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 A Gumshoe in Hiking Boots

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 He Said, She Said

The Storyboard Process

by Virginia Parker Staat

“Storyboarding can be likened to taking your thoughts
and the thoughts of others and making them visible by
spreading them on a wall as you work on your problems.”
~ Michael Michalko

Whether you are a photo essayist, a videographer, or a writer with illustrations, using the storyboard technique can enhance your story process. Continue reading The Storyboard Process

Checking on Your Homework

by Virginia Parker Staat

As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing.
I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche.
I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.      ~ John Muir (journal fragment, c. 1871)

During the 2014 RMOWP conference, Continue reading Checking on Your Homework

Like Candy on My Tongue

by Virginia Parker Staat

“What crazies we writers are, our heads full of language like buckets of minnows standing in the moonlight on a dock.”

 ~ Flannery O’Connor

Last week, while rummaging for adjectives in my word box, I came across a list that I had written when we lived in Mexico. The list was titled, Words Like Candy on My Tongue. It contained words like palomino, chrysanthemum, and soliloquy. Continue reading Like Candy on My Tongue