Thursday, March 24, 2011

Laurie's Writing Meditation and Winners Announced

Dear Readers,

A special treat is in store for you today, even if your name wasn't chosen by! In addition to the two autographed books Laurie donated as a giveaway, she's graciously shared her writing meditation, because so many of you asked about it! Here it is:

Author Laurie Calkhoven
Laurie says . . .  Thanks for the interest in my meditations. I'm putting together a workshop and would love to present it at SCBWI retreats. The meditations themselves are pretty simple -- I relax, breathe deeply, and envision my character coming near me and eventually taking over.

Then I turn over a card on my desk and freewrite to prompts like -- who named your character and how does he/she feel about the name? Your character is having a strong memory involving a parent--what is it? Your character can't sleep because he's obsessing about something -- what?

The element of surprise is important, so the prompts are face down. The first few are based on the Stanislavsky acting method, and I've added more over the years -- like what's in your character's treasure box? Read more about Laurie and her books:

 You'll also want to check out Laurie's excellent biography of George Washington. It's perfect for middle grade readers and the paperback sells for a mere $5.95!  Here's the link: 
 Book description from
“First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen”—and first in the minds of schoolchildren, who learn about George Washington as soon as they begin studying American history. From Washington’s Virginia childhood, through his days as a soldier and general, to his inauguration as the first President of the brand-new United States, and into retirement, this biography captures the full breadth and achievements of his life. It covers both the personal and the private, reveals his views on everything from governmental power to the abolition of slavery, and separates fascinating truth from well-worn legend—including that infamous, but false, tale about chopping down the cherry tree.

Now it's time to announce the TWO winners of the comment contest! And the winners are:

First name/number drawn: Irishoma of Donna's Book Blog. Donna, you get to choose whichever title you'd like--Daniel at the Siege of Boston, 1776 or the new, just released Will at the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863. E-mail your chosen title along with your name and mailing address to: claragillowclark(@)gmail(dot)com and the book will be on its way asap! ***Congratulations, Donna!***

The second name/number drawn was Susie Foote. Susie please e-mail me with your home mailing address and Laurie's autographed book will be on its way soon! ***Congratulations, Susie!***

Readers, please leave a comment about the meditations or tell us if you have a special writing prompt or ritual to jump start your writing!  And don't forget--the winner might be you, next time! We love to hear from you.

Next week we'll be moving forward in time to the 1940's on the homefront. Award winning author, Joyce Moyer Hostetter will be here to talk about her books, her research, and writing process. Stay Tuned!


  1. Clara,
    Your blog is always so interesting! I love reading about the authors and their books. Is is very helpful for me as both a writer and a librarian!

  2. Hi Clara and Laurie,
    Wow! I'm so excited that I won.
    Thanks to both of you for your generosity.
    Donna V.

  3. Hi Susan C., So good to hear from you! Thanks for your kind words about the blog. Are you going to try the meditations? I'm going to!

  4. Hi Irishoma a.k.a. Donna! It's great to be a WINNER, isn't it? You're welcome--from me and Laurie!

  5. Clara, Very interesting post! I love to hear how other writers "find" their inner voice. For me, I like to also visit the places that I write about. It helps me to see and imagine what it was like to live there. Thanks for sharing this great information!

  6. Congrats, Donna! I have to say if it can't be me, I'm glad it's you! :)

  7. Hi Jennifer, Thanks for sharing what works for you! I agree--I'm always up for a road or sky trip! So where are we headed now?

  8. Thank you for the meditation information. Very interesting.
    Congratulations to Donna and Susie!

  9. Lorrie--Have fun with the meditations!

    Margo--Thanks for stopping by!

  10. congratulations to Donna and Susie!

  11. Laurie:

    I'd like to participate in that meditation workshop. Maybe you'll get to present at an SCBWI conference in PA or NJ.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  12. Hi Gayle, Let's spread the word and see if we can get Laurie on the SCBWI roster for next spring.

    Thanks, Janet!

  13. Congratulations to the winners! I love the idea of these meditations!