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Writing historical fiction: sometime journal of a New York City novelist

being still and writing well

I realized again today how much stillness I need if I am to write well. I miss my warm weather walks down to the Hudson River. I tend to be the sort of person who would like to use every hour productively. I lie down on the sofa and then remember who I didn't e-mail, call, the laundry, the thousands of things left undone...and I jump up again.

A writer needs time just to breathe and listen. My beloved late mentor Madeleine L'Engle used to say, "Listen to your characters." How still trees are in winter and yet deep inside they are waiting.

I am more than half way through draft two of my book about Elizabeth Barrett Browning's great love story, called THE POET IN THE TOWER. I am also working on a novel set in an English abbey in the 1500s. And it is less than two months until the paperback debut of CLAUDE & CAMILLE and I am already doing phone-ins with many book clubs and have just bought a webcam with my husband (my tech guy!) so I can Skype.

Spring will be here soon! The trees will blossom outside my church down the street.
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