All posts in category Writing Life

How Composer David Voss Composes

Our young friend Composer David Voss, composed an Easter cantata this year. We had a long conversation about how he composed it and I saw parallels with the writing life. So, that’s what this post is about–composing and the writing life. It also will introduce you to a fine composer and his music. Who is […]

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The Phone Book–Ancestry Part 5

phone book

Who even has a phone book anymore? I just spent a Friday night turning the cyber-pages of the London phone book. It broke open a mystery I’ve been hunting for 18 months. Amazing. Tedious. Valuable. A short diversion to talk about names Listen, if like several of my ancestors, you marry a man named […]

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When a Novelist Writes a Biography


What happens when a novelist writes a biography? I can’t speak for other biographers or novelists, I can only describe my challenges and joys. Here are four. Stick to the facts, ma’am When I began writing the biography of Mrs. Oswald Chambers, I already had written a novel in which Biddy is a character. My as-yet-unpublished-novel is […]

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Favorite Lines–and Why I Love Them

We all have favorite lines–phrases–that haunt us or echo in our mind. I’m recounting some of mine today and why I like them. Haunting “She shivered on the birthing bed and sobbed. She couldn’t believe her life was ending so soon.” I read this line in a Slovenian family history someone brought to a party. […]

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On Being Biddy Chambers’ Biographer

I’m a biographer. Such a strange word and one I wasn’t expecting and yet, I like it. It took me a long time, as my friend Wendy said, “to own the title biographer.” As far as I was concerned, I was telling a story. It just happened to be about Biddy Chambers. Circumstances surprised me […]

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