I’ve worked with authors all around the world. For some foreign authors, English is their second language. The first thing I do is ask who their target reader is. Is it the American reader? Do they want their book to be written in idiomatic American English or do they want to retain their foreign accent? If the setting is in the U.S., do they want it to be accurate? The author from Algeria who now lives in Los Angeles had the geography in his novel down pat, but two authors who set their books in New York City but had never been there, so I was able to help them when their geography got a bit skewed.Read More
As I wrote all those term papers in college and graduate school, I made sure to insert at least one pun in every one of them. (A psychologist I’ve known for forty years attributes this punnishness to a busted synapse in my brain.) I titled one term paper, which compares the Oedipus plays of Sophocles and Hugo von Hofmannsthal,“Complex Oedipus.”Read More
But proofreading is not part of my job. Sue Jorgenson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I have been friends for 20+ years, and she’s been proofreading the books I’ve edited for at least a decade. (She lives half an hour down the freeway from me.) She prints the manuscript I send her and reads it on paper.That means she sees things you and I both missed because we’re seeing what’s in our head on the computer screen. Then she brings me her marked-up copy, we have a nice visit, and I make her corrections (or nearly all of them).Read More
Goddess Meditations was published in 1998 and taken out of print in 2002 because it wasn’t selling as well as Llewellyn’s “teen witch” books. When I wrote Goddess Meditations, I was holding several intentions. First, I knew that no one had written a book composed solely and entirely of meditations to goddesses before. (There have been several since 1998.) As a spiritual feminist, I wanted to create such a book. Second, I had been leading guided meditations in rituals, small and large, private and public, for about a decade. People had liked them and kept urging me to write a book. And, third, I wanted to deal with a number of issues in my own life. So I wrote the book. And rewrote it and rewrote it and rewrote it. All that writing led me through my own issues and gave me some important healing.Read More
I like to think that I write passable poetry. I read a lot of The World’s Great Poetry in graduate school and totally understand that I’m not Shakespeare or Donne or Milton. (Not even Dryden or Shadwell.) (Joke for English majors.)Read More
Secret Lives is about 150,000 words long. I’m not alone in writing long fiction, of course. Take a look at the novels of Sheri S. Tepper or Edward Rutherfurd. If you’ve got a big story to tell, length is necessary. It’s comparatively easy to write long form literature, either nonfiction or a novel. You just put down everything that comes into your mind and edit and rewrite until you’re satisfied.Read More
My son is Charles Ardinger V, which used to make family reunions in southeast Missouri (where my ex-husband’s family came from) lots of fun. A multitude of Charleses. I still have a photo of Charles with his grandfather’s grandmother, Mammy Hall, who was 100 years old at the time; Charles was five.
Charles was born shortly after I finished my master’s degree. In fact, when I was eight months pregnant and taking a class in non-Shakespearean English drama, I laid this threat on the professor: If you give us a final, I’ll go into labor right here in the seminar room. It worked.
You know how witches and other pagans are always saying “Blessed be”? I’m sure someone more scholarly than I am can trace the entire stream of “Blessed be he” from the Roman poet Vergil, who wrote about the blessings of living in the country, to the Beatitudes (Matthew 5), to the 18th-century English poets who, following Vergil, were forever writing about how blessed they were to have their country estates, to modern Wicca. You meet a Pagan or a Witch and you say, “Blessed be.” It’s our all-purpose greeting.Read More
This poem is a true story. I did in fact find my friend sitting with her dog and cat in a U-Haul truck parked in front of the apartment she’d lived in before she got evicted. She had driven the U-Haul all the way to the mountains of northern California. But she was turned away by her so-called friends in Humboldt County, couldn’t find a place to live up there, and drove all the way back to Long Beach (probably a thousand miles each way).Read More