Grandpa Louie, Superhero

Dear Writers,

Daniel Boone was a man, and when I was a kid, Fess Parker was my superhero. It was a joke to my classmates that I rushed home from school every day to watch the show and then recounted it to them the next day at show and tell. I don’t know if my love of character-driven stories was born with Daniel Boone books and shows, but the idea that a character could exist across multiple stories was fascinating to me.

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Scribbles from Squaw Valley Writers Workshop – part three by Jilanne Hoffmann

Dear Writers,

Happy New Year! Is it too late to say that? Is there etiquette about that?

Squaw Valley - photo by Tracy Hall

Squaw Valley – photo by Tracy Hall

Anyhoo, there are some fine words of wisdom about writing craft collected here by Jilanne Hoffmann at the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop this year. Had to reblog.

And you can read more from Jill at Dogpatch Writers Collective and on her blog.

Happy writing!

XO Laurel Leigh

Scribbles from Squaw Valley Writers Workshop – part three.

Story Question: Yum?

YumDear Writers:

What is a food your character has never tried and why? For economy, geography, an undeveloped palate or another reason? Upon eating that food for the very first time, what unexpected memory could be prompted, and how could that recollection influence what the character chooses to do next?

Happy writing!

xo Laurel Leigh

Nature Writer (Not!) At Large

With my dog along a trail in Whatcom County’s Sudden Valley. A while back someone built a mountain bike jump, I’m guessing, that’s now overgrown with moss and drops off the hillside. Who could not be inspired to write about this picturesque trail? Me, apparently.

Dear Writers,

You know how Annie Dillard can write about a blackbird and make you wish you had one to come in the window at night and claw you into epiphany? She can turn a minor eclipse into a life-defining event. When I read her work, I of course think of Thoreau and Wordsworth and the like and the amazing abilities of writers like these to interact with and then dramatize nature so profoundly on the page.

Living in Whatcom County’s Sudden Valley, I have green 100-foot trees in my yard, bluebirds nesting in my rafters, lakes I can easily walk to, and deer regularly looking in at me through my basement office windows.

You’d think I’d have it in me to pen a nature-inspired line or two, or at least try. Yet day after day I look out my window and self-confess my irritation that the tree in front of my house looks the same as it did yesterday, and it’s muddy down by the lake and I don’t want to get my shoes dirty again, and I already saw that deer that is now making my dog bark, which echoes in my cave-like office to the point of hurting my ears. “Go away, deer,” I say. I never give them apples.

And. There. Are. Rats. Continue reading

Story Question for Today

Dear Writers,

For those of you working on stories, as your character moves through and interacts with the story world, what seemingly minor element did they notice just now that will inform their actions in a future scene and in a way that may have important ramifications for the larger story? The sun is shining here in Western Washington. Go take a walk and practice seeing the world through the eyes of your character. Continue reading