Quick-Tip Tuesday: Travelogue and Narrative

In 1987, I drove across the country with a friend. We camped and hiked and saw some amazing places. One of our favorites was Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, in southern Arizona, where we witnessed what remains to this day one of the most incredible sunsets I’ve ever seen. We camped in the monument for a couple of days, explored some of the backcountry wilderness, took lots of photos, found some amazing wildlife. And, because I was keeping a journal at the time, I wrote page after page about the place, recording my impressions of the terrain, the climate, the night skies.

Six years later, in the spring of 1993, my wife and I spent several days on a barrier island along Georgia’s Atlantic coast. It’s a place that has an arrangement with Nancy’s university, and we were able to stay there for free. It’s an island wilderness, with overgrown […]

Continue reading Quick-Tip Tuesday: Travelogue and Narrative

So I stayed in a castle…

Today I’m going to step away from my usual grammar posts and talk about something a little different. I’m going to talk about how real physical space affects my writing.

A few days ago I got back from a trip that began with Con Carolinas, traveled through Wales and London, and ended up back home in Fayetteville. It was a long two weeks, but a lot of fun. I could write a whole post about CC, but other folks have, so I won’t.

My trip through Wales and London was for Study Abroad. I and a colleague of mine led 13 students (mostly 18-22 year olds) on a trip that began in Wales at St. Donat’s castle overlooking the Bristol Channel (the link gives some history and pictures). After six days there, we moved on to London, stopping at Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral along the way. In London we toured […]

Continue reading So I stayed in a castle…

Fantasy Worlds You Can Visit

So David and Faith are travelling this week, and suddenly I started thinking about places I’ve always wanted to visit. As writers, we’re always looking at our ordinary world with an eye toward finding the magic hidden everywhere, but there are places right here on Earth that can rival fantasy worlds for their beauty and otherworldliness. Remember the gorgeous landscapes of New Zealand, that made the Lord of the Rings movies come alive? And that’s not all – so many places all over our beautiful planet verge on the magical. So come with me on a quick trip to some extraordinary places!

When I was a little girl, I had a set of children’s encyclopedias, and one volume was about the wonders of the world. It had pictures of countries from every continent, but my favorite was a shot of the Blue Grotto in Capri, Italy. It’s a sea cave […]

Continue reading Fantasy Worlds You Can Visit

Sharing a Dream

(Please note that once again I’ll be away from my computer and won’t be able to respond to comments. I’ll trust my fellow MWers to comment on my behalf.)

I was thinking the other day that in half my posts here at MW, I wax rhapsodic about how much I love my job and how great it is being able to make up stories for a living. And in the other half I bitch and moan about how hard writing is and what a hard, crazy way this is to make a living.

Both are true. That much should be obvious by now. I really do love what I do for a living. And it really is hard. And this business is truly screwed up. Ultimately I guess all of it goes together, congealing into this nutty thing called the Writer’s Life.

But I have to admit that at […]

Continue reading Sharing a Dream

Back From WorldCon

[Stepping into virtual “Magical Words Room” and putting down bags….]

Well, I’m back. It’s good to be home.

I’m tanned, rested, and, most recently, energized by five days at WorldCon in Denver. (Faith and Misty were there, too — Catie, we missed you hugely.)

The tanned and rested part came first. We started in northern New Mexico, where we visited friends, strolled through the streets and markets of Santa Fe, and hiked in the mountains. Then Nancy, the girls, and I went to southeastern Utah where we camped and hiked for several days. Dead Horse Point State Park, Arches National Park, and the Needles area in Canyonlands National Park. Simply spectacular; my favorite part of the world. Finally, we went to southwestern Idaho, where we visited Nancy’s parents and family and again spent some time with old friends.

Nancy and the girls flew home and I went on to […]

Continue reading Back From WorldCon


It’s Monday!!! I have to blog. Blog blog blog….gotta blog. What am I gonna blog about….???? Got lots of things to chat about but little that relates to being a writer except as it all applies to research and writing what you know and how to survive life as a writer. Thinking and keying fast here. Keep up, okay? Diving in to the clutter of my mind now:

Trip time. Hubby and I are heading to the mountains either tonight or in the morning to see about running some rivers. We have this friend, Ralph Altman, I’ve known since 10th grade, and I had totally forgotten he is a paddler from way back. He told us about this roll class at UNC Asheville, in a heated pool, thank God. Gonna learn to roll. Whoowhoo! Need to get it right so I can write *what I know*. First rule […]

Continue reading Clutter!

Part Two…Different subject

I posted on my other blogs about the ongoing saga of the RV, so I won’t go into that part here. Instead, I’d like to talk a bit about book signings, speaking engagements, and meeting with fans. And what all that does to and for a writer when they first start out.

I was terminally shy when I first started writing. Not the kind of shy that makes people wall flowers, but the kind of shy that makes people aggressive. I know that doesn’t make sense on the surface, but bare with me. I knew I couldn’t hide behind my hair and still do the public part of the writer’s job, meeting booksellers, getting the word out about a book, all that kind of stuff.

So I flipped a mental switch and let fear come out as a sort of *in your face* friendliness. A car salesman on steroids. Wearing […]

Continue reading Part Two…Different subject