Category: Writing Wednesday

Breathing Life into a Character

(This is a continuation of handouts that I recently distributed at a writing seminar.) –a part of us is in every character –who are we called to write about? (Could be someone in our life, could be someone we see in a news report, someone in a dream/imagination) QUESTIONS...

Running a Writing Workshop

I’m posting a series of handouts that I’ve prepared for past writing seminars. Here’s one on forming a writing workshop. A workshop can help you to be accountable to other writers and regularly produce pages. Naomi’s Guidelines for Running a Writing Workshop Determine goals and purpose with first the...

How to Sell Diverse Books

With the Oscar nominations and in our mystery genre, the Edgar announcement to come in a few days, observers are fixated on awards. But the older I get in the publishing industry, the more I’ve become fixated on sales. There have been campaigns notably in the children’s literature to...

Weight Loss and Writing

Writing is not conducive to weight loss. In fact, being such a sedentary active, often fueled by one too many jalapeño potato chip, See’s molasses chip or bottle of sweet tea, it can lead to the weight gain. I’ve always been an active person–in the past, I’ve run in...

Reassessing Crap

In one of my favorite writing books, BIRD BY BIRD, Anne Lamott discusses writing “shitty first drafts.” It’s a necessary evil for writers and sometimes I forget to extend that truth to my own work. On Christmas of all days, I printed out my work in progress, got comfortable...

Sukiyaki Christmas

(Written in December 2012) When my mother was in her twenties, she had sukiyaki parties with her friends in Hiroshima.  Instead of bring your own booze, it was bring your own extra ingredient.  To complement the sliced beef, it could be cubed blocks of tofu, a tangle of graykonnyakunoodles,...

My Upcoming Year of the Three Cs

I’m already anticipating 2020 as my year of the three Cs: cultivation, creativity and contemplation. Other than being a part of a short story anthology, I won’t have any new books published. Although I’ll still be attending three mystery conventions–two in my home state of California, I won’t be...

Researching the Next Next

As I’m leading a life of writing, I also have to prepare for the next as well as the next next. In fact, I started doing some heavy duty research for the book I’m writing now about two years ago, while I was writing the final Mas Arai mystery,...

Action vs. Thinking

As National Novel Writing Month has ended, I’ve started to think about the balancing act that writers face in terms of action versus thinking. In some ways, I’m definitely a woman of action. I’m intuitive and listen to my gut. If my heart tells me to jump, I usually...

First Person Female

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s taken me a while to grab hold of my female voice. Maybe a psychoanalyst can figure out why, but then again the reasons may not be germane. After my third Mas Arai mystery (that series is all written in the third person), I...