Writerly Wednesdays: 10 Ways You Know You’re a Writer

on November 4, 2015

You Know You’re A Writer When by Adair Lara The following ten gems are from Adair Lara’s little book that sits on my shelf closest to my desk. Occasionally when I’m feeling out of sorts, a little weird, or have been caught talking to myself a little too much – I whip out this treasure, and remember that I’m not alone. Here are just ten of my favorites. There are so many more. If you’re not sure yet, if you’re a writer, you might pick up a copy. It also makes a great gift a writerly friend. You think of eavesdropping as research. You get a book idea while washing the dishes. Sometimes you think in an English accent. As… Continue Reading

Writerly Wednesdays: Needs Vs. Goals in Character Development

on October 28, 2015

The difference between a character's need and a character's goal.

Other writers and teachers may differ, but this how I explain it. A need is an internal, emotional driving force for a character, inherent to who they are. A goal is a short term, outward objective that drives the action, and in best of stories, is linked tightly to the character’s inner need. A character “need” is something that is part of who the character is in life – the thing that defines their purpose. Even when I study my family and friends, I can see how all their decisions are driven by that need, and through that filter. It’s not necessarily the only filter, but as an individual, there is usually a very strong one for each of us. In my last… Continue Reading

Writerly Wednesdays: Edna St. Vincent Millay

on June 30, 2015

What’s not to love about a feisty, red-lipped, red-haired poet sporting a new pair of dancing shoes? Nothing, I say! Especially when she is as financially successful as Edna St. Vincent Millay. I first discovered Edna St. Vincent Millay in a collection of poetry that had her famous poem “Renascence”, a poem she finished when she was 20. It has remained one of my favorites and enticed me to explore more of her work when I was also in my twenties, but I didn’t enjoy her other work quite as much. Edna, called Vincent by her family, was a child of divorce and was raised by her mom. Encouraged to explore the arts, she managed to learn six languages, and study theater and… Continue Reading

Writerly Wednesdays: Alice Walker

on June 17, 2015

When I first read The Color Purple, it pained me emotionally. I didn’t think I would get through it but I could stop reading. The opening, the lives of black women, and the abuse and torture that the characters endured seemed impossible to overcome. Reading it, I understand why Alice Walker once said, “The black woman is one of America’s greatest heroes.” But if ever there was a heroine you cheered for, it was Celie. And when she loved, and hoped, and finally achieved – it was righteous! The reunion at the end of The Color Purple still makes me tear up. In addition to being a writer of poetry, novels, non-fiction, short stories and essays, Alice Walker is known… Continue Reading

Writerly Wednesdays: Virginia Woolf

on June 9, 2015

When I first purchased these books by Virginia Woolf, it was with the thought that if I’m to be a writer I must read books of other great writers. Thus, Virginia Woolf. A Room of One’s Own and Orlando are more like essays, manifestos or feminist testaments, cleverly written to convey her point with a sharp, satirical and sometime frustrated or angry humor – for which I don’t blame her a bit! I imagine they were greeted with a certain amount of controversy at the time. Virginia was home schooled by her literary father and grew up meeting other literary icons such as Henry James and Julia Margaret Cameron. She later became part of her own literary and artistic circle… Continue Reading