Posts Tagged ‘writing’

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Reading, Writing, Observing

(Dictated by Dru to Art)


When I was five my mother, three-year-old brother, and I sailed from New York to Melbourne on the Merchant Marine Freighter, S.S. Rattler. This was the first U.S. ship to go through the Panama Canal and across the South Pacific after the Second World War. My Australian grandfather, who was at the time an executive working for British United Shoe Machinery, had secured passage for the three of us while my dad finished out his Navy stint in Australia. We’d be gone six months.


The Rattler sailed out of New York Harbor on a foggy night. The Statue of Liberty loomed off to one side but became partially obscured by another ship, plowing toward the sea. Passengers were lined up on its deck, waving. We watched as it maneuvered behind us, its outlines growing dimmer in the swirling fog.

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(Dictated by Dru to Art)
I miss writing. The pain-killing drugs I’m on leave me in a fog that blurs my focus and robs me of the will to concentrate. But how fondly I recall and miss the writing process!

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Every year over the Presidents’ Day weekend, I do a two day teaching stint at the Southern California Writers’ Conference held here in San Diego. About ten minutes from home, actually. NovelCram is an unusual conference offering because participants sign up to spend the whole weekend with me, nine to four on Saturday and Sunday. For me it’s unusual because instead of sitting at my desk, I’m on my feet the whole time. Thank you, Joseph Pilates.

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Writing and Reading

Writing is obsessive.


I have been deep in my new book for the last too-many months, not blogging, sleeping badly, paying bills late. I am only now beginning to see how it will all come out. I never work from an outline, but I usually know what’s supposed to happen in the next twenty or thirty pages and it all ties in roughly with my vague idea of the ending. Like most people, I have a few control issues so writing can feel risky, like jumping out a plane and trusting that your parachute will open. Or the first time you hand the car keys to your son and say “remember the rules.” You just have to trust that everything you’ve done to train and teach and prepare him is going to play out right.

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Introducing Sweet Thyme Baby!

SWEET THYME BABY is a book about change, about the way we fight it even when it might make our lives richer, happier. It’s also about greed and ambition and runaway egos. Shame and guilt play a big part in the story too. And I can’t forget love. SWEET THYME BABY is definitely a love story.

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Just an Ordinary Woman

I met a woman the other day who had read my books and after praising them generously, she went on to tell me that she could never write fiction because she was “just an ordinary woman.” She said more, but I got stranded back where she said she was “just an ordinary woman.” Well, let’s hear it for all the ordinary women who cook the meals and brush the dogs and – yes, it’s true — write the novels.

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Meet Django

Django Jones leapt onto the pages of Little Girl Gone fully developed, smiling and ready for his close up. He’s almost thirteen and though he’s an orphan now, he had the good fortune to be raised by a glamorous mom and dad who adored him in the best way.

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Old Friends

I just finished a long and then very long email to a friend from college, a woman I see maybe once every five years and with whom I correspond maybe twice a year.  As I was writing, I found myself speaking more candidly than I would to most people. I started to remember what she looked like at twenty, the way her hair was always a dark, smooth and shiny cap while mine was mouse-brown, curly and untidy. Her smile was beautiful and still is. I was good at smiling so I didn’t envy her that. But the hair, the hair! And guess what? She still has it and I’m still envious!

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Sere Halverson has sold her book!

Most of you are saying, “So what? Who’s she?”

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As far as I remember I’ve only slept straight through the night once in the last year. Used to be able to nap on the floor like my dad. Now I can go to the best hotel in town and it’s a crap shoot whether I’ll manage three hours uninterrupted. How is it that things have gotten so bad around here?

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