I turn to many resources for writing inspiration,
and I hope you find them useful and motivating as well:
Writing Craft Books:
- Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself into Print by Browne and King
- Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel by Lisa Cron
- Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need by Jessica Brody
- On Writing by Steven King
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
- Elements of Style by Strunk and White
Keeping wildlife safe and the environment healthy are top priorities. I’m also dedicated to rescue animal causes. Check out these middle grade and young adult novels focused on these topics:
- Wildoak by C.C. Harrington
- Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King
- Midnight at the Shelter by Nanci Turner Steveson
- Green Rising by Lauren James
- Roots and Shoots, Jane Goodall’s youth organization (I met Jane Goodall in New York City this past May 2023. What an honor!)
- Day’s End Horse Rescue
- Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance
My Writing Process:
Juggling teaching, family, and writing is challenging. My summers are devoted to drafting new work. The rest of the year is devoted to revising, editing, and thinking of new ideas for stories.
During the teaching year, I wake early (#5amWritersClub) and get an hour of work done before all the pets demand their breakfasts. Rosie, my African Grey parrot, literally says, “Breakfast, let’s go!” I can’t go downstairs before 6 a.m. or she will start demanding apples, eggs, and melon. Oh, my! Once she’s up, everyone’s up!
Plotter or Pantser? Recently converted plotter! While I had never believed in outlining, I’ve discovered from my writing coach, author Nanci Turner Steveson, how valuable (and for me, necessary) a plan can be. I work from an outline now but keep it flexible to allow for discoveries along the way.
Other helpful writing strategies: I belong to a critique group through my MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts and work with my writing coach each month. Never underestimate the importance of feedback! My critique group and writing coach see opportunities in my manuscripts that I don’t. Sometimes we are just too close to the story to see what’s needed. I’m also a visual learner and find sketching storyboards a must so I see how scenes flow (or don’t!). Also, creating a “muse board” (collection of images) that serves as a visual inspiration for characters, setting, and story plot is a strategy that I use for any story I’m writing.