The Year Doesn’t Matter

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The year is 1882. John Bartlett publishes Familiar Quotations. Helen Keller, in The Story of My Life, states in 1902, "Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet gracious discourse of my book friends. They talk to me about embarrassment or awkwardness."

The year is 1899. Twelve years after Georgia O'Keeffe's birth, she tells a childhood friend that she wants to be an artist. To Georgia the meaning of a word is not as exact as the meaning of a color; colors and shapes make a more definite statement than words.

The year is 1976. O'Keeffe is amazed at the strange spoken and written words explaining and defining her paintings. She writes a visual biography because no one else can know how her paintings happen.

Are you more visual or auditory? How does that influence the way you experience life and your work?

Why I wrote “Joseph Imhof, Artist of the Pueblos”

Monday, March 21, 2011

I met Joseph Imhof when I was twelve years old. Much later I realized he had been overlooked in the art world. After twenty years of research, I knew as much about him as anyone. So I decided I had to either continue researching or write the book.

Has your research become too extensive? Are you a researcher or writer?

Borrowed and Shared Recipes

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Do you want to want to cook? Then you need a recipe, not just any, but a good one. Acknowledge that your palate tells you what a good recipe tastes like.

A large library of recipe books is never too many because you usually use one good recipe from each book.

How many recipe books do you have? Which ones are your favorites?

My Name is Nancy

Monday, February 14, 2011

A person's name has a fascination. Sometimes a name of a thousand years ago has a different connotation today. But some remain the same. We react to other people's names and they react to our names. Beyond the names themselves, do you know of  the people who chose your name? Reflect on what was important to them in chosing a name such as tradition, novelty, defiance and obscurity.

My name was chosen because my mother was reading a McCalls magazine story and the heroine's name was Nancy.

How was your name chosen?

There’s a Book Inside Everyone

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Every time someone asks me about writing books, I discover they are writing or always wanted to write a book. I believe inside everyone is a book waiting to be revealed. Give in to your innermost desires and go for it. You may entertain, enlighten others and be there for other generations.

Doris Bry, Georgia O'Keeffe's agent, said, "A book is a long, sustained work of art from start to finish regardless of length."

Once you start a writing project, do you really mean to finish it or are you just writing to make contact with the moment?

Walking the Land

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Shelby Hearon spoke in Lufkin years ago and said, "When writing a book, walk the land." As a writer you can easily say, "location, location, location."

Go the the site of your book, drive through the land, talk to the people living there, see it at all times of the year, make an overview of the land, and then dissect it for the parts you use.

Describe the locale of your writing. How many times have you been there?

Reading by the Fireplace

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

It is late autumn and winter is fast approaching.

You are at home with a roaring fire in your fireplace.

Near the fireplace is your easy chair and an end table piled with books.

You fix your cup of tea and grab a fur throw to settle into your chair.

What are the books on the table and which one will you read first?

You may know yourself by what you read for surely there are no accidents in your choices . . . delightful catalogues, fascinating biographies, enlightening dictionaries, historical novels . . . they all relate someway.

When the fire has burnt itself out, are you left with the desire to teach others a love of reading?

The Almost Perfect Christmas Gift

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

If you are undecided about what to give your friend or family member, the almost perfect gift is to give a book. Now you have to decide whether to give a book you like, a generic book or make a calculated guess as to what type of book your friend or family member would like. These selections can be gathered from listings such as the Best Seller/Fiction/Hardback list, the Best/Seller/ Nonfiction/Hardback list, from your favorite authors or from the listings on the Internet.

But keep in mind the perfect Christmas gift is to give a gift certificate for a book of their choosing.

Literary Club

Saturday, November 13, 2010

 The year is 1887.

From any window in Georgia O’Keeffe’s Sun Prairie, Wisconsin birthplace she only sees the Wisconsin prairie with its traces of roads veering around the flat marshlands and a vast sky that lifts her soul.

The year is 1946.

From Georgia O’Keeffe’s old hacienda sitting on a bluff in Abiquiu, New Mexico, she sees Helen and Winfield Morten’s property across the Chama River.

These three people are thrown together by the coincidence of being neighbors and form a keen friendship.

The year is 2010.

Do you have a friend or neighbor who influences you to create? Or do you influence someone to create?

Ice cream cones

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ice cream cones made their American debut on July 23, 1904 at the World’s Fair in Saint Louis. To celebrate be sure to eat an ice cream cone every year on July 23. The best advice is to just enjoy your ice cream cone as it is eaten while the ice cream drips down the side of the cone.