We returned Monday from a weekend with my daughter and her family at their new home on Amherst Island.


{Rural mailboxes; DH disappearing into the lighthouse on their property; Kiki in the outfit she picked out for her mom’s birthday dinner.}

On Wednesday I met with members of Bonnechere Books, a local book club, in the most charming setting possible:


They had wonderful questions to ask about The Shadow Queen, which they’d all just read. In talking about the evolution of that novel, I realized how fanciful it is—and questioned whether or not I wasn’t being too literal in writing Hortense’s story.

I’ve been thinking a lot about James Patterson’s MasterClass, which I mentioned last week. In editing a manuscript, he writes at the top of chapters that aren’t working: BE THERE. That’s a good rule of thumb throughout the fiction-writing process.

“Take everything that’s bright and beautiful in you and introduce it to the shadow side of yourself.” —Parker Palmer, in his Naropa Unviersity commencement address. (From the wonderful blog Brain Pickings.)

Here are my Sundae Sundries … this time mostly for writers. These were popular articles in my Flipboard “magazine” this week.


Links for writers & other creatives …

The Little Known Secret to Pixar’s Creative Success. Take heart! “Every idea starts out as an ugly baby.”

The 5 Things Productive Writers do Differently.

• An Elizabeth Gilbert TED talk: Your elusive creative genius. I’ve been listening to her new podcast series, Magic Lessons, coaching creatives. I like it.

• We all knew this, but it’s shocking nonetheless: Homme de Plume: What I Learned Sending My Novel Out Under a Male Name.

• I love Debbie Ridpath Ohi! (@inkyelbows) Back Burner Writing, Essential Apps and How I’m Squeezing In Extra Writing Every Day.

Links for all book lovers …

• A post I linked to on Facebook got a lot of comment. The subject: our love for the smell of books. When I worked as an editor in publishing, I relished the smell of a newly-printed book. Google “books smell” and you will find quite a lot on this subject. Here are two:

Where Does the Smell of Old Books Come From?

3  Reasons Why Booknerds Love the Smell of Books

Have a great week!