When I look back at my years as a professional dancer, I remember so much joy, and a lot of struggle. I was never the most talented, the most flexible, or the quickest learner. And yet, I was known as a strong performer—musical and expressive. You’d think that years of being referred to as “that…

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Unable to sleep last night, I got up and watched a rerun of an old Murder She Wrote episode. After six best-sellers, the protagonist Jessica is being heralded as the new “Queen of Mystery,” and the old mystery-writing queen doesn’t like it. She travels to Cabot Cove, Maine to steal Jessica’s latest work-in-progress and attempt…

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The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of writing activity for me. Having my life more or less canceled meant that I suddenly had lots more time to work on my writing. I finished up the first draft of a new YA novel, followed by taking an intensive three-week online writing class taught by…

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On discussion boards, I’ve noticed three different reactions to the pandemic among writers: -I am way too anxious (and/or too  busy with children/grandchildren at home) to possibly get any writing done. -I’m writing, but I’m so distracted that it’s really tough. -I’m getting more writing done than usual because the rest of my life is…

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Years ago, when I was in dance and working on choreography, I would arrive at the studio having a general idea of some things I wanted to try. But it was only in the act of moving that specific ideas, bits of movement, and whole phrases, often ones I hadn’t even contemplated, would emerge. On…

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I’m in a writing group where we regularly give each other feedback on our novels-in-progress. In addition, we’ve been working our way through one of the classic books on craft, Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway. We’re now up to Chapter Four in the 10th edition, “The Flesh Made Word,” on indirect methods of character presentation.…

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With three deaths in the family over the past few months, not to mention holiday visits with family, my regular writing schedule has unquestionably taken a hit. There have been days and even weeks of interruptions. Each time, as I’ve gotten back to my writing, I’ve noticed a definite pattern: Paralyzing fear about starting back…

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The other day, I was sitting in a writer’s group getting some feedback on my latest work. A fellow writer turned to me and asked, “Are you always writing about people in the arts?” I realized the answer was “yes.” It wasn’t as though I decided that I was going to make a career out…

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My son went back to work this past week at the inner city high school where he teaches. When he handed in the requested form indicating that he planned to return the following year, his principal was effusive. “He got really excited, Mom,” my son told me. “It feels good to be wanted.”   It…

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