Friday, April 15, 2016

Who’s Watching the Kids?





As I dressed for a downtown event I felt nervous. Not because I had to face Seattle traffic; I was taking the bus. And not because I had not been to The Women’s University Club before; I Googled the directions. What elevated my nerves was I was meeting my editor, bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard, for the first time. I’d met plenty of famous writers before at countless workshops and conferences. But even though Jackie and I had physically not met, we knew one another through our writing, and that kind of intimacy has higher stakes.

I was greeted by several of the club members, all pleasant and friendly, and I felt immediately at home. The Women’s University Club was founded in 1914 “to form a closer union of university women in order to promote outstanding educational, cultural, and social activities.” It’s housed in a beautiful brick building with elegant decor.

After being invited to a cup of coffee, I followed two members downstairs where the reading was to take place. Within a couple of minutes Jackie arrived, we hugged, and started chatting like old friends. Knowing a person through his or her writing is a similar to picking up an old friendship with someone you haven’t seen in years; you’ve already established common ground on a deep level and you know where to fill the gaps. She was easy company.

Jackie autographed books, chatted with club members, and began her talk. Jackie told us a couple of stories about how her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, and her current novel, Two If By Sea came to be. After her first novel came out twenty years ago, she received a couple of phone messages from Oprah Winfrey. She ignored them, believing they were from a friend playing a prank. Luckily Jackie answered Oprah’s third call, agreed to be a guest on the show, and propelled her writing career.

She also discussed balancing being an author, going on book tours, and editing the Merit Press, a YA imprint of FW Media. After she read a passage, Jackie’s friend and fellow writer Martha Brockenbough joined her in a lively dialogue about women and our place in the literary canon. Both authors made the point that when they tour, someone from the audience invariably asks, “who is watching your children when you travel?” Jackie and Martha agreed nobody ever asks a male author the same question.

Why does a writer’s gender matter? Jackie and Martha pointed out that for women writers there’s a belief that we should stick to romance and “chick lit” topics. There’s a perception that female authors can’t successfully write about politics and war, or as Martha referred to as “dick lit.”

Women in literature have historically taken a back seat to men, with their work often designated as “chick lit.” Some writers, such as George Eliot and James, Tiptree, JR., hid their gender through a pseudonym, and contemporary authors J.K. Rowling and J.A. Jance, use gender-less initials. But are stories limited by gender? Why should an author’s sex determine what kind of story he or she should tell?

I’m grateful that Jackie and the team at Merit Press did not hold my gender against me and chose to publish my book. Because my novel has a male protagonist I considered using a pseudonym or initials because clearly, I’m not an eighteen year-old boy. Yet the book isn’t about me; I’m just a channel for these imaginary friends’ voices.




Happy Writing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Let the Birth of the Book Begin


 There's another giveaway!


http://bit.ly/1S2ObH8

After years of slogging away on my writing, logging in the ten thousand hours plus, the tectonic plates have shifted and added to my day are online interviews and public appearances. I'm still working on another novel, but progress has slowed.

When the book tour commences my goal is to post a daily diary much like I did when I drove across the country with cats. No cats allowed on the tour. Otherwise my blog posts will be even more sporadic than they already are.

Meanwhile, enjoy this lovely reveiw. This is important for two reasons: 1, it's written by a teen, the audience for which I write, and 2, she gets my book.

http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2016/03/book-review-breakfast-with-neruda-by-laura-moe-reviewed-by-teen-reviewer-lexi/

Be sure to enter the Goodreads giveaway.

Happy Reading (and Writing.)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Drawing on the Write Side of the Brain



The light hits the model’s back and highlights his bronze skin and sinewy muscles. He balances precariously on one foot and stretches his arms upward.  After a minute, the timer buzzes and he changes the pose. I flip to a new page in my newsprint tablet and quickly sketch.


I’m a writer, yet I’ve begun drawing again, which cross trains the creative centers in my brain. Most writers I know do other things. Some are daredevils who climb mountains, others play baseball, and some are musicians. Many regard writing as a ‘hobby,’ but for those of us whose job it is to write, we find other outlets.

I don't like the term hobby. It implies something of little importance, a lightweight activity to do in one’s spare time, an accessory, something expendable. An activity which captures one’s focus and critical thinking is not lightweight. Earning an income is necessary for paying the bills, but pursuing activities that engage one’s creative centers are crucial for survival. That engagement in rock climbing, bicycling, drawing, or fantasy football will manifest itself in other ways. Overall, pursuing a variety of interests makes one a more fully educated person.



Schools across the country made a huge mistake by eliminating “shop” and ‘home ec’ classes, and art, music and drama are facing the same fate. I’m glad I received a ‘renaissance’ education where learners were exposed to multiple sectors. By the time I was in high school I knew that while I was lousy in math, could sing well enough to be in choir, and afraid of shop tool, I was good in art, reading and writing. While the law forced me to stay in school, Art and English classes gave me motivation to accept the rest.


Algebra was a foreign language, yet my artist’s eye helped me understand basic trigonometry. Studying art history opened the door to knowledge of history in general. If you want to understand a culture or time period, study its art, music and literature.


I hadn't mean for this blog post to become a soap box rant on the state of education. I just wanted to share a few sketches and discuss how visual art helps inform my writing. If any of you writers out there feel “blocked,” get out from behind the keyboard and climb a mountain or sing your ass off. 

Happy spelunking, driving, surfing, swimming, climbing, bowling.... and writing.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

I'm Blaming Rob Lowe




Writing is a weird job. Writers work every day, even though we don't punch a time clock and get far less financial return proportionate to our effort. Many writers, myself included, have preferred windows of time where the work is most productive.

When I still taught full time I had little choice but to work in late afternoon, evening and weekends. Now that my days are technically unencumbered I could write any time in my pajamas if I feel like it. I don’t though.

My best drafting happens when I go off site, away from all the distractions of home. Usually I work in a coffee shop or a bookstore cafe. Now that I’ve lived here long enough I have a couple of preferred spots. I look for a table near an electrical outlet, clamp on my noise-canceling headphones, choose a soundtrack, and start pecking at the keyboard.

Revision has a different process; I print drafts after the work is “complete” because my eyes get tired of looking at screen for long periods. With paper drafts I don’t need to be next to a plug and I can color code my notations before making corrections on the computer.

Being off site does not guarantee a distraction free environment though. I discovered this today while doing an assignment for a free online screenwriting course. Our assignment was to create a short opening scene, where we post the script, storyboard, or video of the actual scene. I was curious what some of my classmates did and clicked on youtube to view them.

Youtube is crack for ADD people like me. After I watched a couple of  classmate’s videos, my eye trailed to the right of the screen where I noted Rob Lowe was on a show I’d never heard of: The Graham Norton Show. Hmmm. Rob Lowe. What could it hurt?

Graham Norton is a British talk show host and he’s hysterical. He’s one of those guys who pokes fun at everyone, including himself, and he brings out the funny in his guests. I ended up killing a couple of hours watching him interview Will Ferrell, Eddie Redmayne, Jennifer Lawrence (who may have been drunk,) Will and his son Jaden Smith, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and many others.

Did I waste my time? Well.... maybe. It’s hard to justify watching the show for creative purposes, unless my character is a talk show host or an actor. Norton did show clips of his guests’ upcoming films, so there’s a thin connection to my course. Overall, though, what I got out of watching was two hours of laughs but no writing.


Which leads me to why I’m writing this now. Usually I work for two to four hours a day between 10 am-3pm. It’s now after four. The cat has been fed, the wind is blowing a gale outside so I can’t watch TV (I use rabbit ears,(what is this 1950?) so until I get hungry for dinner, home id distraction free.


Happy (Distraction free) Writing.

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/laura-moe/breakfast-with-neruda/

Monday, January 25, 2016

Why Do I Write YA?





When I still worked as a teacher and librarian it always saddened me to hear students say they hated to read. This was unimaginable to me. As a kid stories sustained me and were often my only friends during my family‘s frequent moves. Books were my guides to the world, a dialogue in an otherwise empty room. They were a message in a bottle.

It’s no accident I became a school librarian, English teacher, and later, a fulltime writer of YA. The seeds for our identities in the world are planted during middle grade and high school years. It's the first breath of independence from your parents. They may try to imprint their ideas and values on you, but during this time your personality forms its own framework.  You discover what you’re good at, what you suck at, who your friends will be, and if you’re lucky, what inner passions will drive you toward your life’s work.

I didn’t pay attention to the details of my identity, or perhaps I wanted to erase the Book Nerd stamp etched on my personality, so I wasn’t so lucky. Throughout my late teens and twenties I floundered around trying on a litany of college majors and half-assed jobs, and dating guys who, for the most part, were bad news.

Yet maybe I was lucky. These muddy side roads added layers to my experiences. Writers create alone, often sequestered in a small room in the back of their home or in a corner table in a coffee shop, but in order to create authentic work, writers also need experiences. We need to talk to people, work with our hands, know how it feels when someone breaks your heart.

In the late 80s, after finally earning my Bachelor’s degree with enough credit hours to have a PhD, I started writing. I wrote bad stories, wretched poems, and a really terrible novel. Most of that work is hidden in a file drawer. While my early work will never see daylight, to throw it out would dishonor the progress I have made. All writers start out being bad writers. Our work is derivative, filed with cliché, and often inauthentic. We haven’t learned to trust the process, to slice your heart open and bleed into the work. We get better by writing, reading, writing more, writing deeply, reading, revising, taking workshops, writing, writing, writing….

Good writing is driven by passion. I’m not talking about Harlequin romance lust, though many fine writers write romances. By the time I was thirty I realized books and words were my passions, and in quick succession earned a masters degree in library and another in writing. As a certified Book Nerd (aka school librarian and English teacher), my work opened up a new arena for writing.

Everyone has a story and writers are story magnets. If we listen, people strangers  share their heartbreaking, tender, funny, sad, incredulous, and authentic stories. We expect They are my muses.

As a teacher my heart was further broken to hear students groan and roll their eyes when I broached the subject of poetry. To them, poets are all dead white guys who use too much flowery language and write about things that have nothing to do with their lives.

They had yet to encounter Pablo Neruda.

By teaching Neruda’s poems, my students learned “the word was born in the blood.” They were attracted to the violence in how the knife assassinates the tomato pulp and “how the sun floods the salads of Chile, beds cheerfully with blonde onion, “and parsley flaunts it little flags,” the in Ode to a Tomato.

One can't teach passion, yet my fervor for Neruda’s poems elevated my students’ concept of what poetry is, and opened the door to reading and writing poetry. It’s also no accident Pablo Neruda simmers at the root of my novel.

My characters in BREAKFAST WITH NERUDA are only real to me and my readers, yet their inception comes from a real place. My life experiences inform me, and allow my imaginary friends to channel their stories through me.

Digital publishing and social media have allowed everyone and his brother to easily promote their books, so a recent phenomenon for writers is to promote their ‘platform.’ Initially this concept left a bad taste in my mouth, as if I’m a product like running shoes or a bag of chips.

Platform can be defined as what we stand for or what causes we support. I believe in Pablo Neruda, poetry, books, and stories. Stories are the thread binding us together, peeling back the mysteries of our own existence.

Words are my platform.  Happy Reading!!

Meanwhile, here’s a review from a Goodreads reviewer:

Jan 16, 2016 HNGC Library rated it really liked it
This is a gem of a book that really should have a more eye-catching (read inviting to young adult eyes) cover. On the first day of mandatory community service, Michael meets Shelly an intriguing force. But Michael doesn't have time for intriguing forces in his life. He is just trying to survive the mess of his life. He's going to be a fifth-year senior (after an unfortunate incident at school); he lives in his ancient car; he's focused on daily survival and keeping the authorities from knowing that his mom is a hoarder. Michael has his coping mechanisms down pat - he knows how to forage for food from dumpsters, take showers in rest stops sinks, get cologne samples from magazines, and not be too bitter about his circumstances in life. As the days in community service go along, Michael learns that Shelly has secrets too and they form an unlikely friendship. Michael shows a lot of strength for an 18 year old - far beyond his years. While many in his situation won't get the happy ending Michael gets; it's nice to think there is relief for some kids who have such difficult lives.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Five Reasons Why Seattle Is a Writer’s Haven




It’s no accident Seattle is full of writers, and now that I’ve lived here a few months I’ve narrowed down the key reasons.

The weather is sad. Summer is pleasant, with long days and low humidity, but in fall, winter, and early spring the rain, wind and early darkness are like an Adele song, perfect for crafting serious reflection and sad love scenes. The other day I revised a critical moment where Michael, my protagonist, despairs over his relationship with Shelly. He senses she is moving on. As rain pelts from the pewter colored sky and wind chills the air it’s easy to slide inside Michael’s nadir.

Coffee. During winter, when sixteen hours a day is spent in darkness, the caffeinated warm beverage is a portable happy light. When I was still teaching in Ohio I kept the ubiquitous morning brew on my desk, but I barely tasted it. My morning cup of Joe provided rocket fuel to jettison my night owl body into being awake and functional in the deadly dawn. Now that I am retired and choose my own hours, I savor my coffee at a leisurely pace. It warms my palette and hands and aids the creative process.

Because coffee is a necessity here, coffee shops abound in Seattle. There is a either a Starbucks or an independent coffee shop on each block of the city and its environs, and every grocery store hosts a coffee shop. (Except for WinCo. What’s up with that?) Coffee shops are nirvana for starving writers. We can spend as little as three bucks and occupy space for several hours as we create our masterpieces. Most coffee shops also provide food, plugs and free wifi.

Coffee shops are filled with other writers. Being in the company of writers is essential because we writers tend to live inside our own heads. We tolerate friends and family but prefer to spend large blocks of time in solitude. Yet writers periodically emerge from the darkness to commune with like-minded souls. As I write this I’m sitting across the table from my friend and fellow writer Cat. We ignore one another as we peck at our keyboards, yet we transfer an invisible thread of energy, like musicians jamming together, except our tunes are silent, the notes appearing on the page.

Because writers live near or in Seattle, the Pacific Northwest hosts several writers’ conferences every year, and is home to the Hugo House, which holds frequent readings and workshops .

Seattle has bookstores and libraries. Writers are readers, and Seattle has the largest percentage of library card holders in the nation (80%) along with 1.5 bookstores per 10,000, people. Almost any spot in the city is within a fifteen minutes drive to a library or bookstore.  No experience can replicate a physical bookstore. Even Amazon, the online behemoth, discovered this, which prompted them to open their own brick and mortar store in the university district. Sending a book directly to your device is convenient and cheap, but it doesn’t replace the experience of a book falling open in your hands, emitting its old or new book smell.

Seattle has its drawbacks. It's ridiculously expensive to live here, and unless your name is Stephen King or James Patterson, you ain’t making money off your words, so your favorite stores become Value Village, Goodwill and Grocery Outlet. Traffic is miserable, especially if it rains. There is public transportation, but it hasn't kept up with the exponential population growth. Cities like NYC and San Francisco one is better off without a car, but here, you still need a car. And yeah, the weather often sucks.

I haven't even mentioned the endless distractions, on how a good day it’s hard to resist jumping on a ferry to visit one of the nearby islands, or taking a walk through Sculpture Park along the waterfront on Elliot Bay.

One can write anywhere, but I have chosen to write here. As long as I have my writing tools: laptop or pen and paper, coffee, and noise canceling headphones, I’m all set.


Where do you like to write? 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Getting the Details Right




In the manuscript I’m revising there’s a scene that takes place in Seattle’s Sculpture Park. Problem is I had not actually been to Sculpture Park. It’s free and open 365 days a year. Other than revising, I had nothing else on the agenda today.

Initially I planned to take the bus because 1,) my cousin gave me some free bus passes that expire soon, and 2,) driving (and parking) in downtown Seattle is a pain. But it was cold and rainy when I left my house this morning. Not the most ideal weather for an outdoor excursion but I couldn’t revise my scene any further without actually setting foot in the park.

I drove south on Highway 99 to 105th and continued south through Ballard on Holman, which morphs into 15 th St. NW and changes into Elliot Way. Allegedly there’s a parking garage near the park, but luckily for me I couldn't find it. I saved myself 6 bucks by parking at The Spaghetti Factory, which doesn't open until 4:30. It’s located right across the street from the park entrance.

Sculpture Park resembles a boardwalk more than an actual park. It sits right on the seawall overlooking Elliot Bay, adjacent to the Port of Seattle. Today was damp, windy and chilly, so there were only a handful of walkers and runners braving the weather. The surf was high and choppy, and if you stand against the waterfront railing you feel like you’re on a boat. If I were a runner this would be a great place to train. One gets a waterfront view, a few cool pieces of sculpture, and ample leg room.

The sun came out as I began my walk. The entire park is a little over three miles, and I would have trekked the whole thing, but I needed to pee and there were no bathroom facilities, so I only walked about a mile of it and turned around and headed to the Port of Seattle. Because it’s winter, the waterfront on Alaskan Way wasn't crawling with tourists. Last time I was here was in summer and the crowds were so thick it was claustrophobic outdoors.


I dipped inside the Clipper Cafe, used their restroom and sipped a cup of coffee as I watched the cresting waves and ferries arriving and leaving the dock.

I’m glad I made the journey; it will give my scene more authenticity. , even though the scene itself is relatively short, it happens at a critical moment in the plot. Now that I know how to get there and where I can find facilities I plan to return before spring, before the crush of people spoils the view.


 Happy Writing.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

It Is a Small World




I recently returned to the Pacific Northwest after more than forty years in Ohio. Essentially my entire adult life was spent in the Buckeye state, with respites to various parts of the globe. I came from a mobile family, and the longest we stayed in one spot was five years. We lived overseas for a spell, and I came back to my home country a Third Culture Kid- one who was not fully American anymore. I had seen too much of the world and met people from various backgrounds to fully buy into the American ideal.

Yet somehow I ended up smack in the middle of the US. I took two of my three degrees in Ohio, and split the forty years in the state living and working in Columbus and Zanesville.

Then I retired, and could go anywhere the wind takes me. So why did I choose to disrupt my life and move Seattle?

A few years before I retired from teaching I tinkered with living in Arizona, where its sunny all year. But I know almost no one there. Cleveland and Chicago were on the list. We lived in the windy city when I was a kid, and I know my way around Cleveland and have friends there. Both cities are adjacent to water, are rife with culture, and have good public transit.  But their winters are too cold. I’m done with snow.

Florida is too humid and home to too many bugs. Besides, I’ve lived in the tropics; it’s called Ohio in July and August.

If I had barrels of money I’d move to the even-keeled warm climate of Hawaii. Trade winds keep the temperatures around seventy degrees, it's surrounded by ocean, and the vibe is laid back. But it also costs a king’s ransom to live there, you can't get in the car and drive to another state, and after awhile the pleasant weather becomes a little tedious.

As a joke, I’ll say, “for the bookstores.” Yet there is an element of truth behind that statement. I’m a bibliophile, and living within a few miles of access to physical books is akin to surfers needing to live near the coast. (I also live fairly near several bodies of water here, so you can call that reason number two.)

The weather is far from paradise. Winters are dark and drizzly, and I learned a couple of climate surprises: freezing fog and sun breaks. The cost of housing is outrageous and traffic is horrendous.  The New Yorker has predicted we will face a devastating 9.0 earthquake any time now. Nobody sane would move here, but those who know me well use other adjectives to describe me.

I retired from teaching but I continue my work as a writer. Even though writers are loners, I need to be in proximity of writers. On those isolated occasions when I socialize, I like talking shop with writers. Normal people don’t chat about their imaginary friends the way fiction writers do. And there are bookstores here, so on any given day I can go listen to an author read from his or her work.

Seattle is weird. Weird in a way a perennial-new-kid-book-nerd-last-kid-for-the-picked-for-teams-way-fits-in. On the bus traveling downtown I’m only among a handful of native English speakers. It’s as if I am back in Hong Kong, Bangkok, or London. A stranger in a strange land that feels familiar. I am a French, African, Chinese, Hawaiian, Mexican, Canadian, Italian, English, Pakistani.

If I had any money I can buy anything I want. There’s an entire store for Root Beer in Shoreline, and near Pike Place Market is a shop just for maps and globes. There are numerous spice markets, and a coffee shop every few feet

Ultimately I chose Seattle because of family. I am now a twenty minute drive from a cousin, and, on a rare day when traffic actually flows, a three and a half drive from my brother and his family. Before moving from Ohio I made an annual trip out here, which meant seven hours or more of air travel. I have seen my relatives more in the past few months than collectively in the last decade.

I miss my wonderful friends, and face to face contact is best, but social networking reduces the distance. In the old days it sometimes took two weeks for a letter from a friend or family member to arrive. Now I can instantly learn status updates, see photos of their antics, and share cat videos.

Several friends have already threatened promised to come stay with me. Hardly anyone visited me in Zanesville, but Seattle is a great place to visit. I’m learning my way around, so stop in for a visit and I’ll give you a tour.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Is a Small Business Best for Gift Giving?




Today is Small Business Saturday, a tradition that began several years ago to counteract the guerrilla-like shopping tactics of Black Friday. Small businesses can’t offer the deep discounts of most retailers, but they offer other perks you won’t find at the mêlée of the shopping mall.

My family never did the Black Friday thing. Maybe I was raised to be a bad capitalist, but even my sister-in-law, whose middle name is won’t-buy-it-without-a-coupon believes the discounts the day after Thanksgiving aren’t worth losing sleep over. Often if you wait a couple of weeks retailers will lower prices on comparable items.

After working on my manuscript, I only left my house yesterday to return books to the library and check my mailbox. No shopping was involved.

Today I had one trip: to the Edmonds Bookshop in Edmonds, WA to purchase a gift for one of the kids in my family. (We adults have resolved not to exchange presents as none of us needs ONE MORE THING in our homes. We donate to charities in one another’s names.) Even the kids have more than enough toys, so of course writer and former librarian me gives books as gifts.

Edmonds, a charming town on Puget Sound north of Seattle, was teeming with shoppers, yet I managed to find a parking space close to the store. It had a fifteen minute limit. For me shopping in a bookstore, 15 minutes is a good idea, otherwise I might buy more than I need. The bookshop was crowded, and I sidled my way to the Children’s book section. Within a few minutes, a young woman approached and asked if I needed any help.

In a giant retail store, it’s unlikely a clerk will wander through and offer help. My experience with chain bookstores is you wait at a counter to ask, and the under-appreciated clerk, who has just dealt with a gaggle of rude shoppers, will point to a section of books and turn to help the next customer.

Since I am unfamiliar with books for the age group (which I won't reveal since I don't want the recipient of my gift to know just yet,) I took advantage of browsing through the young woman’s several suggestions. I chose two.

Cognizant of my time limit, I glanced briefly at other shelves, and stood in line to pay. After the clerk rang me up, she asked if I wanted my items gift wrapped. No charge. “Sure. That’s one less present to wrap.” I was even able to choose from three paper patterns.

As I waited for my gift to be wrapped, the store’s proprietor handed out canvas tote bags with Shop Small imprinted on both sides.



Even you missed shopping today, make it a goal to buy at least one of your holiday gifts at small business. It will make a difference to the man or woman who owns the business and his or her employees. 




Happy shopping.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Dialogue with Myself in the Rain



I’m sitting in the coffee shop, not really writing, just messing around. It’s raining too hard to leave, though, and I have a blog I’ve ignored for almost two months. I’m trying to write a conference proposal for the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Association (PNWA) conference. It's a big deal. I’m not a big deal. Not yet, anyway.

One thing the PNWA wants on the application form is my ‘expertise with the proposed topic.’ I’m an expert in Being a Failed Novelist. Yet that’s no longer true. My book comes out in May, so I could skew my talk about How I Booted Out of the Epic Fails. But then my novel might be an epic fail.

How did I get that book contract again?
Oh yeah: Persistence and Plan B.
That title might work. My expertise is in continuing to write in spite of the astronomical odds against me.

There are innumerable reasons not to become a writer where you can avoid facing blank pages and blinking cursors, spend too much time inside your head, and end up writing in the rain.
One could have a life.
But what is a life without pursuit of what charges your batteries?

Like any ineffable passion, writers write in spite of the rain, in spite of the odds of success and money are so remote that being hit by a meteorite is more likely.

Another criterion on the PNWA for m is to list three things attendees will learn.

1)                  Writing the novel was the easy part.
2)                  Even if you have an agent, a book contract, or have begun a new project, you need to invest time in managing the details toward the book’s publication. It won’t get done for you.
3)                  Your friends and family don't mind that you write, but they don’t want to hear about the process. So the introverted writer must become part of a community of writers.

The PNWA also wants my life story in 100 words, a 50 word summary of my presentation, and worst o all, a photograph of me.

So here I sit next to a rain soaked window as high winds knock down tree limbs, contemplating persistence and Plan B, wondering if a photo of my cat will suffice.



Happy Writing.