A Writer’s Road: Reading in the Time of Corona

A Shelf of Trollopes I have to be careful with what I read right now. The news, social media, all the incoming information and non-information threatens to overwhelm me. We all react differently to the stressful situation we find ourselves in. Some people need to know...

A Writer’s Road: To Wear a Mask, Reconsidered

en route back to the US from Cambodia Back in February of this year, I was en route to my annual 2-month stay in Cambodia to work with my team at Writing Through. It is a part of the year which I always anticipate with great excitement, not only because it allows me...

A Writer’s Road: Your Brain on Art

Those of us who spend time working in the arts, specifically creating new art - be it written, musical, visual - know instinctively that our brains work differently. We know that the hours of learning and practice have helped to develop areas of our brains that then...

A Writer’s Road: Why Travel?

There is an old adage that says you should write what you know. And I agree - as long as you take the idea of 'what you know' very broadly. For example, there are many writers who have written novels about places they have only been to briefly or not at all. An...

A Writer’s Road: Brain Pickings, by Maria Popova

Logo of the Brain Pickings blog by Maria Popova Here is a newsletter and blog which I want to share with my friends and readers. Brain Pickings is, in Maria's own words, a labor of love which she has continued weekly for over thirteen years. It pops up in my inbox...

A Writer’s Road: To Mask or Not To Mask

I feel compelled to write about the coronavirus, even though it is not the sort of topic I would normally include in my blog posts. I left the US for my annual two-month stay in SE Asia on February 6. The virus already existed but seemed to be contained to mainland...

A Writer’s Road: The Effect of Teaching Poetry

Many writers teach. My teaching has taken on a life of its own and led me to found the international non-profit called Writing Through. We've accomplished a great deal over the five years of our existence, now working in Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore. Happily, the...

A Writer’s Road: Being Creative – The Follow Through

I recently wrote a blog about being creative here. In it I asserted that we are all creative beings, and that we hold ourselves back too often. My friend and fellow writer, Joe Stein, had the following insightful comment: I also think that some folk have a tendency to...

A Writer’s Road: Jim Lehrer’s Rules of Journalism

courtesy of wsj.com We live in a time when truth is under siege, facts are doubted, and our ushers to understanding, journalists, are often humiliated. Each generation has its own torch bearers (which in itself is a good thing, I think). In the US, there was Walter...

A Writer’s Road: How To Be Creative

Being creative and what to do with your creativity is something I think about and talk about quite a lot. But even before you start thinking about the 'how' , you have to believe that you are creative in the first place. People often say to me, 'Oh, I'm not creative.'...

The Writer’s Road: Education and Neuroscience

photo courtesy of tophat.com When I began to think about this new incarnation of my blog, I decided that I wanted to focus on topics of interest as well as facts about my own personal writing career. One of those topics which has fascinated me for years is that of...

A Writer’s Road: The Road (Seemingly) Not Taken

Ancient Tiryns (photo courtesy of hellenicaworld.com) A very long time ago, a young girl decided she wanted to be a writer. Years later, while in college, that same girl, now a woman, decided she wanted her writing to take the form of play writing. But being an...

A Writer’ Road: What I Read in 2019

I love year-end lists. I read them even if I'm not interested in the subject, just for the wonder of it, like The Year in Potatoes, or Messiest Celebrity Break-Ups of 2019. So I look forward to my annual list of what I read each year. I hope you'll find it...

A Writer’s Road: The Power of Play

A quick reminder to myself, and all of us who consider ourselves to be 'serious' writers... I started to write 'seriously' when I was 8 years old. There was a play back then which I wrote and actually got performed for the school. But at the same age, I also started...

A Writer’s Road: Poetry Tips

I have an old friend who recently approached me with the desire to re-incorporate writing poetry into her life. How wonderful is that? It gave me the opportunity to pull together some basic rules of the road - rules which are, of course, meant to be broken, but only...

A Writer’s Road: On Competition

For years, I have been trying to find a way to feel good about competition. Even on the few occasions I have won, be it money or prestige, the high of winning never lasts as long as the low of losing. But beyond that, I have never been able to reconcile the undeniable...

A Writer’s Road: On Not Writing

I am very excited to say that I have a new novel coming out next year - more on that later, of course. But I am not so excited to say that for the past year I have done little to no creative writing. I have written about 500 words of fiction and one poem. Really,...

A Writer’s Road: Creativity in the Classroom

photo thanks to weareteachers.com Last week I shared some thoughts, via Philip Pullman, about the importance of kids' access to stories and poetry. Today, I can take this even further when I share with you an article from the Gallup Poll blog called Teachers Who...

A Writer’s Road: Kids Need Art

My work with Writing Through has taught me many things. But there is one thing which I always believed in my bones, and now have had confirmed through real life experience. Kids need art. They need to have the experience of listening to poems and stories. They need to...

A Writer’s Road: Creativity and Neuroscience

Okay, I'm a geek, but two things I think about quite a bit are creativity and neuroscience. In my own writing and my teaching through Writing Through, the question often arises, how does someone be creative? What is that spark and where does it come from? My own...

A Writer’s Road: Esperanto

I wrote my first blog post nearly twelve years ago. Much has happened since then, of course, and my blog has reflected it all. Recently, the reflection is a sporadic shimmer - that is to say, every once in a very long while I'll post something and then move on. While...

Not Running But Still Taking Part

The Chilmark Road Race is an important part of our summer. This year, though, I won't be running it, and I wrote the following piece about that for the Vineyard Gazette: Not Running But Still Taking Part Sue Guiney Thursday, August 9, 2018 - 4:37pm In August 2014, I...

An Anniversary of Prose and Painting

An Anniversary of Prose and Painting

I am lucky enough to live on an island that attracts artists - poets, novelists, painters, sculptors, glass blowers, potters, you name it. A big event here, especially in the summer, is an exhibit opening. Cars line the streets and crowd onto lawns, then hordes of...

The Reading Hole

The Reading Hole

I find myself in the weird position of having finished reading my latest book, and also being at the bottom of my 'To Be Read' pile. What to do? There are so many new(ish) books I could move on to, of course. But it dawned on me that maybe this is a good time to plug...

A New Website is Born!

A New Website is Born!

We have a silly saying around our house:  What is it about time?      It flies. It certainly does, and as it flies away, it takes lots with it. Some of you might have noticed a certain quiet that had descended on my blog over the past few months, and that is because...

A Recipe for Courage

A Recipe for Courage

I woke this morning to an astonishing reminder of a very important anniversary for me. Facebook told me that ten years ago this evening, on April 4 2008, my poetry play, Dreams of May, opened it's four week run at London's Pentameters Theatre. Ten years....very hard...

Hello Vietnam!

The story of this trip starts in Singapore, actually, in the training session I led for Writing Through prospective volunteers in 2016. At that time, a wonderful trainee named Stephanie took me aside and said I had to bring the program to Vietnam, her home country. My...

What I Read This Year

What I Read This Year

What a busy year! Lots of big changes and growth for my educational charity, Writing Through. After too long, my new novel which finishes off my Cambodian Trilogy, is completed and sitting patiently among friends in my publisher's queue. I've traveled back and forth...

The Tyranny of Titles

The Tyranny of Titles

Every workshop I teach leads to a discussion of The Title. 1. What is the purpose of a title? 2. Where should it come from? 3. How do you know if it's any good? When I teach others, I can generally come up with some answers to these questions, like the following: 1. A...

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