Talkin' Writin' 
The next best thing to writing is talking about writing. I got a chance to do so recently in Tangent, Oregon. It was the spring meeting of the Mid-Valley Reading Council, during which they honor student writing. How refreshing to see words celebrated in a public forum! How surprising to see that all winners of their annual writing contest were boys!! Not that boys can't write, mind you, but there is a demonstrated gender achievement gap, with girls generally outperforming boys. So, way to go guys for your writing, way to go teachers for providing an authentic forum for writing, and way to go Mid-Valley Reading Council for promoting literacy!

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Immersed in the White House 
Lately I've been immersing myself in books about The White House. The reason: I'm in the planning stage of creating a book about this, the most famous home in America. Yes, there has been much written on the topic, but I'm going to take a different approach. I already have a format figured out for the book. Now, I have to find material to place in that format. So, what I'm currently doing is reading, reading, reading. When I come across something that will fit in my format, I write the info on an index card, making sure to include the name and page of the book the information came from. I've got more than 100 cards with info on them at this point. In a few weeks, I'll be done with this part. The next step will be to organize the cards, then decide what I want to include. That's when the writing will begin, at last!

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A shiny, sunny spring morning in Eugene, Oregon, perfect for the launch of my Real Writing Blog. While reluctant to do this (it seems a bit self-indulgent), I think it could be helpful to those who want a glimpse at the inner world of a writer. My plan is to make weekly entries about current projects, ideas, and plans. Feel free to ask questions and make comments. I'll do my best to respond.
Welcome aboard!

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