Category Archives: Writer’s Corner

The Making of a Grammar Ninja

by Virginia Parker Staat

A writer has the duty to be good, not lousy;
true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error.
He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down.
Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life.
~ E.B. White

I fear I have officially become a grammar ninja. Continue reading

Writing an OMG! Moment

by Virginia Parker Staat

“Words have life and must be cared for.
If they are stolen for ugly uses or careless slang or false promotion work,
they need to be brought back to their original meaning – back to their roots.” ~
Corita Kent

David and I have just returned home from a four-month camping trip through Alaska and Canada. Continue reading

Old Friends

Article & photo by Virginia Parker Staat

“I love everything that’s old – old friends, old times,
old manners, old books, old wine.“
~ Oliver Goldsmith

It’s done… finished… finito. Last week we completed the library we have been building for over two years. Continue reading

The Ghosts of Past and Present

By Virgina Parker Staat

“I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.
The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.
I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is to watch various movie adaptations of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It occurred to me that the ghosts in this timeless story make a good parallel for writing. I realize that it may be a bit of a stretch, but work with me here… Continue reading

Stranger than Fiction

by Virginia Parker Staat

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction
is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

~Mark Twain, Following the Equator: a Journey Around the World

It was a vision to behold… nearly 100 men, each dressed in white, all dancing, twirling, running, and flapping their arms while the band raucously sang the old Gospel tune, I’ll Fly Away. Continue reading

The Name Game (Continued)

by Virginia Parker Staat

“I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I’ve never been able to believe it. I don’t believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.” ~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

The candy-apple red Corvette sped by us, easily exceeding 90 miles per hour. We were just able to read the vanity license plate as it flew past: BYBYCOP. Continue reading

A Gumshoe in Hiking Boots

by Virginia Parker Staat © 2016

“When you write non-fiction, you sit down at your desk with a pile of notebooks, newspaper clippings, and books and you research and put a book together the way you would a jigsaw puzzle.”  ~  Janine di Giovanni

A gumshoe in hiking boots… that’s me, and it’s a great life. Story ideas peek from behind almost every corner. Then the fun really begins… being the gumshoe detective and learning all I can to write my story. Continue reading

He Said, She Said

By Virginia Parker Staat

Say what you have to say, not what you ought. Any truth is better than make-believe. Tom Hyde, the tinker, standing on the gallows, was asked if he had anything to say. “Tell the tailors,” said he, “to remember to make a knot in their thread before they take their first stitch.” His companion’s prayer is forgotten.

~ Henry David Thoreau from Walden

moose

Denali Moose © Virginia Parker Staat

Being a native Texan in Alaska in August has distinct disadvantages. We would have been in shorts and sweating at home. Instead we braved 38 degrees and misty rain. Within ten minutes of setting up on Denali’s park road, David and I were wearing every available piece of clothing, wistfully hoping slender tripods might block at least the brunt of the brutal wind. No such luck. We stood on hard pavement, toes numbing in our boots, watching a tangle of velveted antlers visible just above the alders. We waited for the great beast to rise…. and waited. Continue reading