Monday, October 14, 2013

Writing Helps

My father passed away last month, on September 6th.  I'm feeling all the range of emotions I've been told I'll feel:  sadness, numbness, frustration, confusion, joy (from the good memories), etc.  Some of them at the same time.

Well, writing helps.  For the first time in weeks, I've felt like penning something.  And it's a small tribute to my dad.  It's nothing fancy or eloquent, but it captures how I'm feeling right now.  It captures the shock of my trying to process this thing called grief.  Just felt like sharing...


The Last Time…

I didn’t know it was the last time.
That I’d see you smile or laugh at your own jokes.

I didn’t know it was the last time
You’d ride in the car with me, look at the clouds, tell me that “time is irrelevant now”.

I didn’t know it was your last meal,
French toast, made by Karen, gobbled up fast.

I didn’t know it was the last time
I’d watch you direct your chorus, ring chords with your quartet.

I didn’t know it was the last time
We’d have intense chats about “Justified” or the newest Jack Reacher novel.

I didn’t know it was the last time
You’d hug your parents or grandkids or wife. Or me.

I didn’t know it was the last time
You would talk about politics or work or golf, things that mattered then.

I didn’t know it was the last time
We’d watch a British movie together (“Soames!”) or laugh at “Who’s Line.”

I didn’t know it was the last time
I’d go Christmas shopping for your presents online.

I didn’t know it was the last time
You’d watch a football game or text a friend or read from your Kindle.

I didn’t know.

But it wasn’t the last time. Not really.
Because someday, in a heavenly realm,
We WILL sit and talk again.

We will embrace and catch up, and I’ll see
That smiling, radiant face.

And we will both be peaceful. Happy.
Forever united. No more good-bye’s.
No more “last time’s.”

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Publishing Journey -- The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

I've always enjoyed reading about how authors got published -- even the details of heartache and excitement and disappointment of their individual journeys.  Because reading those stories lets me know I'm not alone in my own experiences.

Well, here's my story.  I've decided to be quite detailed, but to leave out the specific names and situations regarding the publishers/agents involved.  I just always want to stay professional.  I think that's really important.  So, here goes...


In the Beginning...

I've been writing novels since I was 21 years old (I'm 43 now).  I got serious about trying to get published about thirteen years ago.  I attended writers' conferences and soaked up all the information I could about the process.  I was told, over and over, that I had to get a literary agent.  That it was the only way to be published.  So, I polished my novel and polished my query letter.  Then I researched agents and studied their submission requirements.  Then, I sent out my proposals.  And although I got a few "bites" of interest (requests for a full manuscript), I also got countless rejections.  It happens.  In fact, it's expected.  But that doesn't make it sting any less.  But during those challenging years, I did something very important.  While I was submitting, I kept on writing.  I wrote and edited five other novels.

Fast-Forward to 2010:

During my final round of submissions, about five years after writing the first book in my current series, I got a contract from a literary agent.  Hallelujah!  But unfortunately, after many months went by, it became obvious we weren’t a good “fit.”  So, after our contract length had ended, we went our separate ways.  Back to Square One.


Switching Gears:

Since I'd had no real success with literary agents, I decided to approach publishers directly, on my own.  Big and small.  It took weeks and weeks of new research, and of learning the publishing industry in a way I never had before.  I wanted to be equipped, well-informed.  Essentially, I was becoming my own agent.  So, I sent my book to several editors and got nothing but rejections.  It made me wonder if I was on the right path.  But--a few months into the process, I was offered a contract by a small publishing company!  I was beyond ecstatic.  It had finally happened.  As a courtesy, I notified the other publishers who had my book.  And I received two more contracts!  After some excruciating decision-making, I chose a publisher.  (Side note:  I'm a teacher, with absolutely no legal education, so I decided to hire a literary attorney to look over the contract.  I'm so glad I did.  Worth every penny, for the peace of mind).

Sadly, things went unexpectedly awry, regarding the contract.  I won’t go into detail, but after months of “issues,” the publisher and I ended up going our separate ways (a mutual decision).  Still, I was devastated.  

Back to Square One—again—with a weary heart.  The doubts started to seep in, in a way they never had before.  Would this ever happen for me?  After all these years of trying? 

After licking my wounds, I decided to re-approach one of the other publishers who’d offered a contract wayyy back in January.  What did I have to lose?  They could only tell me "no."  But they didn't.  They actually took me back!  Within forty-eight hours, I had spoken with the editor twice on the phone, had received and signed a contract, and had written an author bio for their website.  Success, lightning-fast!  After all these years.  Blood, sweat, and yes, even tears.

In the End...

One thing I've learned:  the publishing process isn't for wimps.  It's frustrating, maddening, and it will make you doubt yourself many, many times over.  But, if your goal is to get published, it's something you likely will have to endure.  Every writer's journey is different.  There are some true overnight success stories out there.  But they're rare.  Getting published takes dedication, perseverance (actually, it's more like stubbornness, lol), and hard, hard work.  And, the good news:  the publishing landscape is changing.  Writers have more choices, more opportunities than ever (including self-publishing).  This industry is rapidly changing, because of the digital age, and e-books.  Even publishers now have no idea what the publishing landscape will look like in the future.  And that's kind of exciting.

Question of Why

During the journey (or, preferably at the start of the journey), it's important for every writer to ask one big question:  Why?  Why do I want to get published?

If the answer is "money," heh, forget it.  That's, unfortunately, unrealistic.  If the answer is "fame," again, unrealistic.  Not impossible, but not likely.

I asked myself this question a couple of years ago, and here's what I came up with:
I want to see my book in print.  To hold it, to crack it open, to smell it (man, I'm such a book nerd!).  The thought of having my own words, my own thoughts/ideas/characters grace the inside pages of a book makes me giggly.  It just does. 

Probably the main reason I want to get published is this:  I love the idea of other people reading words I wrote.  I love the notion that someone, somewhere, maybe in Maryland or New York or California, will see the cover, read the blurb, and decide, for some reason, to spend hard-earned dollars to purchase it.  Even more, I like the idea of that person going home after a difficult work day, maybe even with personal burdens, and escaping his/her life, momentarily, through reading my book.  Because that's a huge part of the reason that I read.  I would love for someone to experience what I experience through books--the escapism, the intimacy, and even the reflection of oneself through a character or situation.  The notion that I, somehow, could be any part of that process for someone else is incredible to me.


The End...Only The Beginning

So, that's my story, with all its ups and downs, twists and turns, lows and highs.  My story is happy, it's sad, and...it's unfinished.  Who knows where my writing will take me next.  But the most important thing is that I never lose sight of one thing:  the love of writing.  Because that’s the fire that fuels everything else.

Publication Announcement!

A few more details at the new author website - link here.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My New Home!

This past week, I created my author website (squeeee!).  Here's the link to my new home.

I've had this Writer's Corner blog for about five years, and I have no plans of shutting it down (I hope to keep it as an archive of sorts).  I probably won't post very often here anymore, but there might be times I want to return and post something new.  For now, though, my focus will be on the new site.

Thanks to any who've been reading my little blog, and I hope you'll follow me over to the new site.  It's pretty sparse so far, in terms of information, but I hope to be adding to it as the weeks go by.


Friday, June 14, 2013

The Rocky Dance

After a long and winding road (and I do mean LOOOONG.  And WINDING.), the moment finally arrived this week.  Ahem.

I signed my very first publishing contract!!

I don't know how many details I can reveal yet, so I'll keep things vague for now.  But the main reason for this post is to inspire those still in the trenches, still struggling to get their work seen or read or published.  I've been there.  I understand.

For years, I wrote and studied the craft.  I attended writers' conferences.  I researched and submitted to agents.  And got rejected.  Then, one agent said "yes."  But unfortunately, things went sour and I ventured out on my own, agent-less.  So, I started submitting directly to publishers and had some bumps along the way.  More waiting, more rejection.  And then, some bites, some hope!  And it all led up to this point, this moment.  And though the experience is surreal, this joyful feeling makes the long and sometimes-heartbreaking journey worthwhile. 

If you have that dream, pursue it.  If publication is something you want, go get it.  It won't be an easy road, but it can happen.  I posted awhile back about why I want to get published (link here), and those reasons still hold true today. 

So, if getting published is important to you (and it's perfectly fine if it isn't) -- don't give up.  Keep plugging along, keep trying.  Because when you reach the tip-top of that enormous, steep staircase, you can finally launch into your triumphant Rocky Dance.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Behind the Scenes

Sometimes, especially if we're writing in a singular POV of one character, we writers have a particular challenge in front of us.  There are so many activities and actions and things that can happen "off stage," so to speak, that don't occur in the presence of our main character.  And sometimes, we have to find creative ways either to let that MC witness the action first-hand, or to hear about it second-hand in a realistic way.  It can't seem too contrived or manipulated.

For instance - I finished a novel last week (yay, me!) in which the last few scenes contained crucial moments that the MC didn't witness, herself.  She had left the area, leaving these other characters behind.  But that didn't mean the characters remained frozen, stagnant.  Things happened while the MC was gone.  And it took some hard thinking and planning on my part, to determine which information she found out and when.  And how.  I played with it, tested some possibilities, and things finally clicked, fell into place.

But the interesting thing was, in my brainstorming, I had to do something drastic.  I had to crawl inside those other characters' mindsets, find out exactly what they experienced that evening--even though it would never be shown in its entirety to the reader in an actual scene.  Only the important bits and pieces would be revealed later to the main character in hindsight.  But in order for the timeline to work, and for the emotional levels to ring true by the end, it was important for me to get inside those minor characters and live out their actions, anyway. 

As writers, we need to always keep in mind that sometimes, what happens behind closed doors, even if it's never revealed it its entirety, is every bit as important as what happens out in the open.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Show, Don't Tell

Plenty of blogs have tackled this subject (even I have, in this link here), so I won't bore you with it again.  But today, I ran across a fabulous quote that tells WHY showing is so much more valuable than telling.  It's because you want your reader to be active, not passive.  You don't want to spoon-feed them information and tell them everything.  You want to show them, and let them decide for themselves what's happening, how a character feels, why a character just made that decision.  Let the reader participate, feel like he/she has some hand in the process.

Here's the quote:

"Don't give the audience 4.  Give them 2 plus 2."  ~Andrew Stanton, Director of WALL-E

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wonderful Quote

J.K. Rowling, talking about her first Harry Potter writing experience:

"I wrote the book... in snatched hours, in clattering caf├ęs or in the dead of night. For me, the story of how I wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is written invisibly on every page, legible only to me. Sixteen years after it was published, the memories are as vivid as ever as I turn these pages."

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Words of Wisdom

One of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Berg, just posted this on her Facebook page.  It embodies so much about how I feel about writing.  Brilliantly and beautifully stated:

So much of writing is done when you're not writing. It's a hard thing to explain to someone who isn't a writer. But today, for example, when I was walking the dog, I imagined a scene I'll write later. It's January, 1831, and a carriage is pulling away from a country house in the heart of France. A light snow is falling. The woman inside the carriage stares resolutely straight ahead and her husband stands in the circular driveway, his hands at his side, watching her go. 

Doing the dishes, I envision a mole at the corner of someone's mouth, the angle of a kitchen chair at a table, the way the light falls on a bowl of apples. When I'm supposed to be listening to someone in real life, an imaginary conversation often tangles itself in with what they're telling me. I am, as a result, kind of a terrible listener. (But I will always give my guest the bigger piece of pie.)

Whenever I do interviews-- as I did yesterday in advance of the Santa Barbara Writers' conference--and someone asks about my writing process, I find it difficult to answer. It's not a process; it's how you are. I truly do believe that writers are born, not made. If you're a writer, you're a person with a habit of noticing, of being totally captivated by events as small as the sideways drift of falling leaves, by the guy who tosses pizza dough up into the air, by the woman in a kerchief waiting for a bus. You have a need to translate what moves you or angers you or inspires you or mystifies you, into words. You use what you write to explain the world to yourself. Writing happens at the keyboard or on the page, yes. So often, though, it also happens when you're pulling weeds or watching the slow flap of a new butterfly's wings or tossing cheese into your grocery cart or taking a shower. If you're a writer, you sort of never stop working. You always have your invisible basket on your arm, gathering, gathering gathering....

A Different Angle

I was watching an interview recently with Molly Ringwald (of "Sixteen Candles" fame).  She's all grown up now, and was talking about her various interests:  acting, singing, motherhood.

The interviewer asked if she ever watched her own movies, and she said no, she didn't.  She said that making a movie, being in a movie, was a totally different experience than watching it.  And that other people who adore "Sixteen Candles" enjoy it in a totally different way than she did, because she was in it.  She helped to create it.

And it just felt familiar to me, this sensation of being "inside" a creative work, being involved in the nuts-and-bolts process of it, and so, not being able to fully enjoy it the way others do.  Because, as writers, we create this world, these characters.  And though it's an enjoyable process, certainly, it's also a unique one.  Because I'll never be able to read my own books the way other readers will.  I will always have a different experience because I'm so close to that material.  I'll never be able to read my own scenes without wanting to tweak them, or doubting some story decisions I'd made, or remembering the initial seed of inspiration that helped to create them. I don't come to the page fresh, empty-handed, empty-minded.  I come to it with a certain amount of baggage.

It's not a bad thing, of course.  But sometimes, I do wish I could look at my own books as just "a reader."  Not quite so attached, so invested in every word.  That I could enjoy them from that other angle, the reader's angle.  Just to see what it would feel like.

Monday, April 22, 2013

An Author's Legacy Lives On

Today, a beloved children's author passed away -- E.L. Konigsburg.  She wrote, among other works, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

When I was a kid in the 70's, this was easily one of my favorite Top Three books.  I remember reading it over and over again.  I never tired of it.  Maybe it was something about the idea of kids striking out on their own, becoming independent for a brief time, hiding out, relying on each other, and on their own skills.  Well, that, plus the cool setting of an enormous museum where they'd camp out each night.  For this kid from a small Texas town, it was pretty amazing, reading about the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC and imagining myself there.

I always think it's particularly sad when an author passes away, because the pen is forever silenced.  But the best thing is--their works become immortal.  In fact, ironically, I bought my nephew a copy of Frankweiler this past Christmas.

As for me, I have no doubt Ms. Konigsburg's book had an enormous impact on my love of the written word -- both as a reader and, later, as a writer. 

RIP.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Growing in the Wrong Direction

When teaching fiction, I've always told my students that their characters should ultimately "grow, change," move from point A to point Z throughout the length of a piece.  Otherwise, what's the piece for?  What's the point?

It's tricky, though -- in order to stay realistic, it probably isn't good if characters change too drastically, or if their core belief systems or personalities change.  Because in real life, that rarely happens.  So, the growth, even if it's dramatic, should be realistic, should be warranted. 

Tonight, after watching the latest "Mad Men" episode, it struck me.  By "growing" or "changing," we assume that means in a positive direction.  That the characters actually learn something, make improvements in their lives.

But what if they grow in the wrong direction?  What if they continue to fail, continue not to learn from their mistakes?  Isn't that real life, too? 

Don Draper is terribly flawed.  On the outside, he's polished, dashing, handsome, smooth.  But on the inside, he's an absolute mess.  He's insecure and unsure.  He feels threatened and frightened and unworthy.  And he's constantly haunted by decisions he's made in the past, as well as decisions he hasn't made.  The regret is palpable.

But after several seasons of Mad Men, those flaws are pretty much the same flaws--if not even stronger than in Season 1.  He keeps making the same mistakes over and over again.  He hasn't learned a thing.  The only difference I see is a stronger conscience, a stronger awareness of his flaws.  But that awareness still hasn't helped him overcome them. 

It's almost like he's growing in the wrong direction.  As though he's grown more toward his flaws and insecurities rather than away from them.   And--I think that's okay.  I think that's pretty realistic for some people.  There are people who never learn.  They never do crawl out of the self-made holes they've been digging.

So, maybe, as long as our characters aren't standing completely still,  it doesn't really matter which way they grow.  As long as they do. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Advice from a Master

I'm finishing up Rosamunde Pilcher's The Shell Seekers this week (in my opinion, it's probably THE best example of what women's fiction is:  descriptive, generational, dramatic, romantic, and incredibly well-written on every single page).  She is just a master storyteller/writer.

Well, her son, Robin Pilcher, is an accomplished novelist of....women's fiction!  I found his blog today and was interested in this entry where he mentioned his mother.  Fascinating, to peek inside the mind of a writer that I so admire.  And incredible, the thought of Robin having "access" to that mind for his own work!  Lucky man!


December 4th, 2012

I am a 62-year old writer and consider myself extremely lucky to have a mother who is still alive, let alone one who is a well-known authoress AND completely in touch with everything. My wife, Kirsty, is in France right now, helping to look after our new grandson, wee Dougie, and, myself being a pegleg, I am finding being on crutches doesn’t fit well with leading an independent life. So yesterday, Ros, who is in her late-80’s, drove down from the village to give me my lunch.

Now, I’ve been having a bit of a problem finding one of the ‘voices’ in my new book. It’s that of Violet, a 40-year old woman, who is keeping a diary in 1940, and my agent, Jenny Brown, had said of her that her ‘narrative was rather stilted and the pace too slow.’ I understood exactly what she meant but came up against a brick wall in trying to change it. So, over lunch yesterday, I gave Ros a section of the diary to read and asked her opinion.

Ros, at first, said nothing about it and then left the house to take her dogs for a walk, and I thought to myself, “Well, that was a good idea, wasn’t it?” Three quarters of an hour later, she came back, sat down in my office and said, “Sorry, I needed time to think about it. What you have to do is imagine that she’s writing a letter to a friend. That’s the way to write her diary. It’ll make it so much more personable, and it’ll bring out her character.”

Well, that was all that I needed. Ros had hit the nail on the head. Now I am finding it a joy, rather than a drudge, to re-work Violet’s diary entry.

It was the first time since writing my first book that I have asked Ros’s advice. Maybe I should take greater advantage of her living so close and do it more often…

Source here

Friday, April 5, 2013

In Defense of "Cozy" Fiction

I like to read quotes and advice from other writers.  I enjoy knowing about their work habits, thought processes, beliefs about writing in general.

But I'm seeing a lot of quotes lately, regarding "raw" fiction.  Some writers are saying that if you're not writing something that scares you (and the reader), challenges your own beliefs, or forces you totally outside your comfort zone, then you're not writing true.

Allow me to disagree for a moment.

Sure, I do think there's a place in fiction for a raw quality, for naked truth, for making readers uncomfortable in order to challenge them.  And there are plenty of readers who enjoy that sort of thing.

But sometimes, reading needs to be an escape from the grittiness of real life.  Sometimes, I think, readers want to be drawn into a lovely world.  One with light and beauty and friendships and romance and comfort.  Not to say that the story isn't dramatic, or the characters aren't flawed and interesting.  They definitely should be.  But I think there can still be "truth" in fiction without making the reader squirm with discomfort. 

By writing "cozy" women's fiction, I feel I can provide readers with an escape from their own realities. I can give them a world they can't otherwise reach -- one where things work out, relationships triumph through troubles, characters grow and learn and experience truths.  And yes, where there are happy endings.  And speaking as a reader, I enjoy reading those books (I'm currently reading Rosamunde Pilcher's Shell Seekers for the third time -- a perfect example of "cozy" women's fiction).

So, to those writers who think that the only "real" writing has to be raw and dirty and naked (sometimes literally!) and gritty?  I say phooey on that.  Cozy fiction can still be valuable.  It can still have depth and truth, while providing light and comfort in a dark world.

And I don't see anything wrong with that.  ;-)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Transported

I just got out of jury duty -- was thankfully NOT chosen to sit on the panel, whew.  But, it took a few hours before I was let go from that damp, rickety, old building with the sickly florescent lights.  Plus, I had to walk through two blocks of cold, stormy weather outside to get there.

But something magical happened when I got inside the court house and settled in.  I opened up a book.  Rosamunde Pilcher's The Shell Seekers, a book I've read twice before, at least.  When I opened to the chapter I'd left off the night before, I stepped foot into a new place.  A warm, cozy world in Cornwall, the coast of England.  With sandy beaches and pristine skies and warm winds.  And people having picnics and sharing memories and laughter.  I was there.  I wasn't in a musty court room, waiting to hear my fate, but across the globe, on another continent, in another time.

Ever since I was a child, I've been attracted to the idea of books -- the places they can take me, the things they can tell me.  And I'm so glad that, even as an adult, that magic never fades.  That I can still take a book with me anywhere I go, and be transported.  Escape into another world.  It's also why I love to write.  I get to create those places, those characters.  Immerse myself into a different place or time.  There's no thrill quite like it.

I believe it was Stephen King who called books a sort of "uniquely portable magic."  I think he's entirely correct.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Poetry - Think Outside the Box

Today in Creative Writing, we started the poetry unit.  And we discussed how poetry doesn't have to "look like" poetry.  It doesn't have to have a specific rhyme scheme, doesn't have to have a rigid format.  But it does have to come from the heart.  It has to be honest.  And meaningful.

Then, I showed the students this off-beat example of what poetry could look like.  It's quirky.  It's set to music.  It rhymes sometimes, but other times, it doesn't.

 But it's poetic and lovely and honest, with lots of heart:






Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Common Sense Tips

When students come to me with questions about  motivation, how they can make themselves write when they don't feel like it, I give them some tips I've learned along the way, both through experience and through books I've read (by Stephen King, Elizabeth Berg, Anne Lamott, etc).  These are common-sense tips, but they really do work:


*Never finish a chapter and then stop for the day.  Always go one step further and write down the first couple of sentences of the next chapter.  That way, when you sit down to write again tomorrow, you've already started.  It's not so daunting.

*Open up what you wrote yesterday and read it.  Inevitably, you'll get drawn back into the story again, and the ideas will start flowing.  The hope is that once you read the end of that section, you're ready to keep it going and write the next section.

*Open yourself up to the process.  Take a walk, brainstorm, talk it out.  Allow yourself to think that you CAN write something today.  Give yourself the opportunity.

*Shut off the time-wasters:  Facebook, Twitter, email.  These are the enemies of writing.  They're competing for our time.

*Just do it.  When all else fails, plant yourself in front of your keyboard and write something.  Even if it's terrible.  You can always come back and clean it up later.


And finally, a couple of great motivating quotes:

"I am not at all in the humor for writing.  I must write on until I am."  ~Jane Austen

"Do or do not.  There is no try."  ~Yoda

Friday, February 22, 2013

Uniqueness of Fiction

I was struck the other day by something I hadn't really thought much about.  How, in real life, we only know pieces of someone's story, fragments.  We see whatever they choose to present to the world, what they want the world to see.  We don't know the inner workings of their minds, their motives, their quiet private moments.

But in fiction, we get to experience that, as readers.  We're allowed to peek into a character's mind, know his thoughts, see his fears, dreams, weaknesses, motives.

And I think that's partly why fiction is such a popular medium.  We, the readers, are able to experience something that we're not able to experience in real life.  We "get to know" characters personally, intimately, sometimes moreso than people in real life.  And something about that can be very satisfying.

Of course, for writers, that's the beauty of fiction--that we're allowed to create these characters from scratch, get to know them, then reveal whatever we want about them to the reader, and let the reader get to know them intimately, too.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

According to James Taylor...

I've always equated writing with any other type of creative experience inside "The Arts," most especially music.  Here's a great quote from the legendary James Taylor, about the process of writing music. I agree with him -- this is how writing feels to me, too, many times:

"Writing music is a lot like listening to music, but with a little extra 'something.' Often, the song just comes to me. In fact, I don't feel I've really written a song. I've just been the first person to hear it." ~James Taylor

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The "What If" Stage

For the first time in a long time, I'm getting back to writing.  I'm brainstorming a brand-new novel, and it's absolutely invigorating.  I'd forgotten how much I've missed it.

I'm at that fun "What If" stage, where anything in the characters' lives can  happen.  Where they live, who they are, what their backgrounds are, what they look like, etc.  So much fun.  Because there's all this potential out there, waiting to be discovered.

It's the stage where no ideas are permanently locked in.  Not yet.  It's that lovely and exciting Window of Exploration, where anything goes, anything is possible.

This might just be my favorite part of the process. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Excellent Advice from a Pro

Elizabeth Berg is one of my favorite women's fiction authors.  Her work is thoughtful, profound, poetic, and clever. 

Today, she wrote a blog entry about what it takes to be a writer.

Here's the link.  Enjoy!


Monday, January 7, 2013

Calling All Downton Abbey Fans!

Maggie Smith has a new film coming out this month -- it looks wonderful (directed by Dustin Hoffman).

I adore everything British, more especially British movies.  Most especially ones that seem witty, intelligent, funny, and heartwarming.  Like this one does.

Here's the trailer: