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Writing Road Trip

Lisa Bullard

Guess What’s in My Glove Compartment? 

Let’s play a lit­tle game. I’ll tell you some things about the inside of my car, and you tell me what you can dis­cern about me from those details.

Lisa Bullard

Seeing the Signs 

Fast food signs taught my twin nephews to read when they were only two.

Lisa Bullard

Anti-Tailgating Measures 

A few years ago, a coun­try high­way I reg­u­lar­ly dri­ve in the sum­mer became part of a pilot pro­gram to stop tail­gat­ing. Large white dots were paint­ed on the road, and new signs instruct dri­vers to keep a min­i­mum of two dots between them and the car they’re fol­low­ing. Rear-end col­li­sions are a dan­ger on this road­way, and the program

Lisa Bullard

(E)motion Sickness 

Most of my many school vis­its have been amaz­ing, pos­i­tive adven­tures (see my post titled “Trav­el­ing Like a Rock Star”). A few of my vis­its have fea­tured minor bumps in the road. And one school vis­it — thank good­ness, one only! — might be bet­ter described as a major traf­fic inci­dent. It hap­pened when I was still a “new­bie” to school vis­its. I was

Lisa Bullard

Focus Your Trip 

When stu­dents set out to revise, a whole lot of dif­fer­ent things will all try to grab their atten­tion at once. Encour­age them to focus their atten­tion on a few key things each time.

Lisa Bullard

To Each Maker, Their Model 

as often as I tell stu­dents that I pre­fer to wait until I can see the entire shape of a piece before I title it, there are always those who ask me — beg me, real­ly — for per­mis­sion to write their title first.

Lisa Bullard

Writing around Roadblocks 

I’ve tried to cre­ate a stim­u­lat­ing atmos­phere in my home office. Works of art by the illus­tra­tors of my pic­ture books adorn the walls. I have a Rain­bow Mak­er in the win­dow. There are bloom­ing plants and inspir­ing say­ings and a bas­ket of toys to play with. There are birds chirp­ing out­side the win­dow (even an occa­sion­al owl when

Lisa Bullard

Driving Miss Daisy 

When I was a kid, one of my neigh­bor­hood gang’s favorite sum­mer games was to “play chauf­feur.” We’d jump on our bikes and gath­er for shoptalk at chauf­feur head­quar­ters (a.k.a. the mid­dle of our qui­et side street). Then we’d race off in dif­fer­ent direc­tions to pick up mem­bers of the envi­ably wealthy and pam­pered (yet of course

Lisa Bullard

Traveling Back Through Time 

One of my favorite pieces of writ­ing advice comes from author Faith Sul­li­van. I share it here for you to pass along to your stu­dents. When you are writ­ing about a story’s set­ting, don’t leave the read­er feel­ing like a dis­tant observer.

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Drive-by 

When I vis­it­ed Los Ange­les not long after the 1992 riots, a home-town writer told me a sto­ry that made me feel what it was like to live there in those uncer­tain times. His dri­ve home passed a large police sta­tion. He was always on alert as he drove by; every­one thought there could be more trou­ble at any time,

Writing Road Trip by Lisa Bullard | Bookology Magazine

Fitting in with the Locals 

The way we talk can be a dead give­away that we’re from else­where — Google the phrase “pop vs. soda,” and you’ll find col­or-cod­ed maps that divide the coun­try like elec­tion night results. 

Lisa Bullard

Driving After Dark 

As an ele­men­tary school kid, my most vivid recur­rent dream fea­tured a road trip. In it, I’m in the driver’s seat, although it’s the car that’s in con­trol. My two-years-younger broth­er and our two best neigh­bor­hood friends are also along for the ride. We are on a straight stretch of the two-lane high­way that leads out of

Lisa Bullard

Driver’s Ed 

It’s amaz­ing that I passed my driver’s test on the first try, since I can see now that I was a pret­ty bad dri­ver. But I was an excel­lent test-tak­er, and the State of Min­neso­ta sent me home with a score of 96 out of 100. Mere weeks lat­er I backed the fam­i­ly van into the mail­box. It’s not that my parents

Lisa Bullard

On the Lam 

Encour­age stu­dents to dri­ve their imag­i­na­tions like speed­ing get­away cars. Before you know it, their sto­ries will be packed with the sus­pense and ten­sion that con­flicts provides.

Lisa Bullard

What a Picture’s Worth 

  When I was a kid, a vis­it from my Texas grand­par­ents guar­an­teed hori­­­zon-expand­ing expe­ri­ences. For one thing, we were exposed to food choic­es not com­mon to our lit­tle house in Minnesota’s north woods. I’m not talk­ing about chili — my Tex­an father cooked that all the time. I’m talk­ing about Grand­ma drink­ing hot Dr. Pep­per instead of cof­fee. And

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