Everyone asks this.
Actually, they ask, “Why Woodstock?”
All I can say is that ever since visiting the Shenandoah Valley fifteen years ago to run a trail race, it’s had a hold of me. I came home from that first trip having run the mountains, discovered wineries, stomped divets at a polo game, meandered through tiny downtowns, and soaked up the quiet and peace, I told Nick, “You have to come to Virginia with me.”
Continue reading “Why Woodstock?”
This past year has felt a bit surreal. As if the world was unplugged and we are collectively holding our breath, waiting for it to be plugged back in and spring to life like my laptop after a hard shut down.
Some writers I know have been absolutely unable to write. Their worlds disrupted understandably.
I was not one of those writers.
Continue reading “What Happened When I Stopped Running”
I’m reading a book called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Don Miller. I’m not sure how it landed on my bookshelf, but I’m making a concerted effort to read the books I have, so I recently picked it up.
This one surprised me. I knew Don Miller wrote Blue Like Jazz, so I figured the book would likely Continue reading “Is Your Life a Good Story?”
In fiction, it’s the conflict that generally drives a plot. It’s what keeps us reading – wondering if a character will get what’s coming to them, survive the threat hanging over them, or have a fight with the crazy ex-girlfriend.
But in real life, it’s human instinct to avoid conflict. Sometimes, though, conflict finds you.
When I got up yesterday, I was in a good place. Continue reading “How One Small Terroristic Threat Can Really Ruin Your Day”
The last few months have been a whirlwind of launching Another Good Dog into the world. It’s been beyond my wildest imagination, surprising me again and again.
I’ve done enough TV now that I’m finally getting better at not blinking so much while talking and actually answering the question that was asked (as opposed to rambling on in questionable English while my mind is screaming, “OMG – I’m on TV!”).
I’ve even made peace with the fact that Continue reading “I Am Completely Beside Myself”
My youngest son is a good writer.
In fact, all my kids are good writers. (so sayeth their proud mama.) But my youngest son invites me to edit his writing on occasion so I have more opportunity to read what he writes.
Like many high school students schooled in the art of the five-paragraph essay, he’s been trained to – tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.
And he’s very good at essay – particularly argumentative essay (don’t know where he gets all that passion from….)
I was comfortable with that format when I was a teenager. It made writing a little less subjective. Clear objectives make me happy. I like to know what I’m aiming at.
The formulas that work in essay-writing don’t apply as well to fiction writing (or memoir).
It should be more like – Continue reading “You Really Don’t Need to Tell Them”
Every writer loves promoting their books.
I’m deep in the midst of promoting my latest book and, to tell you the truth, this time around is WAY fun. That’s because I’m sharing almost every event with a dog or two.
Dogs make everything better.
My last three books were novels – stories I made up sitting at my laptop on long afternoons and pre-dawn writing jags. I crafted characters and lived their lives- but only in my head.
The main character in my latest book, Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs, is much more real…. Me.
So instead of dreaming up my drama, I lived it.
It’s easy to take risks when writing fiction, everyone knows you’re making it up, even if they suspect you’re actually writing about them (but changed the names and distinguishing features).
It’s another thing entirely to take risks while writing memoir. Memoir is nothing if not Continue reading “Lay Your Truth on the Page”
“When you woke up this morning were you still a big shot author with a new puppy?”
That was the text I got from my husband who was out of the country on business this week.
And it does feel like a ‘pinch-me’ kind of week. My memoir, Another Good Dog, sold to Pegasus Books for publication summer 2018, and after fostering 95 puppies and dogs, I’ve finally decided to ‘foster fail’ and adopt a puppy from our current litter.
Rewind two weeks. Continue reading “The Difference Two Weeks Makes…”
Reading multiple writing books at once has my head spinning. This past week, while distracted by my BIG NEWS, I had a hard time making myself sit down and follow my reading plan for becoming a better writer. I do my assigned reading in the evening, but each night I found a reason not to read. Instead, I spent a lot of time with my foster puppies…..
And I caught up on The Crown and sorted my Netflix que and finished reading Dogged Pursuit by Robert Rodi (hilarious) and The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier (exquisite). Next, instead of doing my assigned reading Continue reading “Avoidance Techniques from a Master (Week 4 of my Be-a-Better-Writer Reading Program)”
Having completed the third book for my three-book deal (due out June 2017!), I decided to take a short break from fiction writing to work on a project near and dear to my heart.
It’s a memoir about our family’s experience fostering 50 dogs. I love the dogs and I love my family, so you’d think this would be pretty easy, and it is, but there are complications. It’s fine to write about the embarrassing, stupid, and simply odd things that I might do, but what about all the innocent parties living in our household?
Writing real life gets tricky. With fiction, I could just make something up. Don’t like the way that looks? No problem, I’ll just change it. Bad resolution? I’ll re-write it so it makes more sense. Slow scene? I’ll just punch it up by making someone get pregnant or die or get arrested. Nonfiction is a completely different animal. These characters I’m writing about are real people whom I care about deeply. Probably more than anyone else. Certainly more than anyone reading my book. Continue reading “Going to the Dogs”