Chicago-North and Windy City RWA present Chicago Words!

Yes, folks, this is your first blog post about our Chicago Words Twitter event for this summer. If you read my blog but are not a member of the RWA chapters Chicago-North or Windy City, and/or you do not care at all about romance or writing or Twitter events, stop reading now. Come back when I do another West Wing recap. I promise it will be soon (ish)! And also come back for my sister Kate and me when So You Think You Can Dance officially starts! (Yes, auditions are on now but we don’t recap auditions, not even when totally hot Joffrey ballet dancers are on them.)

As for the rest of you – hi!

I don’t know about you, but I used to look upon summer as my good writing time. I was a college student, then a grad student, then a Hebrew school teacher, so I was less busy in the summer than at other times.

But this year it’s a little different. This year, my daughter was in full-day kindergarten (I know, such a luxury!) and I theoretically had hours and hours each day to write! And plan Spring Fling. And lesson plan for two Hebrew school classes. And, you know, all that life stuff. But this summer, my daughter will be home most of the time. And when she’s not, we’ll both be traveling. A lot. So I’m going to have to cram in as much writing as I can. So how am I going to do it?

I’m going to get her to write, too!



(I just looked at this picture and went, “Hey, that’s where my red water bottle went!”)

We’ve been reading these two terrific children’s books about the writing process. The first is Little Red Writing by Joan Holub, illustrated by Melissa Sweet. It introduces concepts like “adjectives” and “conjunctions” and gives the best guideline to building a story I’ve ever seen:



(If it is illegal to take this picture of a page from a book I own and post it onto my blog from which I make no money, I apologize profusely and will happily give up the proceeds from this post to the publisher.)

The smaller book is Drawn to Trouble, by Nick Bruel, who writes the Bad Kitty series, which is hilarious. This one goes into even more detail for older kids about what a story is composed of – setting, character, escalating conflict, etc. And it has drawing instructions to draw your own Bad Kitty! So my idea is, while I’m writing, I’m going to encourage her to use these books as guides to create her own stories! I’m sure this will work .03% of the time, and the rest of the time, I will just shout, “Hey, could you go downstairs and watch ‘My Little Pony,’ please? Yes, sure, you can have ice cream.” Because she can get the ice cream and the spoon herself. (“And she can scoop it into a bowl?” you ask. “What bowl?” I reply.)

I’ll keep y’all posted on how that goes. Meanwhile, how will you make the time to write this summer? Will you be starting on Twitter about an hour from now? Can’t wait to see you there!