The Storytelling Gene

The Storytelling Gene

At bedtime in my family of daughters, I heard more “Read me a story” than “Tell me a story.” Now that they’re adults, the clamor has evolved to “Write me a story,” but the urge is still prompted by our storytelling gene. Recently, I attended three days of seminars in a fabulous online writers’ retreat….

A Crisis of Character

A Crisis of Character

It happened again last week—I read another Christian book that started out with SOOO much potential. Until it petered out in a light gloss of forgiveness and a pinch of repentance. Well, okay. We surely need to forgive and sometimes we ought to repent. But whatever happened to a life-changing crisis of character? Without a…

The Christmas Dolphins

The Christmas Dolphins

In 1986 our family attended a Christmas Dolphins show at sunrise. While the military dictatorship in Chile hastened to its eventual demise, I was then a young mom living in a seaside hamlet where we still didn’t have telephones (or a bank, gas station, or pharmacy either, though that doesn’t enter into this story ?)….

He Was There All the Time

He Was There All the Time

Of course, you remember the classic meme where a woman reviews her life by means of a series of footprints on the beach. She wonders why God disappeared at the most difficult moments of her life, but it turns out He carried her then. He was there all the time. Recently a dear friend spoke…

Back to the Beginning

Back to the Beginning

My writing ministry file, labeled 20:24:28, holds almost 400 digital pages right now. The other day, as I finished my blog series on story motifs, I scrolled back to the beginning of the document and discovered some interesting points that I should review more often. In a lot more areas of life, it’s a good…

Do You Believe in Destiny?

Do You Believe in Destiny?

“Do you believe in destiny?” Nicolás Serrano, up to his elbows in apple mash, asks halfway through my first book Destiny at Dolphin Bay. His friend Melissa has questioned his self-identification as a Chiloé islander, knowing he grew up a city boy. As she watches him make cider in an antique press, she sees him…

When Disaster Strikes

When Disaster Strikes

Sometimes it feels as if we live in a permanent disaster zone. Earthquake! Tsunami! Drought! Flash floods, forest fires…and now a pandemic. In Chile, we tend to live on the ragged edge, always semi-prepared for when disaster strikes. Among the subplot threads of many of my Seaglass Books is woven the background motif of some…

Life in the Chilean Jungle

Life in the Chilean Jungle

Chile doesn’t have any real tropical jungles, but the concrete and linguistic ones offer sufficient challenge to navigate. Life here in the Chilean jungle has always been complicated—my (very Chilean) daughter says it’s “against the law” for anything to be too simple! However, these days the jungle of the past looks like a stroll in…

Help Me Find “The Blue Cup”

Help Me Find “The Blue Cup”

On the path to publishing Destiny at Dolphin Bay, I recently re-encountered the scene with the broken dishes during the earthquake, along with Melissa’s regret over missing a school drama competition. Her entry, a monologue called “The Blue Cup,” flows from my own extra-curricular accomplishments. Can anybody help me find “The Blue Cup”? I’ll confess…

The End of the Journey

The End of the Journey

This is where I write “The End” on the story. Where trash turns to treasure, research to resolution, and vacation to fictional vision. Day 6, the final chapter of our Patagonian Journey. “The danger is greatest when the finish line is in sight… Be wary at the end.” –Steven Pressfield, The War of Art You…

Swan Island Secrets

Swan Island Secrets

Day 5, take 3. Today’s story highlights the climax of our Patagonian Journey in search of Swan Island Secrets. And though I’m the author, the plot twist is: Even I’m not sure how it’s all going to turn out. “The best stories are the ones with the unexpected plot twists that no one would have…