Confessions Of A Crazy Car Writer

Careless driver listening to music

I’m writing in my car

Turn on the radio

I pull a thought closer

It just says no

I say that I don’t like it

But I know I’m a liar

‘Cause when I drive

Ooooh-oooh fiiiii-re . . .


You heard me. I write in the car.


Before you scratch your head over a vision of me propping my keyboard on a steering wheel or madly typing text into my phone as I drift across the lanes of the highway, know that I am a car-talker.

That’s right, a car talker.

I talk to myself in my car. I talk to others, too – coworkers, friends, family members, other drivers, my kids, political figures (don’t get me started), celebrities – pretty much anybody is fair game. When my marriage fell apart, I had numerous, lengthy conversations with my ex (none of which he was in attendance for, of course), and God only knows how many times my kids have been spared a lecture only because I already had it without them.

But lately, I’ve started really working through my books this way, having conversations with characters, playing ‘what if,’ sequencing through logistical problems in setting or plot – my car is like my idea zone, where I can muse aloud and blather and pontificate to a captive audience of me.

It’s honestly where I do my best writing, (some of which is occasionally brilliant) but alas, my scumbag brain doesn’t remember half of it, and the half it does remember contains little of the witty dialog or engaging commentary I came up with on the commute into work. It’s a pale echo, at best.

I keep telling myself I should record it all, but then I’d have to actually remember to set my phone to record and then remember to turn it off before I get to the office and that’s not really likely to happen with regularity. I’m lucky if I remember to be fully dressed when I head out the door in the morning (Seriously, I drove to work barefoot once!).

I guess you could say I owe my next book in part to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Whatever works, y’all. Whatever works.

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What’s Up Wednesday: Writing And Mentoring

whatsupwed

I have been laugh-out-loud crazy busy. Borderline psychotic, even. What kind of idiot thinks they can fully research and write a first draft in six weeks? This kind, apparently. But the really weird thing is, I woke in the middle of the night a few days ago and had a sudden revelation about a cool plot hook and ever since, the  book has pretty much been writing itself.

So I’m plugging away, and God willing, we’ll have an awesome book (in hardcover!) circa 2019. Continue reading

Sometimes You Have To Step Away From The Keyboard & March For What Matters

march7

I didn’t get a lick of writing done on Saturday, because I was slogging through the mud and getting soaked to the skin at the March for Science in Washington D.C. I got to hear Bill Nye and a host of others shout out the wonders of science and the hope for a clean, sustainable planet – it was amazing just being part of it.

Despite the muck and the misery, we were all in great spirits, and the camaraderie and enthusiasm made it an experience I’ll cherish for a lifetime. Here’s a picture dump of the day – enjoy! Continue reading

Today, A Story In Honor Of Mr. Rogers’ Birthday

mrrog

Today is Mr. Rogers’ birthday, and I do my best every year to make it a day of kindness. I write a check or go online to make a donation to a charity. I let people cut in front of me in traffic. I pick at least ten random people I interact with in a day and tell them how good they look or how good they are at their job or just how much I admire them.

And you know the funny thing? I feel so good after doing all this, I find myself doing a lot more of it the rest of the year, too. Continue reading

The Books Are In! The Books Are In!

trav-copysm

[Photo courtesy of Swoon Reads]

They did it.

They actually did it, y’all.

They printed my book. My book. And the books are in and in a short time, I will be holding one in my sweaty, shaking hand.

I am speechless. I am in love (oh my God, aren’t they just gorgeous?), and I am beyond grateful to every single person who got me to this.

Every. Single. One. Of. You.

Today is a very, very good day.

 

The Things That Haunt Us

Ghosts Hand

“Every love story is a ghost story.”

~ David Foster Wallace

A friend of mine posted that quote over the weekend, and it’s been haunting my mind ever since because it is sheer perfection.

Think about it. Every story boils down, in its essence, to the things that are haunting those characters, or that world you’ve built. What scarred them? What keeps them awake at night (good or bad)? What did they have to overcome – or still need to overcome? What question has been left unanswered that drives them on? What face do they see when they close their eyes?

You can’t really know someone until  you know what haunts them.

Food for thought, as build these characters and the lives they’ll lead.

 

The Moments That Define You

I spent last Thanksgiving in Dublin, Ireland, and while there, I paid a visit to the National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology, hoping to do some research on my next book, a fantasy YA story based on the Tuatha Dé Danann – the ancient gods of Ireland. This particular bit of sight-seeing comes with a story.

stone

This stone is actually enormous and dates back to between 3000 and 2500 b.c. It bears a spiral design, which fascinates me because I was doing research for a book a while back and discovered that the spiral symbol is common (and sacred) to just about every primitive culture – check out Chaco Canyon and the sunstone there, or the carvings of the Inuit or the Maori, check out China, Japan, all over Asia and Africa – seriously – it’s everywhere in primitive cultures.

Anyway, I glanced around sneakily, and then I reached out and touched it, low down on the design, skimming and tracing the groove with gentle fingers. I know, I shouldn’t have done that. Continue reading