Monday, April 14, 2014

The Writing Process Tour

My friend Rachael Conlin Levy asked me if I would participate in an online blog meme called My Writing Process, and I couldn't say no because I admire her and appreciate her so very much. Rachael is a journalist, a beautiful writer, a wonderful cook, a creative homemaker, a talented knitter, and a sensitive photographer. You can enjoy her words and images on her blog, The Slow-Cooked Sentence
What am I working on?

As a writer for hire: assorted nonfiction books. In my (precious few) spare hours: a middle-grade novel and a few picture books.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I must retreat beneath a bushel basket from this question. Although I can put forth my credentials for writing a particular project and believe in my ability to do the job well, it makes me extremely uncomfortable to answer this! 
Why do I write what I do?
Because I love to research and to write. I love animals, science, and natural history and feel very fortunate to be writing about the topics that have interested me since I was a little kid.
How does my writing process work?
Most of my work is nonfiction, so my writing process usually begins with mountains of reading. I take out dozens of books from libraries and visit oodles of websites. If necessary I contact experts. I am delighted to have an excuse to buy a few new or used books, too. Then I create a rough outline for the book and go from there. 

If I'm working on a picture book of my own, then I write with a black Uni-ball Signo pen on looseleaf in a binder or a spiral notebook. I doodle a lot in the margins. Usually horses or googly-eyed dogs. Or stupid-looking birds and dragons. I write my blog on my blog site instead of cutting and pasting it, because cutting and pasting it from a document usually means Messed-Up Formatting.
Who’s next on My Writing Process blog tour?
Nancy Schatz Alton, who is a freelance writer, editor, and writing coach. She is the co-author of two holistic healthcare guides: The Healthy Back Book and The Healthy Knees Book. She is a regular contributor to ParentMap, where she writes articles and essays about parenting here. Nancy also writes about parenting, learning disabilities, family life, books, writing, cooking, and more on her blog, Within the Words. She is currently working on a memoir. Nancy lives in Seattle with her husband and two daughters. She's a Ballard denizen and thus is a member of the Ballard Writers Collective, where you can read an interview with her. Nancy's entry for the My Writing Process meme will appear on April 21.