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Showing posts from May, 2015

Fairy Godsisters of the Internet

Writing a scene may be a solitary sport, but the creation of a written work is ultimately social. All of us writers have something to say and something to explore about what it means to be alive. Our success as authors hinges upon our ability to perceive, learn, and communicate with others.

So much of my writing inspiration, motivation, and quality control comes from the powerful charms of my Fairy Godsisters, women who challenge and support me in various ways--directly or from afar. Most of them are people I know in flesh and blood real life; others are virtual connections that I've made with the writers who generously share their journeys online.

For the next few months, I'll highlight some of the women who inspire, support, or challenge me as a writer. This month's duo are women I've only "met" online, who have already started along paths I hope to take one day, who kindly hold their lanterns of internet sharing to light the way for those of us just ente…

Saved by Savoring: Lessons of War and Windigos

"Give us the luxuries of life, and we will dispense with its necessaries," -19th century historian John Lothrop Motley

This was one of my late father-in-law's favorite and oft-repeated quotes.

And he would know. "Grandpa John" was born in a Nazi work camp, enslaved in child labor on a Canadian farm, tormented by an alcoholic stepfather in Hamtramck, Detroit in the '50s (where everyone he grew up with ended up dead or in prison before high school graduation), and sent to a monastic reform boarding school. Then he ran away and joined the circus, developed carnie skills such as sharpshooting, worked as a double agent for the CIA and power-to-the-people movements of the '60s, and surprised himself by settling down with a wife and baby (once he had met his personality match, of course--my mother-in-law was flouncing about town at that time in leopard fur, having a wild affair with an aging mob boss). After spending an idyllic few years as a more or less nor…