I have decided to start a mug collection.

I will have bright orange mugs as large as my face from which to drink foamy chai lattes on sunny Mondays. Chic white china ones for toasty espressos on wintery afternoons. Crazy, rainbow mosaic ones full of cream and sugar for those dreary, rainy days.



Sometimes the only way to get me up early is to remind me that it means at least an hour of uninterrupted writing time before the rest of the house comes to noisy, hectic life. It also probably means coffee, which is just as good.


Going through my late grandfather’s basement library, it amazes me how similar we were – book hoarders, reveling in dust and the smell of yellow pages. Composition notebooks filled to the brim with letters, essays, and stories for no one in particular. I wish that I had more of a chance to talk to him about our love of words.


Sometimes you just need to build an altar to fire, walk a labyrinth, and sit under crab apple trees wearing hard hats before you realize how important writing is to your mental and emotional well-being.


I have officially completed my personal writing challenge: three chapters a day, three pages each, for a week. I now have over fifty pages under my belt, and hopefully this story will be one I will continue to work on even though the initial regimen has ended.

It is good to feel like a real writer once again.


Including multiple focal characters in a work of fiction allows you not only a broader and more complete view of the whole story, but also keeps things flavorful and interesting. Again, a neat little comparison could be drawn between writing and life.


It is nine thirty p.m., and the last thing I feel like doing is writing two more chapters for my current project. I have already slogged through one chapter, and can feel the magic of this story quickly draining away leaving nothing but crusty soap suds and slimy hairballs . . . but I promised myself I would meet my quota, and meet my quota I will.


Today I looked at writing desks. I also discovered that I am extremely picky about the surfaces on which I write.

No glass tops – too sterile and uncomfortable and I would find being able to see my legs at all times distracting. It would have to be wooden, but not too dark and not too light: oak wood as opposed to cherry or pine. Preferably small, but not cramped. Simple, but not too simple, because there is nothing worse than a desk which looks like a table that didn’t know it was supposed to be in the kitchen.


I am a book worshipper, Grecian rather than Roman.

I do not set books on high shelves and handle them with venerating care, keeping them wrapped pompously in their clumsy dust jackets, turning every page with sterile reverence, being careful never to wrinkle, bend, or crease them.

I insert myself into them – manhandle them, stain them with coffee, violate them with dog-ears, highlighters, and penciled notes in virgin margins. Only through this aphrodisiacal form of reveling praise will true Enlightenment be reached.


I have one long, slow week before my life becomes hectic. If I do not write within this time frame, I fear my brain will implode. Therefore, a strict regimen is called for:

Three chapters a day, each chapter a minimum of three pages, will result in at least twenty-four chapters and seventy-two pages by this coming Sunday. No plot continuity, literary pizzazz, back-story or revision is necessary. Raw words are the only nonnegotiable component.

Let the madness begin.