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Writing Road Trip

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Road Scholar 

I once had an “aha” moment while giv­ing my nephew a ride on a beau­ti­ful sum­mer day. He was in that ear­ly stage of ado­les­cence: old enough to sit in the front seat, but young enough that rid­ing shot­gun was excit­ing. But dur­ing this ride, he was giv­ing off strange sig­nals. He twitched. He wig­gled. He squirmed.

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Rev Their Engines 

Some­times, despite cram­ming plen­ty of action and conflict into my writ­ing, it still falls flat. I want the words to leap off the page and grab read­ers by the throat, and instead they flop around gasp­ing for breath. For­tu­nate­ly, there’s a straight­for­ward revi­sion trick that can reju­ve­nate such writ­ing: a verb check. I start by going through the

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Where She Went 

I love book spine poet­ry, and it’s a great way to get young writ­ers to engage with both books and poet­­­ry-writ­ing. Check out your own shelves and see what sto­ries emerge. Here are some of my own efforts to show you how easy it can be. Where She Went Look­ing for Alas­ka  Chas­ing Ver­meer  Track­ing dad­dy down  Look­ing for

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Mile Marker 

Assump­tions” cause mis­un­der­stand­ings in life, but they can be a handy tool for writers.

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Driving a Compact 

In my town, par­al­lel park­ing was known as the “skill most like­ly to rat­tle” new dri­ving can­di­dates and ulti­mate­ly cause them to flunk their on-road dri­ving test. Luck­i­ly for me, I was assigned a gigan­tic pick­up truck the day we prac­ticed par­al­lel park­ing in the stu­dent lot for Driver’s Ed class. By the time class was over, I could

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

On the Trail of … 

Here’s one of my deep, dark secrets: I’m a huge fan of the real­i­ty TV show “Find­ing Bigfoot.”

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Lincoln or Jaguar? 

Names are one-word poems. I often do tons of research to figure out which name is the best match for the indi­vid­ual I’m invent­ing; it mat­ters that I get it right.

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Looking Both Ways 

Some stu­dents jump into wild cre­ativ­i­ty with­out hear­ing a sin­gle warn­ing rat­tle. Oth­ers stop to look both ways so often that they nev­er suc­cess­ful­ly make it across the writ­ing street.

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Writing Road Kill 

Writ­ing well is hard. If you’re not chal­leng­ing your­self as a writer, you can turn into writ­ing road kill. Besides: angels need a rea­son to show up.

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Mileage Log 

There’s a quote about sculpt­ing, attrib­uted to Michelan­ge­lo, that I often para­phrase for stu­dents when I’m talk­ing about the art of revising.

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Overdrive 

There’s a quote about sculpt­ing, attrib­uted to Michelan­ge­lo, that I often para­phrase for stu­dents when I’m talk­ing about the art of revis­ing: In every block of mar­ble I see a stat­ue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and per­fect in atti­tude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the love­ly apparition

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Alternate Route 

When trav­el­ing on alter­nate routes has been unavoid­able, I’ve often noticed and appre­ci­at­ed things I might have oth­er­wise overlooked.

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

What a Race! 

What if class­room Elec­tion Day was based on books?

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Winning the Road Race? 

For any writer, it’s impor­tant to under­stand that the act of writ­ing, and being pub­lished are not the — same thing.

Lisa Bullard. Photo by Katherine Warde

Riding Around the Block 

Safe­ty, I am here to tell you, is the bane of good story-writing …

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