Part 1: What is a Book Coach?

When I became a book coach nearly 20 years ago, I’d actually never heard the term before. I knew about life coaches and fitness coaches, but coaching on a book? I was teaching fiction writing in a university extension program when one of the students came up to me after class. Would I work with […]

The Ecology of Hierarchical Thinking

Watercolor landscape, http://www.carolineallen.com A month ago, a friend gave me a packet of lettuce seeds and I sprinkled them in the garden. I was just admiring the tiny lettuce leaves springing up and for some reason turned to thoughts of hierarchical thinking. In a hierarchy, the seedlings might well be seen as less than the […]

Evolution of the Writer

Court Jester, acrylic on canvas board, 16″x20″, part of the Stream of Consciousness Series, http://www.carolineallen.com. Evolving ourselves, owning our authentic voice, our authentic selves, may be the most important aspect of becoming a great writer. It may be more important than studying plot, characterization, setting or theme. It may be more crucial than a master’s […]

How to write the dance of your soul

Silver Falls, Oregon I had a good friend in London in the early 1990s, Celia Goodyear, who worked with children with severe cerebral palsy. Most of the kids had no control of their bodies whatsoever and could only move their eyes. A common issue with such profoundly handicapped kids is they don’t detach from their […]

How to write: Outsider art

Screaming Me, acrylic on cardbaord, http://www.carolineallen.com I have an art studio at the base of the apartment building where I live. It has windows to the street. A local artist called, said she saw my art in the windows, and was curating a show for outsider artists. Could she come into my studio and see […]

How to write: When beautiful isn’t beautiful

Seattle healer Ellen Newhouse (www.ellennewhouse.com) and I were working on a chapter of her memoir called Loner. She was describing how she liked to church hop when she was just a young girl. She was Jewish and adored Temple, but also went with friends to Catholic Mass, even took a catechism class. She was writing […]

How to write believable characters

Statue at Kerepesi Cemetery, Budapest, http://www.carolineallen.com I’ve been working with Julie for four years. She’s writing a fascinating novel, where half of the novel is set in Medieval Wales and the other half in modern times. The protagonist has lived both lifetimes. Read more about Julie, as well as an excerpt here. http://www.artofstorytellingonline.com/#!__site/case-studies Because Julie […]