WriteSpa #40 – Stream of Consciousness

WriteSpa – An Oasis for Writers I know it’s summer, and today it’s particularly hot and drowsy, but it occurred to me that deep thinking and drowsy summer afternoons are not necessarily incompatible. Stream of consciousness: Basically, it’s eavesdropping on the heart and mind of a character – being privy to his or her innermost Read more about WriteSpa #40 – Stream of Consciousness[…]

WriteSpa #37 – Janusian Thinking

WriteSpa – An Oasis for Writers Studies involving fifty or so Nobel prize winners in physiology, chemistry, medicine and physics, as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning writers and other artists, reveal a surprising similarity in their creative process. Called ‘Janusian thinking’ after the Roman god Janus, it involves holding two opposing ideas or images in your Read more about WriteSpa #37 – Janusian Thinking[…]

WriteSpa #36 – Writing about Clothing

Wonder Why When You Read About Someone Wearing
a Pretty Blue Dress You Want One Too?

My husband went through a Perry Mason phase a while back. He’d be dozing through the pages, then he’d suddenly jump up and pour himself a glass of Scotch. Or he’d have an urge to make a steak. Or he’d glance over at my bare legs on the couch, and I’d know that Della Street had just stepped out of the cab and Perry was eyeing her ankles.

Any avid reader knows the power of a book to transport you into another world, be it a magical realm in a fairy tale or a fast-paced thriller. […]

WriteSpa #35 – Message in a Bottle

WriteSpa – An Oasis for Writers

I was thinking about bottles recently and what an extraordinary invention they are. Bottles are beautiful. There are green glass bottles. Tiny cobalt blue bottles. Clear bottles. Short squat amber ones that you’d find in an apothecary. Hand blown bottles from Venice. Chianti bottles from Italy. Stainless steel bottles. Exquisite perfume bottles. Round, thin, long-necked, wide-bottomed… bottles come in just about every shape, color, size imaginable. And their purposes are inexhaustible. […]

WriteSpa #34 – Money and Success

WriteSpa – An Oasis for Writers A new financial institution called TimeBank has created a social-business model in which hours are exchanged for hours instead of financial compensation exchanged for a product or service. For example, an hour of cooking is worth an hour of carpentry is worth an hour of tutoring.  A physical therapist Read more about WriteSpa #34 – Money and Success[…]

WriteSpa #31 – Elemental Beings

When I was around seven years old, I remember visiting my grandmother, Ethel Cook Eliot, at her home in western Massachusetts. One night she sat on the edge of my bed and told me about some rain goblins she’d seen. She described them to me as about eight inches high, skinny, wrinkled, brown-skinned, and rather Read more about WriteSpa #31 – Elemental Beings[…]

WriteSpa #30 – Simplify

WriteSpa – An Oasis for Writers Simplicity is one of the finest things in life – right up there with love, ‘doing nothing,’ and walking in the woods. The empty plot of earth that doesn’t have anything planted yet is one of the most magical things in the world. So is the moment before the Read more about WriteSpa #30 – Simplify[…]

WriteSpa #29 – Biography

WriteSpa – An Oasis for Writers

It always amazes how little we know about each other. When I lived in New York City, I remember looking up at the hundreds of windows in a random apartment building and imagining the real live stories going on within each apartment. Or watching my fellow subway travelers and wondering where they came from and where they were going. Who were they going to meet? Why did that young man wear a secret smile? How did that old woman feel when she had to push through the crowd to emerge onto the platform? Where were those dressed-up teenagers headed and what were they whispering about? […]

WriteSpa #28 – Murder Your Darlings

WriteSpa – An Oasis for Writing Writing requires skill, as does painting, or playing an instrument. You practice and practice, and eventually phrases, sentences, words, paragraphs, and eventually chapters and books take on a life of their own, because you don’t have to figure out how to finger a chord or shade a cloud; you Read more about WriteSpa #28 – Murder Your Darlings[…]

WriteSpa # 27 – The Nose Knows

WriteSpa – An Oasis for Writers In my latest novel, Heaven Falls, the heroine, Tess, creates an organic line of essential oils that she hopes will heal, improve, inspire, relax – or even arouse. Tess knows that an aroma can evoke various moods, bringing us into harmony with our inner nature, as well as to Read more about WriteSpa # 27 – The Nose Knows[…]

WriteSpa #26 – When You Come to the End of a Rope…

WriteSpa – An Oasis for Writers A long time ago, during a low point in my life, someone tried to advise me: “When you come to the end of a rope, tie a knot and hang on.” I remember snapping back: “When you come to the end of a rope, you should let it go Read more about WriteSpa #26 – When You Come to the End of a Rope…[…]

WriteSpa #25 – A Game of Chess

WriteSpa – An Oasis for Writers From the time I was eight till around sixteen years old, my father and I used to play chess practically every night. I used to become absorbed not just in the strategy, but in the characteristics of the pieces. Pawns were brave but not very skilled. Bishops were clever. Read more about WriteSpa #25 – A Game of Chess[…]

WriteSpa #22 – Writing Prompts

WriteSpa – An Oasis for Writers

For many years, every morning I write down three phrases that I call my ‘daily happinesses.’ These are simple – usually appealing – images that help me peek into another, more objective, reality.

In a way, they are also writing prompts. Each one of these little phrases conjures a vignette, a mood, a story, a person. For example: “Planning for a garden of rare and wild roses.” “Penguins diving into the sea.” “The silence before applause.” […]

WriteSpa #21 – Writing about Weather

WriteSpa – An Oasis for Writers When I moved to England at age eleven I remember being amused by the amount of conversation people spent discussing the weather. The reason was that it hardly ever seemed to change. The weather was pretty much misty and drizzly and sometimes it might rain harder, other times it Read more about WriteSpa #21 – Writing about Weather[…]

Writing Satisfying Conclusions

I love conclusions. I remember a friend saying that she dreaded coming to the final chapters of a novel because she couldn’t bear the story to end. I’m the opposite: I love the moment the story draws to a close; the conflict over; the exhausting seeking ended; the relationship resolved; the tears drying; the murderer found… […]

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