Beryl Singleton Bissell

Author

Beryl just prior to entering monastery in 1957



The Cross River, frozen in winter, flows beneath the ice into Lake Superior

A cup of tea and biscotti to encourage the writer

Another Blog?


Besides the travel and spirituality blogs I write (see links in right hand column)I'm adding a fourth blog for those of you who might be interested in the random musings of a writer.

Author's Guild does not provide an option for posting photos or links within the blog page -- important options for keeping a reader's interest. As such, this blog might be a solo effort, one writer who is also the one reader. Nonetheless, it offers me a place to make notes about what I'm reading, watching, doing, feeling, seeing, and thinking.

My writing shed doesn't look like much, but it's a charmer inside: bright and welcoming.

Random Musings

Aaron Paul Lazar shares his Next Big Thing

March 19, 2013

Tags: Aaron Paul Lazar, Next Big Thing, fiction, writing life, mystery, series

Update: March 19, 2013. Aaron Lazar's Next Big Thing
Aaron Lazar is one of the most prolific authors I know, which is why I'm so pleased to feature Aaron’s Next Big Thing Interview . I met Aaron on Gather.com, a wonderful and diverse online community of writers, six or seven years ago. Since then I have watched in amazement as Aaron delivers one intriguing, suspense-laden yet heart-warming mystery after another. Sounds like a contradiction, doesn't it? You'll have to read Aaron's work to discover what I mean.

The LeGarde Mysteries Series, Moore Mysteries Series, and Tall Pine Series -- each featuring different protagonists -- propel readers through the Genesee Valley, Adirondack Mountains, and even Paris, the city of lights. His latest book, For Keeps, features family doctor Sam Moore who wants nothing more than a quiet life with his wife yet is drawn constantly into one mystery after another. Please do check out Aaron’s Next Big Thing Blog and his Author’s Website .

Back in my writing shed and darn happy to be there

September 28, 2012

Tags: writing life, author, books, memoirs, fall color, writing shed, author events

Not only has the desire to write returned, I've had a sudden boost of courage. I'd avoided the writing shed for so long that I felt like apologizing every time I passed it. Well, I've been forgiven, and am working like crazy to reshape the sequel to the Scent of God. Trouble is, I keep slipping back into my old habit of editing as I go. I've worked on the same 10 pages for three days. I guess this proves I'm not a global thinker. Global thinkers don't get caught up in details but see the whole picture. Wanting to be a Global thinker, I just printed up every chapter I've got and plan to lay it out on the floor and create a map. Some authors tape chapters to the wall. I haven't got much wall space, but then neither do I have a lot of floor space. The writing shed is 10' x 10'.

I'm also now back on my feet and can manage five miles on flat terrain, three miles on hills and hiking trails requires hot baths and Advil. For that matter, hot baths and Advil take the ache out of those 5 mile jaunts as well.

Highway 61 is clogged with visitors heading north to view fall color which is at its peak right now. Our hills are flaming with maples and aspen. An evening drive into the hills as the sun drops toward the horizon demands belief in some greater creative power.

Best Selling Book

August 17, 2012

Tags: writing life, author, books, memoirs, independent bookstores, author events

Never underestimate the power of an enthusiastic bookseller. Yesterday, I learned that The Scent of God had made the best-seller list at Parnassus Bookstore in Nashville, "all because Heidi, one of the women at the store is crazy for your book and makes everyone buy it." The note was signed by Ann Patchett, who opened Parnassus Bookstore with business partner Karen Hayes to fill a gap left when two bookstores closed. What a thrill, especially as some book distributors say they can't get copies to sell even when customers request the book.

Last week, I drove five hours to sign books at Sister Wolf Book Store in Park Rapids. Sister Wolf is a popular independent known for it's exciting author and artist festival every summer that attracts people from all over. I'd had to cancel my appearance at that event due to a severe injury and was delighted when they requested I make a separate appearance when I was finally healed enough to commute a long distance. Again, enthusiastic booksellers directed patrons toward "the author in the store," making the signing, which can sometimes bomb (customers scurrying around the author and avoiding eye contact), a success.

I left Park Rapids later that afternoon and drove down to Little Falls, an hour and a half away for two events to be held the following day at Bookin’It Bookstore : a signing in the morning and an intimate three-course tea at the historic Waller House Inn later that afternoon. A good friend and book fan made arrangements for me to stay at the Franciscan Sisters Little Falls MN in a charming little hermitage where I recaptured the sense of quiet I so love. Bookin'it's cozy store was another wonderful surprise, introducing me to the lively owner Laura and her staff. Laura was everywhere with her camera during the tea at the Inn. We feasted on a delicious three course tea and the writing life and my work with an enthusiastic group of book-lovers at the tea. Then back to the monastery to rest before meeting two of that lively group for supper in town.

Those three great happenings launched me back to my computer where the response to my latest newsletter generated several hundred wonderful responses waiting for my replies, and into the writing shed to pick up the abandoned sequel to The Scent of God for a fresh look prior to an extensive rewrite.

I hope your week has been equally generous with you even though the halcyon days of summer are growing perceptively shorter and there's a definite hint of fall in the air here on Lake Superior.

Good Intentions

June 21, 2010

Tags: beryl singleton bissell, writing, writing life, Scent of God, writing shed

The time spent in my writing shed has yielded fruit. I've finished the final draft of A View From the Lake which will be published next May by Port Cities Inc. And, after a cursory rereading of my first three drafts of The Girl Behind the Mask, the sequel to The Scent of God, I am moving with more certain steps across that rocky terrain.

With thousands of pages of journal entries to guide this journey back into the events, decisions, doubts, and regrets that would eventually lead to my daughter's violent unresolved death, I have the data. Now comes the hard part: getting to the story beneath the story where insight lies and healing takes place.

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I live in my writing shed

April 20, 2010

Tags: beryl singleton bissell, writing life

My friends and neighbors think I've moved. When they see me they ask how long I'll be visiting. I tell them I've been here all along.

I have moved, in a way . . . to my writing shed where I write -- not emails or blogs or twitters but books and articles. I work in the writing shed because it has no internet or telephone to distract me. A desk, computer, several shelves of books, and piles of research materials comprise its furnishings.

My writing shed sits next to the attached garage, maybe 50 feet from the house. I head there after my morning rituals (stretch, meditate, read) and sometimes emerge for lunch, or to take a hike to air my brain cells. Rarely to visit.

I'm heading back there now to finish the final edits on my next book: A View of the Lake: Living the Dream. Filled with laughter and learning and conflict, A View of the Lake should interest anyone who dreams of moving to a gorgeous locale and wonders what such a move entails and how it will impact their lives.

Meanwhile, I keep working on the sequel to The Scent of God: The Girl Behind the Mask a journey to understand and forgive the decisions that led to my daughter's violent and unresolved death at the age of 24. To uncover, after her death, the beautiful tormented daughter I never really knew.



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My Work

BOOKS
The collision of human love and faith
An impetuous move to Lake Superior transforms a life
ESSAY
While writing The Scent of God
ANTHOLOGY
"Seven Years in Hell"

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