The Magic of Mentoring: 3 weeks, 10 lessons

  • Iimages-2 hardly saw Meriam this last week, but it’s only because she’s been so busy. Here’s an update on her progress as an author and a report on my walk down memory lane. First, let’s look at what Meriam has accomplished:
  • 1) Revised dialogue making it less formal/creating distinctive voices.
  • 2) Completely revamped one main character and deleted another (the latter is being saved for another book).
  • 3) Rethought/reworked at least one full chapter in the book (many writers – including me – can’t bring themselves to delete or minimize large sections of their work. Kudos, Meriam.)
  • 4) Knocked chapter endings making them both compelling and strategic
  • 5) Policed herself on show/don’t tell

At 25,000 words and counting, this is a milestone draft for Meriam. A document that read like a character sketch of The Witches of New Moon Beach is now taking on the form and substance of a book. Continue Reading →

&. . .

In the back of the house, my office was a jumble of writing stuff, girl stuff, and stuff that I swear elves put in there while I was sleeping. This stuff included: a sewing machine, giant posters of my book covers from the days of bookstore signings, two sweaters my grandmother knitted, reams of paper in rainbow colors left over from my children’s grammar school/craft days (they are now 27 and 30 respectively), office supplies, pictures, the first dollar I ever made writing and, well, stuff.

We remodeled my ‘office’ because a pipe broke in the wall. If you have ever read When You Give a Mouse a Cookie you know what happened once we tore through that one wall. If you have never read When You Give a Mouse a Cookie, do so after you finish reading this.

The room now sports a large screen television and a new couch. My husband suggested that I move my office to a lovely small room in the front of the house (the better for him to nap in front of the television). It has bookshelves, a fireplace and lots of light. I love that room, but it is much smaller than my old office. It is the first room people see when they walk into my home. My new office would have to be neat and tidy at all times, and that meant I couldn’t take all that ‘stuff’ with me. I had to decide what was essential to my professional well-being. Surprisingly, there were only four things and they are also essential to the well-being of my heart and mind. They are. . . Continue Reading →