more column teasers

Here are excerpts from my April and May columns for the Willamette Writers newsletter. (To join WW go to

From “Advice to a stumped fan”

Perhaps every story idea has been done (I don’t believe this, by the way) but every writer expresses an idea differently. Thank goodness the basic plot of, let’s say, a boy meets girl story was not written only by William Shakespeare but also by Jane Austen and Nicholas Sparks and Madeline L’Engle. Thank goodness the pain of war was approached by Victor Hugo as well as by Margaret Mitchell and Kurt Vonnegut.

From “Let the Right One In”

In traditional tales of the supernatural, there are certain rules. Devils and vampires are both barred from entering your home unless you invite them in. But on the other hand, a good being (wizard, angel, fairy, good witch) might come to your doorstep disguised as a beggar and bless you with your heart’s desire if you feed and house them for the night. So the trick is to figure out how to tell the difference between good and evil. As a writer you also need to know when to open your heart and mind to a project or idea and when to say no.


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