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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Writing Road Trip


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 […]