Sunday, November 23, 2008

Todays writers are a lucky bunch...

Sometimes I can't believe how lucky I am. Five years ago, I tackled my life-long dream of bringing Greenwood Academy to life in the pages of a novel and today I'm almost there. I visualize (embarrassingly almost everyday) what my book might look like on the shelves of bookstores across the country. I even go as far as designing a few book covers myself!
There is still plenty of dreaming left but here's what I know. I wouldn't have been able to do this writing thing without the internet.
Not only have I've been able to research gymnastics and boarding schools, I've been able to research concrete writing tools; plots, outlines, character development, inspirations,and even emotions. It's staggering really.

One of my favorite sites is The Bookshelf Muse. Basically, it's an emotion thesaurus. What a concept. My writing group friend turned me on to this site and I've been forever grateful. The idea is simple. Click on the emotion you're writing about and see what the authors have come up with in terms of the physicality of the emotion. Reading just a few helps trigger my own recollections and viola! No more shrugging, rolling of the eyes and head flicks.

My writing teacher, Valerie Hobbs, is new to the blogging world but already, her blog, Writing For Life, is quickly becoming my favorite. She shares her own struggles with her writing process and offers a writing exercise to think about. Val is really the queen of character. No one I know can identify internal conflict better than her. I look forward to seeing more posts.

Through the Tollbooth has been one of my favorites for a while now. A slew of MFA graduates form Vermont College, gather valuable writing tips, complete with examples, and show you how it's done. Hat's off to these ladies who really provide a wonderful gift to all aspiring writers out there.

Do you have a favorite that helps you in your writing process? There are so many out there that it's impossible to know of them all. Go on...share your favorites!

On a personal note, my family is off to the beautiful Yosemite Valley for another Thanksgiving. This will be our fourth time making the trek and truly it's become more and more enjoyable as the years go on.
Just picked up a copy of Judy Blundell's What I Saw and How I Lied and Wendy Mass's Every Soul a Star. Both look absolutely delicious. Can't wait to read them!


  1. Gee Patty! Thanks for the nice words about Through The Tollbooth. It's great to hear somebody is reading the stuff we type on there!

  2. Patty--I wanted to wish you the best of luck with your book. No doubt I'll see it on store shelves soon! A google alert brought me to your site, and I really enjoyed reading your blog. So far I just clicked on the Bookshelf Muse and I'm in love! I haven't had much time the past few years to really explore all the things available to writers online, and I hadn't seen it before. WOW! It's going to be Really Helpful! I'm sure the others you mentioned will be, too. So thanks again, and happy writing!
    All my best,

  3. Tami,
    It's easy to come up with praises for your blog. It's been so helpful in so many ways. Thanks for stopping by!

    I'm honored that you visited! I'm a fan of your book, Mango-Shaped Space. It's been a favorite of mine for a while now. Just bought Every Soul a Star and can't wait to read it this weekend.
    I have to thanks Vivian over at Hip Writer Mama for introducing "Star" to me via your fantastic interview.
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Patty! Happy writing and enjoy your Thanksgiving!

  5. Thanks Vivian! Good luck with the rewrite!

  6. I'm so glad you're finding the Emotion Thesaurus helpful! Thanks for the mention and have a great Thanksgiving!

  7. Hi Angela,
    Everyone loves your blog. It's such a great idea. I use it ALL the time. Thanks for the effort you put into it.
    Didn't know you're from the Great White North. I'm from PEI :)

  8. Happy Thanksgiving Patty! Loving your blog and can't get enough of The Bookshelf Muse. Thanks for passing that on. I'm so excited for GG. Sounds like you'll be done in no time. many words did you write this weekend amiga?


  9. Hey Laura,
    I know! Isn't The Bookshelf Muse awesome?
    As for word count, I think I wrote 7300 since last Tuesday. I usually can do a chapter a week (10 pages), but I was on a roll this week!
    How'd you do? I'm sure 5K is a breeze for you.
    Happy feasting!


I love hearing what you have to say...thanks for visiting.