I’m here! Well, partway here, anyways, on my way to the 2nd ever Writing Away Retreat. Currently, I’m in Albuquerque with fabulous chef and retreat hostess Cicily Janus shopping for retreat groceries. Here she is testing out rental cars for the drive to Taos:

We took great care to choose a comfy car for the retreat faculty.

On the bus ride to the airport, I finally had time to meditate on Lu’s Story, the recently-finished Peru book. I intended to hand it out to my crit group before leaving home, but I don’t feel settled with it. I now know why. In all the rewrites of my opening, I lost the voice.

I need to copy Robin L’s example and post a sign over my desk:


I’ll be working on that in the coming days….

— Cheryl :-)

Writing tool of the week

Today, I have to come down strongly in favor of the iPhone as a tool for making blogging possible. Yes, I have to type posts with my thumbs, and yes, it takes longer than if I was sitting at my desk computer– but when I’m sitting at my desk, I try to seize those rare moments for other kinds of writing. Like, the kind that pays.

Okay, the kind that pays in theory.

Now when I have 10 spare minutes waiting for my son to get out of school, I can return to the blogosphere.

— Cheryl :-)

Greatness in the Details

I’m doing something new tonight–I’m at a Student Council fundraiser for my son’s school. To be specific, I’m sitting on a gym floor with a few hundred kids and parents watching a family- friendly movie. There’s a 25 cent ice cream bar still taking customers halfway through the movie, which is okay because as far as I can tell, no one’s actually watching the movie. You can’t hear it above the constant roar of kids’ voices…not to mention the fact that the sound usystem keeps cutting out.

Which brings me to Meg Cabot, one of the top YA authors of our time. Does she hang out at these events? Because her writing is filled with the sort of vibrant detail best collected in person.

It can be tricky to weave details of normal life–like the happy hubbub of a school movie night–into a bigger-picture story. Sometimes those details paint the scenery against which the story takes place. Sometimes those details ARE the story.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a movie to (try) to watch….

— Cheryl :-)


Is there such a word? Because there ought to be. It perfectly describes my state the past few weeks. I’ve been hyper-absorbed in the novel rewrite half the time and hyper-absorbed in kid/school research the rest.

I don’t think I’m capable of doing things in moderation! Who said “Excess in everything”? I need to give them a round of applause.

That’s why I haven’t been around in the blog world lately. After I pass some max amount of busy-ness, I can’t seem to pull my head out of whateverr’s claimed my hyperfocus (which IS a word).

Now I’m back in the “real” world, whatever that means. I’m even thinking about things besides Peru, plot structure, and character arc. I’m even (gasp!) catching up on things like blogging…altho travel in upcoming weeks might cause a few gaps.

— Cheryl :-)