Monday, April 27, 2009

Writing prompt

Reading "Speed of Light" by Elizabeth Rosner has inspired me to write back-story in a different way...she's a master at it. Here is a prompt that helps me make decisions about what is important in the past, not only in writing, but in real life too:

When the past demands attention.....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Einstein Quote

This week I am on the evaluation board for teacher interns presenting portfolios to qualify for their teaching credentials. They have been in Project Pipeline's program for two years (General Ed) or three years (Special Ed). Five out of my 13 interns are graduating this year.

One of the general ed. young women who presented yesterday had a philosophy of education that was astoundingly comprehensive for a new teacher. She wrapped her presentation around the following Albert Einstein quote that I think can be an inspiration to us all:

"The important thing in life is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." Albert Einstein

Wishing you all a week filled with exciting curiosity.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

POV Changes

The Speed of Light by Elizabeth Rosner has an interesting way for using three points of view within each chapter. I was a little concerned that my novel, Hada, had alternating viewpoints...Hada's in one chapter, then the next her husband, Lev's, then the next chapter, Hada's again and so on throughout the book. What Rosner does is changes fonts and leaves double spaces when she changes points of view within the chapters. It really works...very well!

Her book is worth reading, not only for studying how she accomplishes this way of showing the three main characters' viewpoints, but it is an excellent story...character driven and unusual personalities that keep you turning those pages.

I discovered her book when I went to her workshop at the Pleasanton Poetry, Prose, and Arts Festival earlier this month. The topic was "Writing Deeper". If you hear of her doing another one in the future somewhere, I recommend going.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Reunion Poem

In honor of Poetry month (and inspired by Peter's blog), I wrote a poem. We planted a vegetable garden on Sunday at our new house (we've been here since November '08). We had not seen this tree in all its glory before. I'll try to take a picture of it for my next post. J9 I could use your photography expertise.

Spring Reunion

The white-blossomed tree,
With quarter-sized branches
Delicately reaches,
And touches,
My balcony.

Over the railing,
My branch-sized arm stretches—
Meets the white umbrella
Of faces—
Strokes a flower.

The canopy shimmers,
With its smiling delight,
Sunshine beams warmth and life,
Our connection.

trademarked 4/15/09

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Open Mic Night in Pleasanton

Me and My Friends Restaurant at 4713 First Street, Pleasanton, will have an open mic night on April 30th at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be music and complimentary coffee and cookies while you listen to poetry and prose readings.

If you want to read some of your writings for 2 to 3 minutes, please call to reserve your time. It sounds like fun.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Check out Nancy Drew Clues to Creative Writing

I highly recommend "Nancy Drew's Handbook" by Penny Warner. It not only is a handy book to have, but it makes a great gift! Check out Penny's blog to read "Nancy Drew's Clues to Creative Writing". As you all know, Nancy is one smart girl! (And it's fun to read the quotes from Nancy Drew books included with each rule.)


I felt honored to receive a first place award for my fiction short story, "Leaving Jersey" and first place award for my non-fiction story, "The Principal's Principles" at the Pleasanton Poetry, Prose, and Arts Festival in April.


Friday, April 10, 2009

When Characters Write

Graham Greene said in "Advice to Writers":

"The moment comes when a character does or says something you hadn't thought about. At that moment he's alive and you leave it to him."

Those moments (they happen through most of my first draft writings now) are like reading my own book before it is written. That's what makes writing exciting.

In my late twenties, when I began to write fiction short stories, one of those moments happened for the first time with a character named Alex. I didn't understand how wonderful that was then and it scared me (he was a very self-assured character!). I packed up the story in a box and put it into the walk-in style attic we had in our Oakland flat. With that box, I put my writing career on hold for too many years, and when we moved, I forgot Alex in the attic.

I wonder what would happen if I started writing about him again...would he be angry with me? Would he be happy to talk with me again? Would he.....

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April is Poetry Month

My friend and fellow-writer-group member, Peter, is writing a poem a day during this year's poetry month as he did last year. What an inspiration.

At Pleasanton's Poetry, Prose, and Arts Festival last weekend, I bought David Alpaugh's new poetry book, "Heavy Lifting" so I could reach my goal for this month which is to READ at least one poem a day. Between Peter and David, I'll join the celebratory month and who knows, maybe next April, I'll be writing a poem a

David Alpaugh also wrote "Counterpoint", a great poetry collection I highly recommend...available on Amazon.

Anybody else writing poems for this month?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pleasanton Poetry, Prose and Arts Festival

The Pleasanton Poetry, Prose and Arts Festival, an annual event in Pleasanton, is one to put on your April Calendars. Two days of workshops, networking, contest competitions and fun. Go to to check out picture with Good Morning America's Mark Curtis and the class. His book is available on Amazon. A link is on his website: