Sunday, February 27, 2011


Here are my Cropped Ice Photographs. This shrub was planted where the runoff from an awning would hit it. The sun was melting the roof snow, but the air was cold enough that the melt had refrozen on the branches. (I love getting a freezing rain effect without hazardous driving conditions or power outages!) The bush’s interesting shape, didn’t come through in the Before Picture. I prefer the detail seen in the After Picture.

The After Picture

photo by me

The Before Picture

photo by me

Friday, February 25, 2011

Overheard #134

"Be perfect little church mice, temple mice, mosque mice."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

This is Brilliant

I intended to post today about developing secondary characters, but instead I'll send you to Darcy Pattison's blog. Her post on Three Types of Character Arcs is wonderful. I found myself analyzing not only my own WIP but also books I've read.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Guest Photographer Wednesday

This week’s category is Cropped Ice Photographs featuring before and after pictures.

Here’s TimInMich's After shot. It reminds me of a topographical map, and I love the color palette.

photo by TimInMich
Here’s the Before picture. You can see more of the "mountains."

photo by TimInMich

My photos will be posted on Sunday.

Monday, February 21, 2011


“It’s the shadows that make you notice the light.” - Laura Resau from The Ruby Notebook (Delacorte Press, 2010)

Every year these begonias bloom (inside) during the grayest part of the winter.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


photo by me
Here is my Weirdest Ice photo. I call it Masquerade. Yes, those little black things are some kind of insect.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Overheard #133

"Reality is a four-dimensional manifold."

Disclaimer: The concepts expressed in the Overheard series do not necessarily reflect the knowledge base of the management. Here’s a link – not that it helps.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Guest Photographer is Back

Here's TimInMich's Weirdest Ice entry in the Ice Photo Challenge.

photo by TimInMich

He calls it Sunny Side Up. The bubbles are so cool.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

The big Valentine news around here is I’ve stopped hating my Work In Progress. Oh, I know the whole romance/manuscript metaphor is over-used, but in many ways, it rings true. Usually there is some point in the revision-endless-revision process that I despise my manuscript.

People offer advice. “Take a break,” they say, or “You need some time apart.”

Bah. When it comes to manuscript revision absence makes the fond heart wander. What’s actually needed in that case is a New Idea. Or ten. Anyway, revisions are rolling again. I like my WIP. Perhaps love is too strong a word, but I’m moving in that direction.

Can someone tell me why converting a Power Point image into JPEG results in such poor image quality?

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Turkeys are difficult to photograph because posing isn't on their agendas. This isn't a perfect picture, but the one on the left is so ruffled. Next week, back to ice.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Overheard #132

"What could go wrong?"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Realistic Settings

Somehow many of my manuscripts are set in California. I grew up there, and when my mom was alive, I visited frequently. Little details that come from actually being in a place are gifts for a writer. How else would I know sound of the morning sprinklers or the colors of the hills as the sun set?

For the past few years, I’ve done little traveling and had to rely on webcams and internet photos, but 2011 seems to be the year of the suitcase. So far, we’ve been invited to four weddings on one coast or the other. (It won’t be possible to attend all of them.) I’ll be going to an SCBWI-MO writing retreat in March, and in September, I may go to Italy.

I plan to bring a camera and a notepad to record as much of these places as possible.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


photo by me

I chose this as my Best-Lit Ice photo because of the diffraction patterns on the rain gutter. Then again, it might be a contender for Weird Ice ...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Overheard #131

"Where’s the fun in having completely ordinary parents?"

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Guest Photographer

Please welcome TimInMich and the first of his beautiful photographs. Here is his entry for Best-Lit Ice in our Ice Photo Challenge.

photo by TimInMich
I love the textures.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Dial Press (2008)

Reading this novel is like getting a writing lesson from a kind and generous mentor.
Voice: The novel is written in the form of letters and each character’s voice remains distinct.
Characterization: The authors allow us to read between the lines to discover the personalities of the characters.
Plot: Because the story is told in letters, the back-story leaks out bit by bit.
Warmth: This book demonstrates how to create memorable characters. I became involved in the story because the characters cared for each other in imperfect and totally human ways.