Sunday, November 20, 2005

Thanksgiving: Reflections and Resources

Writing is a solitary pursuit but rarely a lonely one with books on our shelves as companions.

Each book offers a way out of solitude, a doorway into another world and insights into someone else's way of writing, and we can read and re-read their words to hear the voices that we need to hear whenever those voices call to us.

With Thanksgiving's approach, I'd like to offer my thanks to the many authors whose books I've found helpful (and whose voices have called to me) as I've thought about the writing process over the past four months.

I've turned to these works as I assembled my thoughts for Wordswimmer week after week, and I'm sharing them with you--along with some links that may prove helpful for further research--in the hope that you'll find these resources helpful, too

Many thanks, too, to all of you who have stepped (or dived) into the water over the past few months. Your presence and ongoing support have kept me afloat at times when I wasn't sure that I could make it back to shore. I'm deeply grateful for your presence.

In exploring together the difficulties, obstacles, joys and frustrations of writing, we help each other better understand our own writing process, much as Deng Ming-Dao suggests in Everyday Tao: Living With Balance and Harmony: "It is when you recognize in others the same human condition you experience that you are on the verge of knowing yourself."

I hope Wordswimmer has helped you find your way through unknown waters and that you'll keep swimming with us in the weeks ahead.

Resources for further study:

Blyth, R. H. Haiku, Volumes 1-4. Hokuseido Press. Japan. 1952. (For more on R.H. Blyth, check out as well as And for an interesting site on learning more about Haiku, see

Burroway, Janet. Writing Fiction (5th ed.): A Guide to Narrative Craft. Longman/Addison Wesley, Reading, MA. 2000. (For more books from Longman, check out their website at If you want to read more about Burroway and her work, check her out at

Butler, Robert Olen. From Where Your Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction. Grove Press, New York, NY. 2005. (For more of Butler's insights into the writing process, check his website at

Disher, Gary. The Bamboo Flute. Ticknor & Fields, New York, NY. 1993.

Disher, Gary. Writing Fiction: An Introduction to the Craft. Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, Australia. 2001.

DuFresne, John. The Lie That Tells A Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction. W. W. Norton, New York, NY. 2003. (For more information about DuFresne and his thoughts on writing, check out his blog at

Hanlon, Emily and Holcomb, Claire. The Fiction Writers Blog: Articles, Writing Exercises, Prompts, and More... at

Hunter, Molly. Talent Is Not Enough: On Writing For Children. Harper & Row, New York, NY. 1976.

Keyes, Ralph. The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear. Henry Holt & Co, New York, NY. 1995. (You can read more about Keyes at

Kuns, J. Irvin. While Your Were Out. Dutton, New York, NY. 2004.

Martino, Carmela A. Rosa, Sola. Candlewick Press, Cambridge, MA. 2005. (See Carmela Martino's website for more information about Rosa and the author.)

Ming-Dao, Deng. Everyday Tao: Living With Balance and Harmony. HarperCollins, New York, NY. 1996. (If you're in need of an inspiring thought for the day, check out these soul-boosters at
or some of Deng Ming-Dao's sayings at

Myers, Walter Dean. For more on Walter Dean Myers and Monster, check out and also

Park, Linda Sue. Project Mulberry. Clarion Books, New York, NY. 2005. (See Linda Sue Park's website for more information about Park and her work.)

Paustovsky, Konstantin. Isaac Babel Talks About Writing. The Nation. March 31, 1969. pp 406-407. (This article is available online at

Salisbury, Graham. Eyes of the Emperor. Wendy Lamb Books, New York, NY. 2005. (For more information about Graham Salisbury and his previous books, take a look at his website

Sher, Gail. One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers. Penguin Compass, New York, NY. 1999. (Gail Sher's website is

Trueman, Terry. For more on Terry Trueman and Stuck in Neutral, take a look at an interview that appears at

White, William. For more info about Gwishalaayt: The Spirit Wraps Around You, see Barb Cranmer, Nimpkish Wind Productions, or the website for the First Nations at For more info about Musqueam Weavers, try; for a description of William White's project with the museum, try

Wolitzer, Hilma. The Company of Writers: Fiction Workshops and Thoughts on the Writing Life. Penguin Books, New York, NY 2001.

Thanks again to all.

PS. Next post--Swimming Underwater--is scheduled to appear Monday, November 21.

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