Archive | January 2013

To Outline or Not to Outline?

Dorothy Parker wrote a single draft for all her pieces. Think about that. The level of focus and precision needed to pull that off is not human. For my first book, Mermaid, I wrote without an outline. It was a rambling mess and I hired a grad school editor to help me organize after a year. She suggested an outline and I scoffed. Outlines hindered creativity. Words need to pour out onto the page without a rigid structure. Writing is very tangent oriented, no need to stop a good idea. I argued with her and was actually a bit offended in the process. I knew my process the best. Then something occurred to me the other day walking my dog. Maybe an outline allows you to be more creative precisely because you have boundaries to push against.
If it had not been for Catholic school, I would not have thought it scandalous to listen to Pearl Jam, stand up for myself, or forget to say my prayers. The structure is there to focus and preserve intentions. I began drafting an outline that night. The outline is six pages so far. Each day I work on it hoping to start actually writing soon. It is an experiment for me to see which is better suited to my process. Gone are the days though, when I would just vomit on the page and clean it up later on. Until then, I will continue to write in the sand and hope something of mine will finally be published.

Do you outline?

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I am a big believer in signs, recovering Catholic, and today I received a big one. My blog is my baby and sometimes I feel like maybe I am doing it all wrong. Today,, nominated me for inspiring blogger of the year. Humbled and reinvigorated by the nomination, I urge you visit TAOP as she sees art as a message to and from humanity.So in honored state,  I am required to share seven things about myself.

  1. My parents were from Ireland and Cuba, but I consider myself an American.
  2. I interned for Senator Bob Graham, which fueled my love of politics.

3.  Breakfast at Tiffany’s is my favorite movie, but after viewing it on the big screen last year, I vow to never watch it again.

4.       I have lost track of how many times I have been blessed by Thai Buddhist monks.

5.       I had a pet pig named Doris Jones and will not eat any pig products in her memory.

6.       For five years, I had a psychic addiction.

7.       I am fiercely independent and have proudly been self-sufficient for the past 15 years.

I reviewed TAOP’s list and also find her list quite inspiring.

A Small Practice in Editing.

I have spent my holidays editing essays and applications for clients. Editing is a crucial skill in the workplace and classroom that must be developed. So, I thought this would make an interesting small practice for the cyberworld. It is a paragraph of a new piece I am working on called The Disappointment.  If you would like to giive your input, I would appreciate it. 90% of writing is revision and it can seem dauting to the inexperienced. Go ahead and give it a try, you might be surprised about your eye.


           Victor held his newborn daughter in his arms after delivering her. She was healthy and had long enough lashes for the nurses to comment. When he knew he would be a father for the fourth time, he prayed for a boy like his first-born.  Boys outnumbered girls on his side and he already had two. This girl, Catherine, was a disappointment. He did not want to look at her, but had to pretend to be a proud father as his co-workers congratulated him. Frowning would not be acceptable. He squeezed her sides under the blanket. As if accepting the challenge, Catherine did not cry.