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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Writing Road Trip


East, or West?

by Lisa Bullard I think road-tripping together should be a requirement for every couple contemplating life partnership. There are few other circumstances that allow you to so quickly learn about how someone navigates through life. Would you rather plan the whole trip in advance, or just get in the car and drive? Do you stop […]


Are We There Yet?

by Lisa Bullard My Texas grandparents  usually made the long drive to Minnesota. But the summer I was thirteen, my parents piled me, my two younger brothers, and a borrowed boy cousin into the old station wagon and headed us south. I escaped into the far back, propping myself up on suitcases and reading a […]


Places We Never Expected to Go

by Lisa Bullard On-the-road Lisa is different than Lisa-at-home. Traveling Lisa takes bigger risks. She’s less responsible. She puts herself in the way of more trouble. You might almost call her my Evil Twin. Something happens when I’ve moved outside my comfort zone. I perceive things in a fresh way. I feel a freedom to […]


You Be Thelma, I’ll Be Louise

by Lisa Bullard It’s best to bring a buddy when you hit the highway. With a traveling companion along for the ride, the guffaws are louder.  The adventures are grander. The late-night soul-searching is more soulful. Then there are times like the morning I woke up mid-road trip with severe food poisoning in Myrtle Beach, […]


Shifting Drivers

by Lisa Bullard If you go road tripping with enough different people, you discover another way that human beings sort themselves out: into the drivers of the world, and the passengers of the world. The drivers are only completely happy when they have control of the steering wheel. But, on every trip, there comes a […]


Traveling Abroad

by Lisa Bullard In college I spent a month traveling in Europe. I savored dozens of exciting new foods. But it was the ketchup—something I usually took for granted—that stood out. Foreign ketchup was so foreign. Had ketchup become so familiar at home that I’d stopped noticing its taste? Was it because I was eating […]


Changing Course

by Lisa Bullard My family didn’t camp when I was a kid. So a few years ago, when a friend asked if I wanted to go on a camping trip to Arkansas, I said, “Sure. I’ve always wanted to try camping. It will be fun.” I assumed there would be lots of yummy toasted-marshmallow moments. […]


Pulled Over

by Lisa Bullard My brother’s wedding rehearsal is in three hours, but my cousins and I take a jaunt from Houston to Galveston anyway. Then a cop car pulls us over. One cop stands behind our car, gun drawn; another leans menacingly into the window and grills us. Eventually, he admits that our car and […]


Collecting Souvenirs

by Lisa Bullard Not all writers can claim the vast and varied assortment of souvenir snow globes I’ve acquired on my travels. But most writers I know are constantly collecting other things: stories, words, images, emotions, quirky characters, new experiences, and oddball facts. These “writing chachkas” clutter the rooms of our imaginations until we need […]


Heavy Baggage

by Lisa Bullard I wrote in “The Beauty of Roadblocks” about how students sometimes forget to include the critical element of conflict in their stories. Sometimes I’m faced with a different problem: a kid will include painful, intense conflict—something that is clearly based on their own experiences. Some young people carry around “heavy baggage,” and […]

At the wheel

Taking the Wheel

by Lisa Bullard Some days I really wish I was better at being a bad writer. Here’s why. Drafting, that early stage of writing when you are just trying to capture your ideas, usually works best if you can get words down as quickly as possible. But my inner editor is horribly critical. If I […]


The Beauty of Roadblocks

by Lisa Bullard Can you guess which of these really happened? a) After accidentally invading the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, my traveling companion and I were in a three-way stand-off: our car, a Harley, and a 1,000-pound buffalo. b) I peered over a hotel balcony high above the Mississippi, watching the bomb squad and 50 other […]

One of these things is not like the other

Packing Your Bags

by Lisa Bullard One of the basic writing exercises I use with kids starts with having them create personal “Time Capsules” (download the activity). It’s a great way to explore how writers build a character through the use of “telling” details—in this case, the items a character values the most. But a person’s stuff can […]


A Writing GPS

For a couple of years running I was hired for two-week “writing road trips” across the southwestern Minnesota prairie. On my daily journeys I often passed within a few miles of the banks of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Plum Creek. But I didn’t have time to stop and visit Famous Author Landmarks. I had been hired […]

Lisa Bullard

Traveling In-Word

For this week’s writing road trip, I journeyed to the Alphabet Forest. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of visiting, the Alphabet Forest is the remarkable creation of author/illustrator/innovator Debra Frasier, who through pure passion and persistence, managed to carve out an oasis for words in the midst of the consumable craziness that is […]