Monthly Archives: November 2011

Should grammar matter?

So I’m working on SWEET SALT AIR, rereading Chapter 6 for the umpteenth time, and I pause on the following paragraph: “By Oliver Weeks?” Charlotte cut in.  “Still?  What a character.  Major interview there.” Charlotte and Nicole are talking about ramekins that are hand-thrown by a ceramicist on Quinnipeague, but there is not one complete sentence in what Charlotte has said.  I try revising. “Were those ramekins made by Oliver [...]

By |2011-11-30T12:38:31+00:002011|Blog|11 Comments

The right way to load a dishwasher or make a peanut butter sandwich

Thanksgiving turkey is the best, except when it comes to cleaning up.  It’s big and greasy, and between that and the casseroles, salads, veggies, and pies, we use more pots, pans, dishes, and utensils than on any other single day of the year.  This being the morning after Thanksgiving, cleaning up is fresh in my mind.  So here are some thoughts. First, flashback to Tuesday night.  [...]

By |2011-11-25T06:31:03+00:002011|Blog|4 Comments

How to research a novel

In theory, since a novel is make-believe, the idea of doing research is oxymoronic.  Isn’t it? No.  I don’t think so either.  I’ve always done research.  Part of the appeal of my books is that readers buy into the story, so it has to be real. It used to be that real came from the library.  I loved working there.  It got me out of the house, for one thing.  [...]

By |2011-11-19T05:00:00+00:002011|Blog|2 Comments

Shopping for the holidays

I’m not thinking about Christmas catalogues, free shipping offers or Black Friday hours.  I’m still on Thanksgiving, and it has to do with food.  I've been poring through cookbooks, clipping recipes from the paper, and making lists.  The troops are descending next Wednesday morning, and they’re all staying here, so Thanksgiving dinner isn’t the only meal I'll be making.  I have to keep bellies filled for four days, and my [...]

By |2011-11-16T18:21:46+00:002011|Blog|4 Comments

Working weekends

Yes, we did have the baby here this weekend – and yes, it was fabulous – but I did work, just like I do most weekends.  I never spend hours at it, just one or two right around dawn, in this case before the baby was even awake, and mostly I edited what I wrote last week.  Still, I had a sense of accomplishment.  That’s a nice way to start [...]

By |2011-11-13T16:00:01+00:002011|Blog|12 Comments

Gearing up for baby

Baby gear.  It’s a whole other world out there.  We have a six-month-old coming for the weekend, and the house is suddenly filled with stuff.  Remember the high chair you saw in my basement?  It’s now in the kitchen alongside the jumperoo. And the Pack N Play? That’s my assistant’s office, where we can close the blinds to assure darkness and quiet.  The baby will be cozy sleeping there. My [...]

By |2011-11-10T10:17:52+00:002011|Blog|6 Comments

How to describe a voice

Is it high, low, rough, smooth, creaky, musical, or child-like? Does it have an accent? Think about it.  If you were describing the sound of your voice, what words would you use?  What does your husband’s voice sound like?  Your father’s?  That of the little boy next door? And Brian Williams, on whose every word I hang each night – how would I describe his voice?  I’d call it a [...]

By |2011-11-05T06:30:05+00:002011|Blog|7 Comments

Powerless in the age of power

So.  We’re watching “Margin Call” on TV Saturday night, starting to really feel the suspense, when suddenly everything goes black.  I’m not talking about just the TV.  The entire house is pitch black and eerily silent. It was the Nor’easter that had hit us, not so much with snow as with ice on trees that, thanks to an abnormally warm fall, still had plenty of leaves.  Don’t get me going [...]

By |2011-11-01T12:24:17+00:002011|Blog|5 Comments