A Writers’ Room of Requirement

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The Writers’ Loft
Sherborn, Massachusetts

When I tell people I’m a writer, some of them have a hard time believing it. I’d like to think it’s not because they think I’m incapable of writing but rather because I’m an incredibly social and outgoing person…not very bookish.

Thanks in part to Hollywood—which paints an image of writers as people who need to move to Tuscany or at the very least to a sprawling, New England farm, complete with pond-front writing studio—it seems the average person assumes writing is a profession best pursued in solitude.

A common misconception.

No question, there are many successful writers who do have dedicated, solitary, creative writing space, like Lois Lowry, Kate DiCamillo, Gore Vidal (who’s writing retreat is on the Amalfi Coast). The operative word here is successful. No doubt the lucrative benefits of a prolific and extensive writing career have afforded them such comfort.

But, not all aspiring writers have the luxury of dedicated writing space consisting of more than a flat surface at home or even beyond their computers. Instead, many writers find solace in public libraries or coffee shops, where they can simultaneously be in the company of others as well as alone. Such spaces, however, are not always conducive for channeling inspiration nor even connecting with like-minded souls. More

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Lois Lowry and Becoming a Writer

Kyla and Heather get Lois Lowry to sign a copy of The Giver

A little over a year ago, DH made a new friend. It wasn’t a friend for him,it was a friend for me. Her name was Heather Kelly.

DH met her on our daughters’ kindergarten playground. Luckily, in the way children either  become fast friends or sworn enemies, our daughters were instant pals: my exuberant, over-the-top, Type A with Heather’s quiet, shy but equally headstrong Cowgirl. It took the moms a bit longer but resulted in a friendship with far greater symbiosis.

Heather has been the jumper cables for my childrens book writing aspirations and I’ve helped hone her athletic pursuits. It’s a very positive and supportive friendship, the type that enhances ones well-being rather than detracts from it in the way that friends you just share vices with do.

The pursuits we share (sports and children’s literature) make us better people. Neither of us depends on the other for inspiration nor survival—like the symbiosis between plant and animal found in lichen—rather, we are motivated toward our mutualistic pursuits just by spending time together and encouraging each other.

Which is why it strikes me as particularly ironic that one of the galvanizing pieces of our friendship is founded on a dystopia, conjured in the mind of Lois Lowry. More

Writing Requires Discipline

In addition to my sporadic writing on this blog, I also write (and edit and work) on another blog. It’s a fascinating blog, which mainly focuses on travel and parenting issues around the world. Even though I’m on the site several times a week, editing other writer’s posts, I only get to publish my own articles about once every 6-8 weeks.

Since I have a post running on that blog next week, I sat down to write. I chose the topic: children and discipline. As I got into the article, writing about how important discipline and enforcing rules is in our house, it occurred to me that I’m not very good at practicing what I preach and I started to wonder why that was.

It’s times like these where I really wish I had taken more psychology classes in college or understood more about what makes people tick. More

And So November Begins

Saturday, October 29th was just one of those great days. Overcast but not over programmed, cold but not freezing, full but not stuffed. Somehow, the afternoon found my whole family napping so I found refuge in a terrific YA book my good friend, Heather, recommended to me. When the family awoke, we proceeded as planned: carving pumpkins into Jack-o-lanterns, eating a great crockpot dinner, donning PJs to settle in for a family movie night. When your kids are just 5 and 2, these sort of activities come as rare and special treats. We watched Wall-E, a perfect choice for a kindergartner who’s into robot talk and a preschooler into spaceships.

Outside, the clouds emptied their rain, the rain turned to snow and the temperature dropped to freezing. Unknowingly, while we sat warm and cozy inside, the earliest snow storm in North East history raged outside. If you’ve never experienced thunder snow, take my word, it’s surreal.

The poor trees, still heavy with leaves, carried the extra burden of thick, wet snow. Intermittently, we More

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