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.

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...]


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...]


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...]


My Computer is Dead, Long Live My Omputer

Sales clerk at Best Buy store climbs ladder to pull down a new Toshiba laptop for a customer. Photo by BF Newhall

A big box store salesperson climbed a ladder to pull down my new laptop. And, yes, that’s my finger across the top of the picture. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Faloner Newhall

I went away for the weekend, and when I showed up in my writing room on Monday morning my laptop had crashed.

“It’s not your fault,” the omputer repair guy reassured me. “Computers are machines. Machines break.” [Read more...]


Yippee! I Did It — I Finished My Book

Author Barbara Falconer Newhall sends her manuscript for "Wrestling With God" electronically to Patheos Press from her writing studio. Photo by Jon Newhall

I’m ready to press the “send” button and dispatch my manuscript off to publisher Patheos Press. Photo by Jon Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

It’s 6:02 Wednesday evening I just  hit the send button to send the manuscript for Wrestling With God off to my publisher, Patheos Press. [Read more...]