Hello from Monterey, California! I’m writing to you from yesterday. Christchurch is twenty hours ahead of Monterey, so you’ve reached November before me. How is it so far? I am thrilled to be on a virtual visit to New Zealand this month as your November Star Author.
Since it is Halloween in California, I’ll begin with a writing trick and a reading treat.
Do you ever have trouble getting started writing? Maybe it’s an essay for school and you just can’t come up with the first line, or a story that is fantastic in your imagination, but you can’t seem to get it onto the page. Getting started is my number one writing challenge.
The next time you’re stuck, try the timer trick:
Ready? Now set the timer for 15 minutes and press start. Write as fast as you can, without stopping, without erasing, until that timer buzzes.
Don’t worry about spelling. Don’t worry about getting the facts right. Perfection is not the goal. This is a draft. Just write. You’ll be surprised what tumbles out of your head and onto the page. If 15 minutes feels daunting, start with 5.
Look for more writing tips this month, as well as the story of where my stories come from, and maybe even a word game or two.
For now I’ll leave with you with a treat. The sweetest reading treat of all: a poem.
Like Christchurch, Monterey is bordered by hills and the Pacific Ocean. Fog hovers out my morning window as I write, so here is a fog poem by Carl Sandburg:FOG The fog comes on little cat feet It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on.