Henry Miller Once Said,

“Work on one thing at a time until finished.” And I sorta-kinda follow that advice. It depends on the definition of “thing” which most people would take to mean a writing project like a novel, short story, screen play, or any written work of fiction or non-fiction.

Yeah, sure, but when does a writer’s idea for a writing project actually achieve a state of thingness? It is a well-known fact that muses inspire writers with a blockbuster idea every week of the year. These ideas excite the mind to various degrees and some begin to grow into an embryotic story and some eventually become written to some degree – meaning that a lot of story ideas never get realized, never even get their own desktop file. But let’s say that a writing project achieves thingness when the main characters, the setting, and a situation are chosen, and at least an introductory scene is composed. If that’s the measure of thingness then I have to admit I’m Mr. Miller’s prime rule breaker. Continue reading

Magnum Opus Nullus

After JM returned from his Swiss trip he put in extra effort and time to finish Storybook Land’s sixth story (The Tarzana Treehouse). His intent was to finish that story, take a recess from writing children’s stories and create his magnum opus. It was to be a three-act play based on real people and real events in his eventful life. Well, the recess bell never sounded, or the playground had turned barren. In any case and after pounding the recess metaphor lifeless, he found himself without a hint of how to write it. Continue reading

Writing for Kids

Ed Roxburgh illustration for Max and the Lowrider car

Assigned to teach first graders it became my responsibility to launch the little ones on the path to literacy. The task daunted me. Fortunately, just about all first graders eagerly desire reading ability and most of my class, by the end of the school year, were on the road to wherever reading would take them.

One of the cheap devices for that literacy launching was small booklets made from eight-by-eleven paper folded twice to make a four page book if the cover is counted as a page. Each book had a theme and about a five single syllable vocabulary. For a short while, for one little girl, making the top of her list of best loved books was, “Bird”. Continue reading