Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Writing Road Trip

Lisa Bullard

Georgia, Broadway, and Niagara — Cheese or Font?

So what’s the per­fect game for some­body who lives in a state with lots of dairy farms, spends a huge hunk of her time writ­ing or read­ing, and has been known to insert a but­ter head into a nov­el as a red her­ring? Why, it’s Cheese or Font, of course! If you’ve nev­er played, please […]

Lisa Bullard

The Limo’s on the Way

I’ve found there’s an alarm­ing­ly close cor­re­la­tion between the top­sy-turvy emo­tions of a high school crush and a writer’s feel­ings dur­ing the process of sub­mit­ting a man­u­script to pub­lish­ers. As the writer wait­ing for an answer from The Per­fect Pub­lish­er, you go through the same hope­ful highs and “why doesn’t any­one love me?” lows. The […]

Lisa Bullard

Backseat Drivers

Some of the best advice you can give stu­dent writ­ers is also some of the eas­i­est for them to car­ry through on: to write bet­ter, they should read bet­ter. Read bet­ter, as in: Read more. Read wide­ly. Read out­side their usu­al read­ing “type.” Read care­ful­ly. Read for fun. Read first for sto­ry, and then read […]

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 […]