Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Writing Road Trip

Lisa Bullard

Signal Your Intentions

It wasn’t so unusu­al that my teenage nephews were send­ing me sig­nals that trans­lat­ed to: “Will you take us to the store right now so we can spend these Christ­mas gift cards from Grand­ma?” What was new this year was that they also want­ed to do the dri­ving. Brand-new per­mits in their pock­ets, I agreed […]

Lisa Bullard

Forgetting How to Drive

You always hear it around the time of the first fall snow­storm in Min­neso­ta: “It’s like peo­ple have for­got­ten how to dri­ve!” It refers to the fact that even dri­vers who are diehard Minnesotans—as evi­denced by the Min­neso­ta Vikings flags fly­ing from their pick­up antennas—don’t seem to have the tini­est clue how to dri­ve on […]

Lisa Bullard

Stopping by the Diner

My dad has a pas­sion­ate hatred of olives on, in, or even in the gen­er­al vicin­i­ty of his food. He’s con­vinced their mere pres­ence con­t­a­m­i­nates any­thing else on his plate. So when he eats at his favorite small-town din­er, he’s always care­ful to tell the serv­er that he wants his din­ner sal­ad with­out the black […]

Lisa Bullard

Pickle Voice

I think that what we mean when we talk about “writer’s voice” is a writer’s per­son­al­i­ty show­ing up on the page. It emerges through many diverse writ­ing choic­es, rang­ing from word usage to tone to rhythm.

Lisa Bullard

A Vehicle for Change

I’d heard my mom talk about “duck and cov­er”: hid­ing under her school desk from a poten­tial nuclear attack. And I’d par­tic­i­pat­ed myself in tor­na­do drills dur­ing my own school days, lin­ing up in a base­ment hall­way with our arms cov­er­ing our heads. None of that pre­pared me for a lock­down drill. I was on […]

Lisa Bullard

Shifting Gears

The only argu­ment I’ve ever wit­nessed between Teenage Nephew 1 and Long­time Girl-friend was a doozy. And I couldn’t help chortling with glee because the basis of their dis­agree­ment was so close to my heart: What makes for the best pos­si­ble sto­ry? Actu­al­ly, the way they put it was, “What’s bet­ter, ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Har­ry […]

Lisa Bullard

Drive

I was plan­ning a road trip to North­ern Min­neso­ta to teach at a Young Author’s Con­fer­ence and decid­ed to include a small detour to my past: the town of Bemid­ji, where we lived when I was in 2nd through 5th grades. So after the con­fer­ence wrapped, I spent a cou­ple of hap­py days trav­el­ing down […]

Lisa Bullard

Adjust Your Mirrors

You get a dif­fer­ent view of the road behind you depend­ing on which of your car’s mir­rors you look into. And writ­ers can direct read­ers to a dif­fer­ent out­look on their sto­ry depend­ing on which point of view they use as the “mir­ror” for the events that take place. I’ve found that point of view […]

Lisa Bullard

Hands on the Wheel

A few years ago, I remem­ber Teenage Nephew 2 point­ed out (from his new­ly gath­ered store­house of driver’s ed wis­dom) that I put my hands in the wrong posi­tions on the steer­ing wheel. The new place­ment, he told me, is either 9 and 3 or 8 and 4 on the clock face, to avoid break­ing […]

Lisa Bullard

Traveling Further In-Word

As a fol­low-up to my last post, I want­ed to offer you a down­load­able ver­sion of one of the activ­i­ties I cre­at­ed for my day in the Alpha­bet For­est: ”Make Your Own ‘Sto­ry Wheel.’” The Sto­ry Wheel I brought for my day fea­tured State Fair ele­ments to fit my usu­al sug­gest­ed sto­ry-starter mix of char­ac­ters, […]

Lisa Bullard

Green for Go

Traf­fic sig­nals don’t require a sin­gle word to send a clear mes­sage. Even small chil­dren can learn how to “read” them. Red reads “stop.” Green reads “go.” Yel­low reads either “slow down” or “speed up,” depend­ing on the “char­ac­ter” of the dri­ver. Even young stu­dents can also “read” word­less pic­ture books. Because the art­work reveals […]

Lisa Bullard

License Plate 007

Sto­ry dia­logue is charged with the large task of help­ing to tell the sto­ry: it reveals char­ac­ter­i­za­tion, advances the plot, and pro­vides action.

Lisa Bullard

Next Exit: Adventure

Some­times just a town’s name is enough to entice you. Who could dri­ve past the exit for Last Chance, Idaho—or Hell, Michigan—or Hap­py­land, Oklahoma—without at least con­tem­plat­ing how your life might be changed if you took that unex­pect­ed detour? All on their own, names tell a sto­ry. That’s why I often do an online search […]

Lisa Bullard

Swerving Over the Line

Dur­ing one of my vis­its to see my Alaba­ma brother’s fam­i­ly, we took a road trip to the Ave Maria Grot­to. That’s where a Bene­dic­tine Monk named Broth­er Joseph Zoet­tl built over 125 Mini-Me ver­sions of some of the great­est build­ings of the world. Artists are often inspired by some­one else’s mas­ter­pieces.  But in work­ing […]