Category Archives: Skill sets

Mile High Tea

You’ve heard of “Pie in the Sky”—an idiom to convey that which is so unlikely that we shouldn’t count on it, a kind of fool’s gold, a dream only a Pollyanna would dare to dream.

Well, if Pie-In-The-Sky describes what can’t come true, perhaps “Mile High Tea” should be the new descriptor for what can. Why? Because anything Judith Briles touches actually does turn to gold. Judith was my hostess this past weekend for a gorgeous, elaborate and delightful tea at the lovely home where she and her husband, poet and editor John Maling, love to entertain.

So what do I mean by “gold”?… Read more

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Whose Mystery: Our Characters’ or Ours?

“Who done it?” Why do we get so caught up in solving mysteries? I have several readers—whose names I shall not divulge—who regularly e-mail me demanding to know who killed Chris, and whether she’s really dead, and when the crime will be solved! And I thought I was the only one who couldn’t sleep at night wondering about the characters of Milford-Haven!

My accomplished friend Margaret Coel  has equally marvelous stories about the obsessive nature of readers and how involved they become with her characters. At our event last weekend, she recounted some of the “helpful suggestions” she receives regarding her two protagonists, and how their life-dilemmas might be solved.… Read more

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When Women Gather

“Girls Night Out”—the phrase conjures images of everything from innocent fun to naughty pleasures. But the realities of what women do when they get together might be even more interesting.

Sometimes an evening with female colleagues is a rite of passage, a kind of test a woman can only pass by showing her authenticity. And sometimes a girlfriend-evening fulfills a basic need for time with those who share the same wiring.

Actually women have all kinds of ways of connecting. Sometimes the moments are brief—a quick lunch hour to catch up with a friend or get to know someone better. Other times it might be a special treat like afternoon tea—a chance to dress up and go someplace elegant, where the surroundings are inspiring enough to give us a fresh perspective.… Read more

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Blog Tour Visit #19: Blood Red Pencil

Writers have a quasi glamorous reputation in the world. We’re seen by some as being eccentric but disciplined; reclusive but willing to take center stage when necessary. The comment I hear most often is how “creative” I am. It’s as though some sort of magic is involved by which we writers make prose and poetry flow through our fingertips onto keyboards or pads of paper.

The truth is probably as unglamorous as it can be. Why? Because half or two-thirds or three-quarters of what we do is edit and re-write. Believe me, it’s a ruthless process for most of us, one that leads to expressions like “kill your darlings” (your most perfectly wrought sentences).… Read more

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Blog Tour Visit #18: Essential Garden

Most of the year I spend a fair amount of time on airplanes. I come well-equipped with a set of Bose headphones to tune out the noise of the world and enter a writer-world where I can hear what my characters are saying today. I adore these special times: views out the window to surpass those from the castles of Europe; precious hours when phones can’t ring; and someone even brings me cold water and hot coffee.

So now you know the secret of my introspective side, the side that gets a pretty big volume of writing done day by day.… Read more

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Blog Tour #17: Boomer Brief

You pretty much know the moment you see the logo that this site will deliver some tongue-in-cheek humor. “It’s a Baby Boomer World, Baby.” In case that slogan’s designed to make us feel both right at home, and also powerful, it works! We Boomers number 80 million or so and are the wealthiest, smartest, most entrepreneurial and savvy folks on the planet. So there, so there.

To quote the founders,  “BoomerBrief.com is written by Boomers for Boomers.  The brains behind BoomerBrief.com are Bob and Charlotte (Hill). Bob is a slightly-graying public relations exec with a database brain and an opinion about everything.  His Wii Fit age is 85, but in real life he’s still in his 50’s.… Read more

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Blog Tour Visit #14: A Latte and Some Words

Certain things just go together: spaghetti and tomato sauce; summer and cricket song; December and pine-scented candles. Lattes and words are like that. For we writer-types, one often leads to the other. That’s how it was this Sunday, being a guest on A Latte and Some Words.

I’ve been known to seek out cafes—during their off hours preferably—and create a mini-office, a bubble where time doesn’t pass at the usual pace, the rest of my to-do list is missing, and a space opens that I can fill with my creative surge. These days, I grab my netbook and head to the nearest Starbucks, where the latte is superb, the atmosphere designed for the likes of anyone needing a personal bubble in a public space all of which encourages the Muse to pull up a chair at my table.… Read more

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Blog Tour Visit #12: All Things Fulfilling

Fulfillment is bringing your gifts to the world.
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Blog Tour Visit #8: Art Biz Blog

“Art for art’s sake” is a phrase that derives from the nineteenth century French expression “L’art pour l’art”—meaning that the intrinsic value of art is the art itself, separate from any utilitarian function. Wikipedia goes on to explain a connection to “inner-directed” or “self-motivated” individuals.

Artists—and I use the term both specifically to mean those who create fine art with their hands, as well as those who practice and live by other art forms such as acting or composing or writing—most certainly have to be self-directed. For one thing, no one in their right mind would recommend the life of an artist to anyone who could happily do something else.… Read more

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