t they great? Serena, Shelley, Casey/Kylie/Connie arrived in Chautauqua, NY…

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Radical Changes: Finding Time To Do What You Love

“Oh, I want to write a book, too, if I can ever find the time.” There’s probably not a writer anywhere who hasn’t heard this when we tell a stranger what we do. Everybody wants to write a novel. Everybody is absolutely certain he or she will, just as soon as the time miraculously appears. But truthfully, is…

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Are You A Kayak Reader or a Speedboat Reader? Plus a Trio of Giveaways.

As a kayaker, in addition to learning how to instantly turn 180 degrees  when sighting an alligator draped across the narrow channel ahead, I’ve learned one other important survival skill.  When faced with the wake of a high-powered speedboat, steer your kayak into the waves. You’ll have a washboard rippling ride, but you probably won’t capsize. My husband and I are…

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Brainstorming 2013

This week I’ve welcomed my brainstorming buddies to our Chautauqua hideaway to spend four days tossing around ideas about upcoming novels, everything from entire plots to key ideas we need help with. If you missed my previous posts about previous brainstorming sessions and the way we conduct them, you can find them here and here…

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The Write Way: Finding Ideas for your Novel

I’m sitting at my desk in my new writing home. I wish I could tell you it’s the perfect study, soundproof, light-filled, roomy enough for all my books and research material but not the least bit barny. Actually this room is light-filled, because I’m working in the glassed-in porch of our old, old cottage in…

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