Monday, October 3, 2016

Linda Rodrigeuz shares exercises that help writers stay sharp

My favorite definition of a writer is: "A writer is a person who writes." Perhaps ten years is the average apprenticeship, as my mentor Carolyn Doty used to tell me. Master writer (and teacher) Linda Rodriguez has a blog about how writers are like pianists--they both need regular exercise in their genre. Here is the beginning of her essay and a link to the entire piece on the Writers Who Kill blog:

"Pianists know they must practice every day, playing scales and various exercises that stretch the fingers
and give them the flexibility and dexterity that they will need to play complicated compositions. Long ago, I read in one of Madeleine L'Engle's wonderful journals of life and writing about this need for writers.

'Nobody can teach creative writing–run like mad from anybody who thinks he can. But one can teach practices, like finger exercises on the piano; one can share the tools of the trade, and what one has gleaned from the great writers: it is the great writers themselves who do the teaching.' –A Circle of Quiet

For years now, I've created my own finger exercises, as well as borrowing from other writers who've written books about writing, and used them in my journals."

Linda Rodriguez has published three novels in the Skeet Bannion mystery series, Every Hidden Fear (Minotaur
Books), Every Broken Trust (Minotaur Books), finalist for the International Latino Book Award and the Premio Aztlan Literary Award and a Las Comadres National Latino Book Club selection, and Every Last Secret (Minotaur Books), winner of the Malice Domestic First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition and finalist for the International Latino Book Award. She also has published two books of poetry, Heart's Migration (Tia Chucha Press) winner of the Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence and finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award, and Skin Hunger (Potpourri Publications; Scapegoat Press). She edited Woven Voices: 3 Generations of Puertorriquena Poets Look at Their American Lives (Scapegoat Press), second place, International Latino Book Award. She is the 2015 Chair of the AWP Indigenous/Aboriginal American Writers Caucus, immediate past president of Border Crimes chapter of Sisters in Crime, a founding board member of Latino Writers Collective and The Writers Place, and a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers, Kansas City Cherokee Community, and International Thriller Writers. Learn more about her books and events at