The Writing Room

I’m a writer who loves to talk about writing, so if you’re a writer or an aspiring writer I hope you'll stop by now and then and keep me company . . . You’ll find writing tips here as well as my thoughts on the writing life. Watch out, though. The Grammar Geek will be putting in her two cents from time to time.

KidSpirit OnLine: Where Young Souls Take On the Big–Old–Questions

The cover of The Best of KidSpirit OnLine, Vol. II, shows a intense sport bicyclist. Photo by Jack True.

Cover of the latest print version of The Best of KidSpirit OnLine Vol. III with a photo c 2014 by Jack True.

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Does truth have inherent value? What is beauty?

Those are questions many writers won’t touch with a ten-foot pole, except maybe ironically. Or else so circuitously that no one will notice that we’re actually taking on one of the biggies . . . the better to save face if we mess up.

But the brave – very young – souls of something called KidSpirit OnLine [Read more...]

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Journalists Killed in the Line of Duty: Foley, Sotloff Joined by Dozens Each Year

Memorial to journalists killed in the line of duty at the Newseum in Washington, D.C, bears the names of thousands of journalists. Photo by Sam Kittner/Newseum

A memorial to journalists killed in the line of duty at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Photo by Sam Kittner/Newseum

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

We know about James Foley. And we know about Steven Sotloff.

But how many of us know about Rodrigo Neto, a Brazilian journalist and the host of the show “Plantão Policial” (Police Shift) on Rádio Vanguarda who died in 2013 [Read more...]

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Writers Need Editors – And Mine Wants My Manuscript Turned In, Now

Barbara Falconer Newhall in her San Francisco Bay Area writing room with desk and bookcases editing the paper print-out of her book manuscript, "Wrestling with God." Photo by Barbara Newhall

In my writing room with a print-out of the “Wrestling with God” MS. My editor is ready for me to turn it in, but I’m not. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

It’s time. Time for me to put the final tweaks and edits on my book manuscript so that my editor can send it off to be formatted – and published. It’s been years since I started work on “Wrestling with God.” I’ve written draft after draft and tried format after format. I’ve been [Read more...]

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Tulips and Sex — Writing as If Everyone I Know Were Dead

Two deep pink tulips bloom at Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, CA. Photo by BF Newhall

Deep pink tulips at their peak — just opening. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I want to write about tulips today. I don’t want to write about sex. The trouble is, for me, writing about tulips means writing about sex: something about their juicy curves brings erotic metaphors to my particular mind.

I thought that once my mother — and father — were no longer alive [Read more...]

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You’ve Got the Agent, You’ve Got the Publisher — But Do You Have the Publicist?

College student enters airport with suitcases to go to Carleton College for his freshman year.  Photo by Barbara Falconer Newhall

Son Peter leaves home for college. He’s like the manuscript I just sent off to the publisher — there was no more time to put finishing touches on this grown-up kid. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

You get an idea for a book. You like it a lot. You think people are going to want to read this book. You’re stoked.

You fret for months and years over how to transform this idea you like so much into [Read more...]

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