Friday, August 30, 2013


A maddening thing about writing is the best ideas come when I’m far away from my desk. I can’t count how many times I’ve pulled the car over to the side of the road and scribbled down a scrap of dialogue or an opening line on the back of a cheque or a gas receipt (or once, in desperation, on my hand!)

Stephen King refers to the “boys in the basement” who are constantly working, even when we are no where near the computer.
One of the best things I can do when I’m stuck is take a break and go for a walk. As I walk, I try to visualize the scene and let ideas flow. I’ve come home from many walks and said to my husband, “Don’t talk to me!” and then rushed to jot down all the brilliant things I thought of as I ambled along. Very frustrating when you know there was one more thing and it’s lost!

My solution – a small (palm size) digital voice recorder. It slips in my pocket, weighs nothing,  and now I don’t leave the house without it. When I get home, I can write down all my ideas at my leisure. No more panic! (The first time you try it, you'll probably think of nothing to say – that’s called performance anxiety! But once you forget you’ve got it, the boys in the basement get to work.)

I have a brand new Iphone, which I am sure has a recorder on it somewhere, but I’m going to stick with my little digital recorder. It might be one more thing to tote around but I’m already attached to it and besides, it’s user friendly!   


The Penderwicks  A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy  by Jeanne Birdsall     

The title says it all. This is a charming, somewhat old-fashioned story. It is a New York Times Bestseller and a National Book Award Winner.

Amazon: This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures. The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will—won’t they? One thing’s for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.
Deliciously nostalgic and quaintly witty, this is a story as breezy and carefree as a summer day.

There are two sequels: The Penderwicks at Gardam Street and The Penderwicks at Point Mouette . I can't wait to read them!

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