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On History and Life

Story Inspiration: Food, glorious food!

Story Inspiration: Food, glorious food!

Chocolate and strawberries. (Image from Canva.com) Author Joanne Harris spent her earliest years living above her grandparents’ sweet shop in Yorkshire. She spent her girlhood summers with her French grandparents in Brittany. Small wonder that she contrived a magical...

Encouragement on the road to publication

Writing and publishing a book can be a long road, a road scattered with doubts and fears, and rutted with the bumps of life going on as you write. I worked steadily for about three years to write the story of The Drive in '65, and a few months ago I entered a contest...

1965 lives on!

I've been immersed in the world of 1965, writing about a 22,000 mile road trip and journey of discovery from May to late August of that year. In the course of research (yes, writers do research their own experiences!) the cultural icons and events of that year have...

Five road trip essentials during a pandemic

Here’s the new road trip playbook, thanks to Coronavirus.

What’s your road trip style?

What kind of road-tripper are you? Different people define ‘road trip’ in different ways. Whatever your definition, you’ll get no judgment from me. I support all kinds of road trips! Which of these road trip styles looks best to you? 1. Day trips from a vacation home...

Memoirs: Week 3

Memoir mine: Creating your memoir experience Can you create your own memoir experience? Millions of readers shared the experience of Frances Mayes as she fell in love with Italian food and rebuilt a rundown Italian farmhouse. Under the Tuscan Sun, her memoir, topped...

Memoirs: Week 1

The memoir mine: family history Every three or four years my sister and I take a family history trip together. We've visited the tiny Idaho town where our dad was born, and met a woman who knew his grandparents. In England we tramped through dozens of cemeteries,...

Story Inspiration: Music, the universal language

A Harvard study published last year in the journal Science concluded what many have long assumed to be true: music is universal. Every society uses music, and it may inspire us to dance, worship, relax, or cry.  But how can it inspire us to write? I turned to...

Memoirs: Week 2

The memoir mine: Social and cultural issues All of us grew up somewhere. That somewhere included a social and cultural setting. For me, the tiny berg of Moose Pass, Alaska deeply influenced my first dozen years. Insular, yet inherently limiting, Moose Pass was home...

On the road again! Have you hit the road in 2020?

Vern and I made our first longish road trip in many months, to visit our son for a couple of days. Planning for the unfortunate necessity of limiting our contact with people, we filled a cooler with food for all our meals on the way down and back. At home, air quality...

Story Inspiration: Food, glorious food!

Chocolate and strawberries. (Image from Canva.com) Author Joanne Harris spent her earliest years living above her grandparents’ sweet shop in Yorkshire. She spent her girlhood summers with her French grandparents in Brittany. Small wonder that she contrived a magical...

Story Inspiration: Nature all around us

Image from Canva.com Artists of all kinds find inspiration in the natural world. They include painters like Van Gogh, photographers like Ansel Adams (and many since), and writers of poetry, essays, fiction, and more. An Esquire article last year claims we are living...

1965 lives on!

I've been immersed in the world of 1965, writing about a 22,000 mile road trip and journey of discovery from May to late August of that year. In the course of research (yes, writers do research their own experiences!) the cultural icons and events of that year have...