Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Some Writing Inspiration

We writers all have those days when we are in desperate need of some inspiration and encouragement, a reminder of why we do what we do.

Writer's Digest has put together a list of 72 of the Best Quotes About Writing. You are sure to find at least one or two that speak to you today.

The one that speaks to me today? This one by Virginia Woolf:

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”

Check it out here: 72 of the Best Quotes About Writing

Monday, September 10, 2012

Delightful Picture Book for Book Lovers

Some picture books are as much of a delight for adults as they are for children. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is that type of book. The Academy Award Winning Short Film by the same name was based on this book by William Joyce. Honestly, I loved the video, but I love this book even more!

The story is one all book and library lovers will enjoy. "Morris Lessmore loved words. He loved stories. He loved books. His life was a book of his own writing, one orderly page after another. He would open it every morning and write of his joys and sorrows, of all that he knew and everything that he hoped for." After his home is destroyed in a storm, Mr. Lessmore begins to wander and encounters a lovely flying lady being pulled by a squadron of books. She sends him a book which leads him to a very unusual library where he soon takes up residence and spends his life caring for the books and continuing to write his own story.

The beautiful illustrations in this book enhance the story and make the experience that much more of a delight. I truly found myself wishing I could jump right into the paintings. "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" is a picture book to be enjoyed over and over again. 

For more information on the video, the book, or the app, please visit

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Scholarship Available for MFA Students at Seattle Pacific University

For the first time ever, the Seattle Pacific University MFA program (which emphasizes the Judeo-Christian tradition in literature) has merit scholarships available!

All accepted applicants–beginning at the upcoming admission deadline–will be considered for scholarship assistance based upon the quality of their creative work. That’s good news: there’s no separate application for the scholarships!

The next deadline for admission to the SPU MFA is October 1, 2012.
Beth Myhr, an MFA alumna, said, “When I decided, after twenty years of writing, that it was time to go back to school, I looked for three things in a program: intellectual rigor, high standards for the art, and a program that would support what I consider a fact of art—that beautiful work is the soul of our culture. I needed a program that saw the spiritual practice in the writing process. The SPU MFA program was a perfect fit.”

To find out more about the program and determine its fit for you, check out the program website, read the brochure, and watch the series of video interviews on YouTube.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Some More Thoughts from Stephen King

I finished reading On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. As I mentioned previously, I had been told that this book was a classic, and in surveying the myriad comments on Amazon, I have no reason to disagree. As with all classics however, not every reader loves them, and in this case, I fall into that category.

I think that I just wasn't King's target audience. First, I've only read one of his works in my life, so I certainly couldn't be called a fan, yet I greatly respect what he has achieved as a writer. I did find his autobiography very interesting, but I found his crass language something of a turn-off.

Second, his section on writing was very informative and I did pick up some good tips, but I think, being a man, he writes more for male writers. He suggests spending at least four hours a day reading/writing. I would love to, but there aren't many moms out there that have that luxury. I'm more in the "write whenever life offers you a free moment" category. It doesn't mean that I am not serious about my craft.

While this book did not speak to me as much as I would have liked and I will donate it at my local library in the hopes that it finds a more welcoming home, I will nevertheless leave you with some words of wisdom I culled from its pages:

Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference. They don't have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough.

If you don't want to work your ass off, you have no business trying to write well - settle back into competency and be grateful you have even that much to fall back on. There is a muse, but he's not going to come fluttering down into your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust all over your typewriter or computer station. You have to descend to his level, and once you get down there you have to furnish an apartment for him to live in. . . It's right that you should do all the work and burn all the midnight oil, because the guy with the cigar and the little wings has got a bag of magic. There's stuff in there that can change your life. Believe me, I know.

Talent renders the whole idea of rehearsal meaningless; when you find something at which you are talented, you do it (whatever it is) until your fingers bleed or your eyes are ready to fall out of your head. Even when no one is listening (or reading, or watching), every outing is a bravura performance, because you as the creator are happy.