Writers Tell All

I was tagged by the marvelous Sarah Bartlett to participate in this blog hop, so I'll postpone telling you about the satisfying books I've been reading just for this week. A blog hop is where you move from one blog after another to read the entries or to leave comments. This is one way my online writing community stays in touch and has conversations.

I've mentioned this group before and my surprise at what an effective community it has become despite the fact that we've never met in 3D. In addition to blog hops, we have regular twitter chats, several book clubs, and active Facebook pages. Learn more at the Wordsmith Studio website and consider joining us.

Here are my responses to the three questions:

1. What are you working on?

You would have to ask that! I'm giving myself a few weeks to deal with some major life changes before plunging into my long-neglected WIP, a novel, which has received scant attention lately. I'm also busy promoting my new poetry collection, Terrarium. See Upcoming Events on the Home Page for details of readings.

2. How does your writing process work?

I try to concentrate on one thing at a time (stop laughing), at least when working on a long piece like a novel. I do continue to make notes on the other ideas waiting in the wings, so they are more or less worked out when I'm ready to get to them. I like outlines but don't hesitate to revise them as necessary. While writing my memoir, Innocent, I received some great advice, which was to stop rewriting the first chapter and just push on through to the end of the first draft. At that point I knew how to write the first chapter. I love the revision process, though it does make me dig even deeper to understand what the story is really about and ensure that every detail is relevant.

3. Who are authors you most admire?

I admire authors like Margaret Atwood and Arturo PĂ©rez- Reverte who take risks, who try something new. I admire authors like Paul Scott and Timothy Findley who teach me how to use language. I admire authors like Jane Urquhart and Deirdre Madden who show me how to put a novel together. I admire authors like Toni Morrison and Alice Munro who never lose their focus.

Finally, I nominate three bloggers who inspire me: Elissa Field, Morgen Bailey, and Mare Cromwell.

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