Saturday, August 21, 2010


This garden’s white and green

Fat with waste-waxed floors

Crisp white machines.

“Good veins,” approves Nurse Thing.

A room with a view of sky.

Last sight; last rite.

This is a garden of wolf’s tongue

And wean balm,

of Queens’ Ears and

Devils’ Teeth.

This is a garden of the sick to death,

A formal garden of the

Never mind.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dog Days and Reliving Your Scenes

OK, they are supposedly called "dog days" because of the dog star but I know better. Saw a mom toting plastic bags of school supplies trailed by two foot-dragging kids in a hot parking lot, 1 p.m. on a Friday in August, all were bored and tried and hot -- dog days written all over them.

Meanwhile, I am inspired by James Scott Bell:
1. RELIVE YOUR SCENES. Not rewrite. Relive.

Have you ever imagined yourself to be the characters? Tried to feel what they’re feeling? Try it now. It’s not hard. Be an actor.

Often, after I’ve written a scene, I’ll go back and try to live the emotions. I’ll act out the parts I’ve created. Almost always what I feel “in character” will make me add to or change the scene.

You can also imagine the scene, step by step, in your mind. Let it play like a movie. But instead of watching the movie from a seat in the theater, be in the scene. The other characters can’t see you, but you can see and hear them.

Intensify the proceedings. Let things happen. Let characters improvise. If you don’t like what they come up with, rewind the scene and allow them to do something else.

Look at the beginnings of your scenes. What do you do to grab the reader at the start? Have you spent too much time with description of setting? Often the better course is to start in medias res (in the middle of things) and drop in description a little later.

Examine scene endings. What have you provided that will make the reader want to read on? Some great places to stop a scene are:

• At the moment a major decision is to be made.
• Just as a terrible thing happens.
• With a portent of something bad about to happen.

• With a strong display of emotion.

• When raising a question that has no immediate answer.

Keep improving your scenes and your novel will soon develop that can’t-put-it-down feel.

From: "5 Easy Tips to Strengthen Your Scenes," Writer's Digest 8/3/10,

Friday, August 6, 2010

Family Time

Great news from Ben-- an agent asked to see more of his novel today. First step in agent search, get pages of the book in his or her hands! The response to his fine query letter came in two weeks. His book is intriguing and well written and I hope she loves it! Good job, Ben!