A Sneak Peek at the Cover of My Upcoming Novel THE ART OF FLOATING!

(drum roll, please)

Here it is! A big thanks to the cover designers at Berkley Books | Penguin Random House. The novel isn’t due in bookstores until April 2014, but until then, I’m going to enjoy the cover.

Cheers!

the cover for my new novel THE ART OF FLOATING (Berkley Books | Penguin Random House, April 2014)

the cover for my new novel THE ART OF FLOATING (Berkley Books | Penguin Random House, April 2014)

Writerhead Wednesday: Featuring Lynda Rutledge

Welcome to Writerhead Wednesday, a weekly feature in which a brilliant, charming, remarkable author talks about her/his writerhead…a precious opportunity for looky-loos around the world to sneak into the creative noggins of talented writers and (ever so gently) muck about.


Because I’ve known Lynda Rutledge since I was in graduate school at Columbia College in Chicago back in the 1990s, I’m especially delighted to share her debut novel here on Writerhead Wednesday. If you haven’t read Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale yet, get your cutie-patootie to the bookstore or library.

Now, without further ado, please raise your glasses and give a cheer for Lynda’s writerhead.

Whoop! Whoop!

1. Describe your state of writerhead (the where, the when, the how, the what, the internal, the external).

To answer, I’ll tell you of the first moment my journalistic mind tripped the light fantastic into the sometimes dangerous land of writerly lies we call fiction writing. It happened in Chicago years ago when I was just beginning to play around with creating fiction. I was a full-time freelance journalist with literary pretensions, and I had to carefully keep my two worlds—facts and fabrication—apart. And for a long time, I did just fine.

Then… My spouse and I had friends in a picturesque small town outside Chicago and we’d drive out there every few weeks. One day, we passed a homemade sign on the roadside we hadn’t seen before. I don’t recall what the sign said; I just recall my saying something like: “I wonder what’s that’s about? Maybe it’s…[insert a scenario].”

My long-suffering spouse never commented on my speculations since it was a form of entertainment for me, this weaving of riding-along “what-ifs,” and he’d heard it all before.

A few weeks later, we drove by the same sign again.

This time I said, “Hey, I wonder how that [insert scenario] is going?”

The spouse looked at me all-but-crosseyed.

“What?” I said, wondering what his problem was.

“Lynda, you made that up. You know that, right?”

I gawked for a long moment. Then I guffawed: Omigod, I had. The secret to making fiction “real” is that the writer has to believe it, and obviously that’s what I’d done to a fault; I had created the scenario so vividly in my head that I had forgotten it wasn’t real. My two worlds had collided. Now what was I going to do? I decided I’d accept it, let it happen as it would, and see where it took me. My journalist days were obviously numbered, and it was time. Now it’s the place I wander into every day, if it’s a good day. And sometimes even more so when it’s not: No longer am I cranky in stalled traffic or in long lines (at least if they’re not too long). Instead, I eavesdrop, watch, and catalog. Stand in front of me at the DMV and prepare to become grist for my little writer’s mill. Make me think creatively, delight me with your weirdness, force me to see things differently enough to weave a “what if” scenario or two, and I relax. Everything is fodder. Except for those first draft pangs, where nothing seems to want to behave and the earth seems to insist on spinning backwards, I notice that I’m happiest there.

2. What happens if someone/something interrupts writerhead? (a spouse, a lover, a barking dog, an electrical outage, a baby’s cry, a phone call, a leg cramp, a dried-up pen, a computer crash, etc.)

It’s pretty ugly. You’d think my friends (the ones I have left) and my family (the ones who still speak to me after their heads have been bitten off) would learn to leave the crazy woman alone when she has that “look,” but since that would mean I’d stay in my writer cave so much I’d not sleep, eat, or even notice the earth spinning, that’s pretty much impossible. So, of course, I stay cranky on every entry and exit. It’s always a bumpy ride.

3. Using a simile or metaphor, compare your writerhead to something.

For me, it’s an altered state, like the time I took peyote with the Navajo shaman outside of Taos…oh, wait. I made that up. Or did I?

BIO: Hopping across literary and geographic boundaries in her writing career, Lynda’s been a freelance journalist, travel writer, ghostwriter, restaurant and film reviewer, copywriter, college professor, book collaborator, and nonfiction author while living/writing/studying in Chicago, San Diego, New Orleans, Madrid, and many elsewheres, her wanderlust as strong as her writerhead. But her creative writing has always been the stuff of her biggest literary dreams. She’s won awards and residencies from the Illinois Arts Council, Writers League of Texas, Ragdale Foundation, Atlantic Center for the Arts, among others. Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale is her debut novel.

CONNECT: To learn more about Lynda and her spectacular debut novel, visit her website, check out her blog, give her a wave on Twitter (@LyndaRutledge), or become a fan on Facebook.

#38Write: The September Writing Workshop Is Open For Registration

#38Write—my [new-ish] global writing initiative—is a monthly series of online writing adventure workshops for place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world. Each writing adventure focuses on one particular aspect of craft or the writing life (for example, writing kick-butt descriptions), and during each 38-hour adventure, writers connect with me and #38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag and a group Pinterest board. In the August workshop, we had 16 writers in 8 countries!


Looking for a unique writing workshop that nurtures your interest in place, culture, maps, journeys, odysseys, travel, etc.?

Perfect timing…because the September edition of the 38Write writing adventure series—38Write | Square Peg, Round Hole?—is now open for registration. It will take place on September 29–30. (Click over to the CLASSES page for lots more information about this specific workshop and to sign up.)

WHAT IS 38WRITE?

38Write is a writing adventure workshop designed specifically for place-passionate, culturally curious writers that will get you out of your house—no matter where you live—and into your environs.

In June, I launched the first 38Write online writing adventure with 38Write | Description.

In July, I continued with 38Write | Structure, which went forth with 16 writers in 9 countries. One of the assignments for that workshop was to define culture without using a dictionary, thesaurus, or other reference tool. It sparked some pretty spectacular definitions (read them here) and a lively conversation on Twitter.

And in August, 16 writers in 8 countries participated in 38Write | Peregrination. Though the writers are still nursing their blisters, they wrote some pretty amazing pieces about walks that connected them culturally to places. (Read those here.)

THE UNIQUE ASPECTS OF 38WRITE

  • Each writing adventure is 38 hours long. It’s a manageable amount of time that fits into anyone’s busy schedule. (Good gracious, no, you will not be writing or adventuring for 38 hours straight. I’m ambitious for you, but not crazy. You will need approximately 2-4 hours to work during the 38-hour period…give or take an hour.)
  • Each writing adventure will focus on one particular aspect of craft or the writing life. You will not be writing an entire essay or short story (but you might accidentally do so). Some adventures will focus on a skill, like writing kick-butt descriptions; others might get you to look at what inspires you or how you move from idea to writing.
  • During each 38-hour period, you’ll be able to connect with me and #38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag. (How cool is that?!)
  • You will get feedback from me. (For more info about me, click here.)
  • Terrific for folks writing fiction, essays, or memoir.
  • Beginners and experienced writers are welcome and encouraged to join. There are some of each (and everything in between) in every workshop.
  • It’s affordable. A single 38Write writing adventure costs only $38 (U.S.).

WHY DID I CREATE 38WRITE?

While living, writing, and teaching writing in the U.S. and Shanghai, I learned (and/or relearned) a number of things:

    1. Each of us has a heck of a lot to learn from folks in other countries (and not usually the things we think we need to learn).
    2. Story is an international conversation that can help us better understand one another.
    3. By helping writers from all over the world to improve their craft, I can play a wee role in facilitating this global conversation.
    4. Writing is recursive. You must practice. (And if I do say so myself, I’m pretty darn good at getting writers to practice.)

IS 38WRITE FOR YOU?

38Write adventures are designed for all place-passionate writers, including expats and repats, globetrotters, armchair travelers, nomads, cultural spelunkers, deeply rooted souls, mapmakers and mapbreakers, wanderers and wayfarers, voyagers, and all writers interested in exploring and writing about their environs.

So, yup, if you’re asking, 38Write is probably for you.

To learn more and sign up for 38Write | Square Peg, Round Hole?, visit CLASSES.

38Write Peregrination: The August Writing Workshop Launches Tomorrow

38Write—my [new-ish] global writing initiative—is a monthly series of online writing adventure workshops for place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world. Each writing adventure focuses on one particular aspect of craft or the writing life (for example, writing kick-butt descriptions), and during each 38-hour adventure, writers connect with me and 38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag and a group Pinterest board. Lots of good work getting done.


Tomorrow—Saturday, August 25—#38Write | Peregrination launches! This is the third-ever writing workshop in the #38Write monthly series, and I can’t wait to see what the writers put forth on the page. Sixteen writers in 8 countries will be walking and writing:

  • Australia
  • Turkey
  • Chile
  • U.S.
  • U.K.
  • France
  • Belgium
  • S. Korea

Since using Pinterest in the workshop worked so beautifully during the July workshop, I’m using it again, and #38Write writers are already pinning on the group #38Write | Peregrination Pinterest board. (Check it out here.)

Looks like we’re ready to go. Walking shoes are polished, and pens all around the world are poised to write. If you’re curious about #38Write, you can check out the conversation among writers this weekend using the Twitter hashtag: #38Write.

Happy writerhead!

Writerhead: A Lesson in Serendipitous Connectivity

I define writerhead as the state of dreamy concentration and fluctuating consciousness during which a writer feels most creative, productive, and artistic. You know, those sh, sh, sh, ssssssshhhhhh, I’ve got to get this down moments when words are bubbling, popping, zinging, and swinging. The ones when the “real” world disappears behind a gauzy cloud (insert sucking sound here…sssshhhhpppttt) and the imaginative world takes on firmer lines and brighter hues.


I love this sign! And as you can see, on Sunday, August 19, I shared the gospel of writerhead with a wonderfully creative group of writers, artists, musicians, thinkers, dreamers, and gardeners at the Universalist Unitarian Church in Kennebunk, Maine. It was pretty spectacular. (In the summertime, the UU church runs a relaxed, Sunday-morning program called “Come As You Are” that features a creative speaker.)

I got this gig the way I get a lot of my speaking/teaching gigs—through a serendipitous connection. A few months ago, I presented writerhead at Pecha Kucha in Kennebunk. A woman in the audience connected with it, contacted me via email, and invited me to speak in the summer program at the church. She’s a generous, creative soul, and I’m thankful she reached out.

Over the years, I’ve learned to keep my eyes open for these often unexpected, but oh-so-welcome opportunities to connect with new audiences, learn a bit more about the world and how creativity works, and share what I know.

My advice to you?

Reach out. Give, give, give. Jump at opportunities that come your way. You never know where those opportunities will lead.

Mojo Monday: Tips from Midge Raymond on How to Be an Everyday Writer

It’s Mojo Monday, and as always, I’ve got a little something-something to lift your creative spirits, buoy you up, help you get your mojo on, and nudge (or better yet, catapult) you into writerhead.


Give it up for my guest blogger today—the wildly talented Midge Raymond—who has recently published a terrific book that all you writers should be reading every night before bed: Everyday Writing: Tips and Prompts to Fit Your Regularly Scheduled Life. (And yup, if you’re scratching your head and thinking “Midge Raymond, Midge Raymond, I swear I’ve heard that name before,” you’re right! Midge was featured on Writerhead Wednesday nearly a year ago for her award-winning collection of short stories Forgetting English.)

How to be an Everyday Writer (even if you don’t have time to write every day)

As writers, we’re often told that we must write every single day. I’m the first to agree that having a daily writing practice is invaluable—but I’m also the first to admit that I’ve never had one. And I’m guessing that most writers—i.e., those of us with families, day jobs, and other responsibilities that make it hard to fit in our creative time—aren’t able to write every single day either.

But this doesn’t mean we can’t be accomplished, happy writers. We just need to be a little more creative about it.

This is why I wrote Everyday Writing: Tips and Prompts to Fit Your Regularly Scheduled Life.

My goal with this book is to offer tips on how to be an everyday writer even without every day, as well as to offer prompts to help you keep your projects moving forward when you’re short on time. Remember: Writing isn’t about sitting down somewhere and typing—it’s about gathering ideas, noticing details, and seeing stories in the world around you … in other words, it’s about thinking like a writer.

So here are a few Mojo Monday tips and prompts to get you started off toward a fruitful week of writing. (Note: It’s best to have a notebook accessible at all times.)

Tip: Take a good look around. All too often, I find myself using my idle time to check email on my phone or to text someone about something that’s not really very important. I’m guessing I’m not the only one. Instead of turning to a device, look upward and outward; check out what’s going on around you. The following prompt will give you an idea of how to train yourself to use this idle time in a more writerly way.

Prompt: The next time you’re waiting in line at the post office, or at the grocery store, or at the hardware store, take a look around. Choose two random people you see and imagine them as a couple. Imagine how they met, where they live, whether they have kids and how many—create an entirely fictional backstory for these two people. When you have a chance, write down all that you envisioned and use your observations to start a new story, to write a poem, or to inform a scene in your novel. Let this exercise take you wherever it wants to go.

Tip: Open your ears. Some of my most successful short stories have been inspired by little bits of dialogue I’ve overheard. Eavesdropping isn’t always a bad thing, and it’s even better when you don’t hear quite enough of a conversation; filling in the blanks with your own imagination is the best part. The next time you’re out and about, prick up your ears and see what you discover.

Prompt: In a café, in your cubicle at work, or waiting in the lobby at the doctor’s office, jot down bits of conversation you overhear. Don’t worry about accuracy or context; just write everything down as you hear it (the more random and open to interpretation, the better). Later, when you have time, go over the dialogue and create a poem, story, or scene based on a couple of these lines.

Tip: Just say no—to Facebook. I know I’m not the only writer on Facebook with a slight addiction. (It’s so much easier to hang out on Facebook than to write the eighteenth draft of the same difficult scene, isn’t it?) Yet I also know that this doesn’t do my writing any good, and every once in a while I ban myself from social media for a few days—usually with wonderful, creative results. Give it a try at least one day this week.

Prompt: Write about a day in your life without Facebook (you can write about a real-life, pre-Facebook day in your past, or create a fictional non-Facebook day in your future). As part of this exercise, consider how social media has changed your life in ways big or small, whether it’s changed how you interact with friends and family. Is there anything about your use of social media that you’d like to change? And if so, how might this affect your writing life?

I hope these help get your Monday off to a good, writerly start. Wishing you a great week of writing!

BIO: Midge Raymond is the author of Everyday Writing: Tips and Prompts to Fit Your Regularly Scheduled Life, as well as the short-story collection Forgetting English, which received the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Her stories have appeared in TriQuarterly, American Literary Review, Indiana Review, North American Review, Bellevue Literary Review, the Los Angeles Times magazine, and many other publications. Her work has received several Pushcart Prize nominations and received an Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship. Midge taught communication writing at Boston University for six years, and she has taught creative writing at Boston’s Grub Street Writers and Seattle’s Richard Hugo House. She currently lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest.

 

 

Writerhead Wednesday: Featuring Keith Cronin

Welcome to Writerhead Wednesday, a weekly feature in which a brilliant, charming, remarkable author talks about her/his writerhead…a precious opportunity for looky-loos around the world to sneak into the creative noggins of talented writers and (ever so gently) muck about.


When I spoke about Writerhead last week at the PechaKucha event in Kennebunkport, Maine, I told folks in the audience that every writer’s writerhead was unique and that how every writer talks about her/his writerhead is unique.

This week, Keith Cronin—the fantastic author of Me Again—has proven me right. His take on writerhead is unique, hilarious, honest, and—though I’ve never met him—I suspect, very, very Keith.

Enjoy!

1. Describe your state of writerhead (the where, the when, the how, the what, the internal, the external).

You might think of it as the ultimate backstage pass. As a professional musician, I’ve lived most of my adult life around rock stars. And as anybody who’s ever attempted to meet a rock star has learned, it’s all about access. You can’t get close to them without the right backstage pass (they come in gradations, from Peon to VIP), your name properly spelled on the guest list (a rare and miraculous occurrence), or a sudden covert text message from a roadie named Spike whom you befriended during your misspent youth, telling you at which gate in the arena to wait for him to slip you backstage to meet your idol. And only a very, very select few are blessed with one of those cool laminated passes that you hang around your neck on a lanyard, with those two ultimately empowering words on them: ALL ACCESS.

That’s what writerhead feels like—a highly anticipated but all-too-rare moment when you are granted passage beyond EVERY obstacle that stands between you and your goal: in this case, writing with the passion, grace and confidence of the awesome writer you know you can be (but are so rarely allowed to be).

My hat’s off to people who can get into that kind of zone or headspace at will. For me, the muse is both a powerful and elusive force. So I relish those moments when I’m granted access to the rushing literary waterfall that a good dose of writerhead can open up.

But I do my part to facilitate these moments. I clear time during the part of the day when my creativity is at its sharpest; I surround myself with tools and gadgets to help me capture the inspiration, including a voice recorder, a NEO word processor that boots up in seconds, and even a scuba diver’s underwater writing slate (for capturing ideas in the shower, a brilliant idea I picked up from writer Tracy Hahn-Burkett). I also repeat the odd rituals that I’ve found have triggered writerhead in the past, such as going for a drive, taking a shower, etc. The driving thing is what works best for me: after noticing how often I’d get cool ideas while driving somewhere, I’ve started hopping in my car with no destination in mind, for the express purpose of prompting more ideas.

2. What happens if someone/something interrupts writerhead? (a spouse, a lover, a barking dog, an electrical outage, a baby’s cry, a phone call, a leg cramp, a dried-up pen, a computer crash, etc.)

Two things can interrupt writerhead: people and stuff.

Of the two, stuff is definitely the more challenging opponent. By this I mean things like having to go to work in order to earn a living, fixing the toilet (which seems to be set on a recurring semiannual auto-destruct sequence), or getting an emergency root canal. Let’s face it, these are all hard to avoid. So the best you can do is to plan some workarounds: get up early to write before work and/or set aside writing time on weekends; stock up on spare parts for the toilet; and only eat soft foods and keep ample amounts of Scotch on hand to serve as a dental anesthetic.

People-based interruptions are different, because they require something that is often in short supply when in the throes of writerhead—I’m talking about diplomacy. When you’re truly cranking on what might well be The Greatest Book Ever Written In All Of Human History, it’s hard to summon the strength and presence of mind to look up and utter a gentle, “What was that, honey?” to your interrupter (who is inevitably your romantic partner or a beloved child) without a certain undertone of annoyance. And trust me, your own annoyance never goes over well with others; indeed, it seems to only spark up a higher level of annoyance on the part of the interrupter, and then things really start to go south.

So I have taken to confronting such interruptions with a three-pronged response plan:

  1. The Look. The advantage of this approach is that you don’t say anything, which of course means that you don’t say anything stupid, which will only make your quality of life take a rapid plunge into the abyss. But be careful—there’s a lot of nuance involved. I recommend practicing The Look in front of the mirror, until you’ve mastered the fine distinction between the look that says “I’m a little busy right now, so maybe you might want to try me later, but don’t forget I love you more than anything on earth” and the one that says “How DARE you interrupt my moment of genius, and thus impede me from writing what might well be The Greatest Book Ever Written In All Of Human History, you insensitive baboon?!?” In situations where The Look is not successful, you will need to escalate your efforts, and go to the second stage:
  2. The Sigh. Now you’re bringing some audio into the equation, while still avoiding the risk involved in actually speaking. But again, nuance is important. You want to avoid too much Overt Exasperation, instead going for a blend of Charitably Patient and Mildly Distracted, with a soupçon of Tormented Genius gently drizzled on top. Again, you’ll want to spend some time practicing this to get the sonic recipe just right. But when this doesn’t work, it’s time to proceed to the third and final stage:
  3. The Surrender. This entails putting down what you’re writing, taking a deep cleansing breath (trying not to allow your exhalation to be interpreted as Yet Another Sigh), and realizing that right now, writerhead just ain’t gonna happen.

3. Using a simile or metaphor, compare your writerhead to something.

Three words: writerhead is Drano.*

And I’m not talking your garden-variety, everyday basic Drano. I’m talking the industrial-strength, shock-and-awe, super-mega-nuclear-foaming-action with lasers version, which can cut through anything in less than the time it takes to update your Facebook status.

Because that’s what writerhead does: it cuts through the barrier between me and the story I want to tell. I’ll see the thing in my head, and know how good it can be—or at least how good I want it to be. But there are always those nasty clogs preventing the flow, which only writerhead can drill and burrow through. I just wish bottles of writerhead were available in stores. I’d buy it by the gallon.

* Please note that the author is receiving no compensation—either in the form of financial remuneration, commercial endorsements, or invitations to exclusive parties with supermodels—from Drano® or any of SC Johnson’s other fine brands. But he wouldn’t say no to a lifetime supply of Ziploc bags, or perhaps some of those cool plug-in Glade air-freshener thingies (having always thought the “Alpine Mist” scent was particularly nice). Oh, and the whole partying-with-supermodels thing would be okay, too.

BIO: Author of the novel Me Again, published in 2011 by Five Star/Gale, Keith Cronin is a corporate speechwriter and professional rock drummer who has performed and recorded with artists including Bruce Springsteen, Clarence Clemons, and Pat Travers. Keith’s fiction has appeared in Carve Magazine, Amarillo Bay, The Scruffy Dog Review, Zinos, and a University of Phoenix management course, and he is a regular contributor at the literary blog Writer Unboxed. A native of South Florida, Keith spends his free time serenading local ducks and squirrels with his ukulele. Visit him online at www.keithcronin.com or Facebook. Though he’s not wildly active on Twitter, feel free to give him a yodel there and he’ll probably yodel back (@KeithCronin). You can also watch the book trailer for Me Again here on YouTube.

Writerhead Wednesday: Featuring Jefferson Bass

Welcome to Writerhead Wednesday, a weekly feature in which a brilliant, charming, remarkable author talks about her/his writerhead…a precious opportunity for looky-loos around the world to sneak into the creative noggins of talented writers and (ever so gently) muck about.


I’m pretty sure Jefferson Bass is the first writer in this series to compare writerhead to “squeezing into a wardrobe and emerging into Narnia,” and oh, how spot on he is! It is like that (in the best moments of writerhead, that is).

Please give a warm welcome to Jefferson Bass, and remember, he’s a crime writer…this could get a little mysterious.

1. Describe your state of writerhead (the where, the when, the how, the what, the internal, the external).

Writerhead is often a crowded, chatty place for me to hang out. When I was writing The Inquisitor’s Key, I found myself eavesdropping on many intriguing conversations—conversations taking place inside my head and, magically, also in the glorious city of Avignon, France, home of the popes for most of the 14th century. One of my favorite conversationalists in The Inquisitor’s Key is a modern-day French detective, Inspector René Descartes (“I think I am a detective; therefore I am a detective…”); another is Laura de Noves, the young 14th-century countess whom Petrarch worshipped from afar—yet near enough that his conspicuously broken heart would be noticed, by Laura and everyone else in Avignon; a third is Meister Eckhart, the 14th-century mystic who said (among many fine, fresh things, “If the only prayer you ever say, your whole life, is ‘thank you,’ it will be enough.”) What a lucky guy I am: instead of getting straitjacketed, I get paid for hearing voices in my head!

2. What happens if someone/something interrupts writerhead? (a spouse, a lover, a barking dog, an electrical outage, a baby’s cry, a phone call, a leg cramp, a dried-up pen, a computer crash, etc.)

I’m reminded of the time I was writing my brilliant long poem “Kubla Khan” when I was interrupted by a gentleman from Porlock knocking at my door, causing me to forget most of the poem. Oh, wait, that happened to Coleridge, not me. I did, however, lose a full day’s hard, productive draft a couple years ago, when—on the one day in months when I’d failed to back up my work—my iBook died. It took me a week to get the machine fixed and attempt to recreate the missing work…and besides being maddened by the lost work and lost time, I was saddened, because I knew beyond a doubt that my reconstruction wasn’t as good. Thank heavens for Dropbox, which automatically backs me up even—especially!— when I’m deep in writerhead!

3. Using a simile or metaphor, compare your writerhead to something.

Finding myself in writerhead is like squeezing into a wardrobe and emerging into Narnia; like stepping through the skewed doorway of my monochrome, cyclone-spun farmhouse into a Technicolor realm over the rainbow. Some of it isn’t very nice—sometimes the murders and evil in writerhead send me into racking, convulsive sobs—but like Oz, most of it is beautiful. When I step back from my life as a writer, I’m often reminded of a lovely line from William Least Heat Moon’s interview with an old woman, a widow who was one of the five residents of Saffordville, Kansas. She and her neighbors lived on the first terrace of the Cottonwood River—a flood-prone, perilous location that Heat Moon wrote “whets a fine edge on their lives.” The widow had been flooded out many times but was still able to say, with wonder and gratitude, “Not everybody gets the chance to live like this.” Dwelling where I do, amid the droughts and floods of writerhead, I say “amen”…and “thank you.”

BIO: Jefferson Bass is the pen name of Jon Jefferson, writer, and Dr. Bill Bass, renowned forensic anthropologist. Jefferson and Bass have collaborated on two nonfiction books and six crime novels; their seventh novel, The Inquisitor’s Key, will be published May 8, 2012. Dr. Bass, founder of the University of Tennessee’s Body Farm, is an author on more than 200 scientific publications. Jon Jefferson is a veteran journalist and documentary filmmaker; his two National Geographic documentaries on the Body Farm were seen around the world.

If you’re properly intrigued and want to learn more about Jefferson Bass and The Inquisitor’s Key, there are oodles of way to do so:

If you’d like to visit Jefferson Bass elsewhere on his blog tour, here’s the spectacular lineup!

Photo: That’s the Jon Jefferson half of “Jefferson Bass” in the photo above.

Mojo Monday: Get Up and Dance to “Jaan Pehechan Ho”

It’s Mojo Monday, and as always, I’ve got a little something-something to lift your creative spirits, buoy you up, help you get your mojo on, and nudge (or better yet, catapult) you into writerhead.


If I could express how much I love this in words, I would. But really? Just better to get up and dance. Welcome to a stellar performance of “Jaan Pehechan Ho” (a Hindi phrase roughly translated as “We should get to know each other”).

I love this!

 

This is from GUMNAAN, a 1965 Indian horror thriller film. Wikipedia describes the plot as, “Seven people mysteriously win a free vacation. On the way to their destination, the plane has engine trouble and they are left abandoned in a remote seaside location. They find shelter in a large mansion inhabited by a comical butler Mehmood. One by one, they are murdered and the remaining vacationers try to figure out why they were chosen for the trip and what they have in common. Loosely based on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.”

Mojo Monday: A Writing Mantra Word Scramble

It’s Mojo Monday, and as always, I’ve got a little something-something to lift your creative spirits, buoy you up, help you get your mojo on, and nudge (or better yet, catapult) you into writerhead.


Prophecy: If you can unscramble one of my most effective writing mantras, you will have a good writing day.

sear

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rhiac