Writing Process Blog Tour

Posted: April 21, 2014 in Personal, Writing
Tags: , , , , ,

When Nora Vasconcelos at “The Traveling Book Club’s Blog”, http://thetravelingbookclub.wordpress.com/, asked if I would like to take part in the “Writing Process Blog Tour”, I blithely said “Of course.  Thanks.”  I did wonder, though, what I was doing among people who have had books published or are working on books.  Although I grew up writing stories and journals, most of my professional writing has been doing newsletters for companies or for church.  But I thought it would be fun.

It turns out that the most difficult part was trying to find three other writers willing to be featured.  Some have done this before; some never returned my emails.  So I’m ad-libbing.  I have one excellent writer who took the challenge and then I’m going to highlight a few writers/bloggers and provide links to their blogs.  As for my part, here goes.

1)What am I working on?

My current writing is on my blog. When I started over two years ago, every post was writing. Then I started adding photography and now I’m working to keep a balance between writing and photography or else combining the two. With the discovery of editing apps, I’ve started putting the written word on photographs, which is fun.

Every week I participate in Friday Fictioneers, a flash fiction challenge where the participants write a 100-word story based on a photo prompt. I’ve also been writing haiku and am working on learning about haibun and haiga, Asian writing/poetry forms. I’m starting to work on a children’s book, with our younger daughter as illustrator.

I have two tiny publishing “triumphs.”  One of is a compilation of fifty one-hundred word flash fiction stories written by fifty different people (mine is one, as is my husband’s):  “One Photo, Fifty Author, One Hundred Words.”  The other is a haiku that was included in a book of Jan Morrill’s lovely haiku (one of only two not her own):  “Life:  Haiku by Haiku.”  Jan also has a wonderful novel, “The Red Kimono“, about the Japanese internment during WWII.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My work reflects my beliefs, experiences and interest. That means in some sense, everything I do is unique. That doesn’t mean it’s the best, but it’s unique to me.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I’ve been writing in some way all my life. I kept journals for years, although they’re sometimes embarrassing to read now. I’ve always enjoyed letter-writing, which is gradually becoming a lost art. My husband and younger daughter urged me to start a blog. I can remember the excitement I felt when I got my first non-family like and follower. Since I don’t have a theme for my blog, it’s taken longer to build up a following, but it’s been so much fun. I love talking with people and blogging is a great way to meet and talk with people. I guess I write what I do for the dual purposes of expressing thoughts I have and reaching people.

4) How does my writing process work?

I don’t currently have a time set aside each day to write, although that’s on my agenda. I have notebooks where I jot down ideas or even (gasp) write things out with a pen. I have a notebook in the car to record ideas pop into my head while driving. Especially on long trips, when I have time to think, I always have things I want to remember. But mindful of safety, I always keep one hand on the steering wheel and my eyes ahead…which means I can’t always decipher my chicken scratches. I guess with my iPhone I could dictate but I haven’t advanced that far yet technically. Sometimes I imitate the Indians and tribes who had a mostly oral tradition and keep going over lines, stories or poems in my head until such time as I can write them down. It’s good brain exercise.

I write, then let my writing sit for a time before going back and revising it. Sometimes I run it by a friend but usually I just go over it myself. Those of you who know me know I’m a stickler for grammar and correct usage, so I really look for that. Hard to edit your own things, but I generally do fairly well. Sometimes I read aloud to see if the rhythm and feel are what I want. That’s also a great way to see if you need to break up sections of writing so that you don’t have run-on sentences or to see if you have incomplete sentences. I also try to look at my story from the point of view of someone who doesn’t know the back story and determine whether they’ll see it the same way as I intend. Sometimes that works; sometime not.


My featured blogger is Jennifer Pendergast.  Jen is both a good writer and a fellow grammarian.

Jennifer Pendergast lives in two very different worlds. The first is small and restrictive: bounded by the laws of physics and the demands of a strong-willed toddler. The second world is vast and limitless, even when it has to be squeezed into word counts and hard drives. In spite of this, she tends to write real-world stories, often at the darker and more deadly end of the spectrum. She’s a stickler on grammar and spelling, and enjoys sharing critique with her fellow writers – two elements which sometimes clash as she’s an English woman living in Canada and writing in the multi-lingual universe of the blogosphere at www.elmowrites.wordpress.com

Jen Headshot





My highlighted bloggers are writers and/or bloggers who I think you would enjoy meeting and reading.  There are some friends who are very good authors a/o bloggers who, as I mentioned, have either already participated in this tour elsewhere, simply don’t have time to participate or didn’t return my emails.  This isn’t a definitive list but one I hope you enjoy.

1)  Nepotism first!  My husband is developing into quite a good poet and although he would say he’s not that good, I’m not the only one who thinks his work is worth reading.   His fiction/poetry blog is “bwfiction.”

2)  Belinda at “Busy Mind Thinking” will grab your heart and not let it go with her story, her bravery and her encouragement.  If you think life is giving you a difficult time, spend some time with her and you’ll be amazed at her heart and encouraged by your own circumstances.

3)  Take a trip. I’ll finish with three bloggers who will  take you to other countries.  Ladies first!  Theodora Brack’s “Paris:  People, Places and Bling” will transport you to Paris and give you the skinny not only on shopping but on all sorts of history, food and fun.  Even if you won’t be shopping in Paris, you’ll have a great time visiting through Theodora’s eyes.

4)  Prefer the south of France?  Then you need to visit Stéphane in Bordeaux, France at “My French Heaven.”  Gorgeous photos, wonderful words and even recipes from a place you can even stay if you’re in the area.

5)  Love food, travel and great journalism?  Then you want to visit Tom at “The Palladian Traveler“.  But never read any of his posts before dinner!  You’ve been warned.

  1. I sadly ignored the “warning” and the flip-flop flounder of The Palladian Traveler is now on my menu list for next week :o)

  2. menomama3 says:

    What a great idea! I’ll click the links and enjoy the adventure.

  3. Angeline M says:

    I also started out just writing and slowly evolved into photography now. I do miss writing, and this encourages me to get back to it. Thanks for the intro to some wonderful new blogs…I just took a look at My French Heaven and wow!
    Have a great week, Janet.

  4. I am sitting here eating some humble pie. Janet, really, thank you. I don’t know what to say. You and Bill have been so supportive, in so many ways. You never cease to amaze me. I’m so deeply moved and honored. Thank you. Huge hugs. I can’t remember if I have said Happy Easter, but here it is just in case. I am really far behind on messages. I’m sorry for the delayed response; but I really do appreciate your kind mention. xoox

  5. elmowrites says:

    Thank you for your kind words about elmowrites, Janet. I know what you mean about being a non-published author among those a little further on. We must strive, though – the future is just around the corner.

    • I’m thinking that a book on our trip next year to New Zealand might be something I’ll work on. But even if I just keep writing the way I am, I won’t feel bad about it. As for you, I think you’ve got a book in you but right now, you have lots going on. 🙂


  6. […] couple of weeks ago, I was invited to join a “blog tour” by Janet over at This, That and The Other Thing. When you’ve finished here, I hope you’ll head over to her site, where she posts […]