Sunday, May 4, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Last week blogger and writer of great stories for all ages, Rebecca Douglass, tagged me in the "My Writing Process" blog tour. My mission: to answer three questions about my writing process, and to tag three other writers. Life was going a bit insane at that point, actually doing a lot of joy and grief combined.

On April 27th, one of the Grand Dame's of my family died at the age of 91.  Aunt Sally was actually my Grandmother's first cousin and someone who had always been an important part of my life, even though she lived in Illinois while I was growing up in Wyoming, we visited and wrote and stayed in touch.
Sarah Manning

Then on Monday, April 28th I took my students to sea on a tall ship sail on the Lady Washington, a ship used in the Pirates of the Caribbean and in Star Trek. There were 32 students and 11 of them, and some crew members were puking seasick as the boat rolled and heaved and my phone buzzed.  My daughter-in-love texted the words which always stand out in the movies as the beginning of great drama, "My water broke."  So within 24 hours I lost my Grandma figure and became a Grandma!

So I haven't written on here recently and yet I am going to Pine Grove School on Tuesday as a guest author for Fine and Performing arts day, and I welcome the excuse to remember that among all the other title's people call me, Writer is one I struggled to earn for myself.

So Thank You Rebecca, and here is my post

BTW. Check out Rebecca's at 

First the questions:

1.  What am I working on?
Well, honestly working on any writing has been set aside briefly but will resume soon. The Grandma thing is my delighted focus but the stories are still there and insisting on being told.  I have two going now.  Double time: About to Erupt uses the same time twisted writing desk to share glimpses of journals and other objects as was there in my Double Time: On the Oregon Trail but it connects two boys, one living in Pompeii prior to Mt. Vesuvius erupting and one in Portland, Oregon 1901 years later.

The other book I am working on is the third book in the Tales of Uhrlin series about Duffy Barkley and his discovery of the strength's hidden within his own handicapped self. In this third book he has grown from 9 to 13 and has returned to Uhrlin after his sister and Aunt disappeared back in our world.
2.  Why do I write what I do?
I started writing what I do because I had two boys who shared their playtime and active imaginations with me, and when they were tucked in at night my imagination reuse to turn off. And I kept going because it was fun both to write it and to see the wonderful reactions of others as they discover my stories. I thought that I was writing just for me, but when I finished the first book and read it to my boys it amazed me that it sounded like a real book, and now I have people in other lands who have read it and tell me they love it, Like India and England.  I have students who study my books and teachers who share them at book clubs and people asking for sequels and it is just simply fun.  I haven't made much money so I still have to juggle bills and work in the real world - but being a writer just fits me, and I feel more complete than I do when I am not telling stories.

3.  How does my writing process work?
Does it work?  Well sometimes.  I start a novel in a mad rush of getting words on paper like I learned at NANOWRIMO. I do the quick and dirty first draft and if I can't get a new thought then I go back and reread until I find something I can say more about.  I read it over and over as I go and I leapfrog around in everything from the end to the middle to the beginning until all those bits connect and the story is complete.  Then I start rereading and asking others to read it, and I put it aside and start a new novel, or start reminding people to buy the ones that I have out there already.  Marketing is a never ending process because every time I stop, sales stop.

Now for the three writers I want to tag, to post about their own writing processes in the next week or two or so 

So I will get to the other authors now.
A book I really enjoyed is The Dominion Of Light by Nicole Murphy. She has a facebook Author's page at

An Author and wonderful woman whom I admire a lot is Betty Dravis

Check out Pure Control by Clint Brill If you like Science Fiction. I don't think he has a blog up and running yet but he is working on it, and his book is one I read recently with a lot of pleasure


  1. I like you take on why you write. I'm like you--I might have started telling stories for myself, but sharing them is much more satisfying. And stopping doesn't seem like an option.

    Can't wait to check out your taggees.

  2. Fascinating blog, Dixie. I love your Duffy Barkley books. That's one kid who faces his disability with courage and patience...and a great deal of humor. He has exciting adventures that you write and he overcomes much adversity while helping others understand we can do almost anything with faith and determination. Thanks for inspiring me and others, Dixie.

    Congrats on being a proud new Grammy. Sorry about your Grandma figure passing, but we know she's in a better place and free from earthly burdens. RIP, Mrs. Manning.

    And another thanks for mentioning me in your blog. I appreciate it so much. <3