logic takes a hike

Gladys Ariel Akenhead, Grace's grandmother

One of the big reasons I love art and words and creativity and writing is that they’re enchanted. They’re effective to a degree that goes way beyond the kind of logic that steps from A to B to C. Creations are like secret decoder rings, giving us access to the infinity of the mind, which goes way beyond anything limited by time and physicality. What’s your answer if I ask you … Read more

beauty and the feast

tulips on a wooden table

A big pot of soup is brought to the table, along with salad and bread. The air smells like roast chicken and the pies are visible on the kitchen counter across the room. Here in a village near Freiburg, Germany, our dinner party host stands up to ladle the soup and we pass full bowls around the table until everybody has one. The eight people here tonight are a … Read more

writing prompts for getting started

river guide in colmar, france

Though every step toward a desire counts, the first step is special. A first step, by definition, involves heading somewhere different. And no matter what we’re writing, writing it has the potential to change things. So experiencing a degree of performance pressure, getting stuck in the pause before initiating movement and change, is … Read more

like me!

grace's granny and granddad in their store in arkansas

One afternoon in the Black Forest, toward the end of a hike, my husband and I paused for teatime, which is a very big deal here in Germany. We found a booth at our favourite place, Café Diva, placed our orders, and, at some point, I joked with my husband in a way that may not have been totally one hundred percent … Read more

every bit of writing counts

writing on the wall -- Lake Constance, Germany

I know I’ve been filling out too many forms because I just carried a handful of eraser dust to the trash can. There I was thinking that once my husband and I finally decided to settle permanently in Germany we’d experience waves of relief. Not yet. First, we’re two-stepping through a Festival of Paperwork involving … Read more

it's all been said

restaurant in alsace, france

What’s the point of writing anything? Hasn’t everything (and then some) already been said? Go ahead, think of something you want to write about and then search for it on Google. How many zeros are there in the number of results that came up? This could be depressing. … But it’s not. … … Read more

weird writing habits that work

leaf styles

Permission is hereby granted to do whatever’s necessary in order to write what you want to write. How do you know what works for you? By experimenting widely and wildly. By maximizing whatever already works. By combining weirdnesses. … Read more

how to build writing confidence

venturing toward writing confidence

Writing is something we figure out how to do every time we do it. Being confident about writing has to do with trusting one’s ability to figure out how to write, over and over again. … Read more

circling

circling

If creating something has to do with homing in on the crux of the matter so it can be expressed, we can look at closing in on a finished version as a process of circling. Stalking toward what’s important by narrowing the field. Tossing what’s not it. Strengthening what is it. … Read more

the editing process in a nutshell

versions of chair shadows

As you wrangle your writing toward its finished form, knowing some terminology about the editing process can give you more power over the quality of what you’re producing and more control over its journey from beginning to end. … Read more