Friday, April 11, 2014



This wall is in Morocco. I stood in front of it for a long time, amazed at the layers, thinking about the history of all the people who had lived inside the building over time. I asked people walking by if they knew how old the building was. No one knew. Most of the them laughed.  Today, Sadima is standing before this wall.  She is scared and waiting.  And so am I.

Thursday, April 10, 2014





If you are not a writer and have never done a full book revision, I just wanted you to know that it feels like this......and now I will go back to work. THANKS to everyone waiting for book #3


Image from a collection in Colorado, my home state, a blend of brilliant brains and mixed nuts. 

Add caption

Sunday, April 06, 2014




My great grand parents. Once in a while I think about them and realize that if either of them had not survived the Civil War....I would never have been born. 

My great grandmother was Cherokee/African. My grandfather fell in love with her. So he fought for the North, lived two years in a  starvation prison in the south....then came home stick-skinny and sad ..... and found her waiting. 






Saturday, April 05, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Revision: the painful art of starting over.....


Join me in the scary place writers call  revision.........something I will be teaching writers in a few months. 


Revision is like walking through cactus.... 
in the dark...barefoot and trying to read a map that you no longer trust.......




Or like trying to capture the moon on a windy night with a shaky camera.....knowing that it will never work.
NEVER EVER....



Or like deciding to lean out a window and  take a picture of a beautiful old building even though you know it will never fit anywhere  in the work you are trying to improve and shorten and  see anew....but you do it because you tell yourself that the building will be part of the thing that you will write AFTER the thing you are revising now is finished..and taking pics is WAY easier than actually revising or even thinking about revising....





Or you could try hiding. 
It doesn't work, but you can TRY....
((and I need to get to work on my own revision now))

Friday, March 14, 2014

WIND IN THE TREES : A progress report.


Wind in the trees: My perfect writing weather.....

I am close to sending my agent the first 80 or so pages of The Maker's Cage. I think it is one of the best things I have ever written. It's one of the oddest....

Then I will be back in Limori almost full-time.  And by "almost" I mean I will continue what I am doing now. ..I will only be leaving Limori  when I can't see or hear any of the Limori characters that day..... 



Wind in the trees ::  I can always see their faces.

...but when those days come...
Russett will be the new secondary project.
(I said that very quietly. I don't want to scare him away...

...I would hate to have him think I might betray him. I won't. I have seen the places  he escaped and the scars on his hands.


Monday, March 10, 2014

missing the target, a writer's best friend



I will go to work in a few minutes...this whole post is a warm-up.

I love bad pictures (like all of these)  because I can't always remember where I took them or why or even  what the image IS.

This one might have been a back-bend sky shot taken somewhere at a writer's conference EARLY in the morning when I was running to get to the room before the attendees started to arrive because....I just like to have a little time to try to convince myself that I am qualified to teach writing.










This one is in the Florida
Everglades, I was with a friend after all the teaching and writer talk was done for the day. The funny part is I was trying to get picture of the white bird before it flew away
...trying so hard that I didn't use the zoom lens and ended up with two skies instead.


This one is in Morocco  and I am not sure how I screwed up the shot but I was looking out over the city from the high ridge that is casting the sunrise shadow before I visited classrooms, then spoke to young teachers.




And ........ no clue where or what, but it's how I imagined the crowds below the Limori cliffs last night.
and........

This is our dog's answer to thermal precision. She is very picky about her temperature ranges and spends a lot of her time listening to me clicking keys and talking aloud to people no one else can see.... yet.







Saturday, March 08, 2014

The Unicorn's Secret and me.



I wrote these books years ago because I wanted to share the amazing dreams I had in 3rd and 4th grade. For almost two years I would get into bed each night, close my eyes and become the girl named Heart. Her adventures, her long journey home, was my journey, too. Every night I was Heart. Every morning I went to sleep in the dream, then immediately woke up in my own bed, with my mother telling me it was time to get ready for school

...I talked about the books on FB the other day and was amazed at how many people still love them, people of all ages who had shared them with their parents, children and grand children. Amazon carries them and any bookstore can get them. Simon & Schuster is the publisher. May all your dreams be amazing!


Thursday, February 06, 2014

THE MAKER'S CAGE




This is the first page of the small project:  The BIG project is making good progress now, too.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 I miss my brother.
Levin taught me to read. He taught me everything our father didn’t want us to learn: How to climb the chimney shafts, how to use numbers, how to  and write and where to hide the books. We made a narrow side-shaft that led from Levin’s room up into the library ceiling so we could talk about the girls he hoped would pass their heritage tests and the boys I hoped my father wouldn’t choose for me.
We found a way to get outside the walls.
We sat in the moonlight and stared at the stars as often as we could, and we didn’t die. Then our father sent me here—to the dirty Walled City at the end of the world.  My mother said he wanted to protect me from something I was too young to understand, but I think he lied to her.
 I know he lied to me.
I am not a hearth guest here.
I am a prisoner trapped in a smelly little room.
I haven’t seen the sky since the old woman locked me in.


(next snippet below image)
Tangles....I am always surrounded by tangles 
(about thirty pages later:)   

Then I  heard a man laugh.

I whirled around to run, but I wasn’t quick enough.

The driver clamped his hand around my wrist and pulled me out
into the roadway. He was carrying a sack of blueberries in his free hand. 

"Heritage food,” he whispered, then leaned closer until I could feel his breath on my cheek. "First, Second, and Third Dome people can smell blueberries as far away as most people can smell smoke," he said. "Did you know that?”

I stared at him without speaking and he laughed again.






About 20 more pages into the book: The Makers Cage




I suddenly stopped whispering. 
.....not because I wanted to, but because my lips had closed. 
I tried to open them  and I couldn't. 
But I could hear my father walking away

Monday, January 27, 2014



HUGE THANKS to everyone asking about the third book of the trilogy. I am working on it and two other things (when the big book stalls).  I am sorry for the wait and can't tell you what all the support and kind comments mean to me.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Working!!!





I realized today that it had been FAR too long between updates here. I apologize. I am still working on three things at once!  


Most of that time goes to the BIG book.....((Book 3 of A Resurrection of Magic))  which is actually shrinking at this point. The third book of the trilogy will end up to be about half what the initial draft was and I will end up knowing a hundred gazillion things about the characters and their lives and the city of Limori and its history that you won't ... and you will be glad. I promise. I am WAY too fascinated by tiny things.
(((And I hope to turn some of  the best oddments into short stories...))) 






The second thing is nearing completion and will be off to my agent soon. I love the way it has changed from something odd into something odder still....and far more complicated. While I hold my breath for the agent's response, I will continue to give the big (now shrinking) last book of the trilogy almost all my time.




Russet is the third thing, the twitter novel I began writing SO long ago, then set aside to write the BIG book (that is, I assure you one last time, shrinking now.)




Questions??? Remarks?  Feel free to tell me to hurry it up already. It might help me write faster. Pressure is my friend.  


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  May all good things come to you and your families






















I realized today that it had been FAR too long between updates here. I apologize. I am still working on three things at once!  Most of that time goes to the BIG book.....((Book 3 of A Resurrection of Magic))  which is actually shrinking at this point. The third book of the trilogy will end up to be about half what the initial draft was and I will end up knowing a hundred gazillion things about the characters and their lives and the city of Limori and its history that you won't ... and you will be glad. I promise. I am WAY too fascinated by tiny things. (((And I hope to turn some of  the best oddments into short stories...)))  The second thing is nearing completion and will be off to my agent soon. I love the way it has changed from something odd into something odder still....and far more complicated. While I hold my breath for the agent's response, I will continue to give the big (now shrinking) last book of the trilogy almost all my time.







Russet is the third thing, the twitter novel I began writing SO long ago, then set aside to write the BIG book (that is, I assure you one last time, shrinking now.)




Questions??? Remarks?  Feel free to tell me to hurry it up already. It might help me write faster. Pressure is my friend.   It really is...




HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!  May all good things come to you and your families!

Sunday, November 17, 2013



I am writing like wind and fire and stardust and it is still taking a long time....thanks to everyone cheering me on. Thanks to everyone wishing I could do this faster, but I can't.  I can only tell you that the re-write of  third book of the trilogy is getting deeper and steeper and ....stranger ....




Tuesday, September 24, 2013




 I am buried in my own writing and I am doing writing consultations.... 
 (((( for more critique and consult info contact me:::  kathleenduey at earthlink dot net. 


.......but it's hard to keep up with the blog in the middle of all this. If you are tired of having to wait for news here, I am on FB   https://www.facebook.com/kathleen.duey  and give people (SMALL*) updates almost daily.

All three of the books I am working on are progressing faster than they were before I decided to switch back and forth. It's working. YAY!  When one of the projects needs time to breath....I go visit the others.




I love tangled trees. This one was in a yard with a big dog.
Good thing I can speak DOG. 
And TREE.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Writing/Teaching/ and my Aunt Molly






I took this picture walking in a strange city years ago....because it reminded me of my Aunt Molly's fancy windows. She is the reason I write and the reason I finally began to teach writing at conferences, schools, and retreats. It wasn't anything she said to me. It was the hatbox full of poems and little stories we found when she passed away in her late eighties. No one in the family knew she wrote. She hid it. If it hadn't been for an intuitive teacher and that magic hat box, I might never have even tried to write.

This year I have taught writing at six academic/retreat/and/or SCBWI events. I had the joy of being an SCBWI mentor last year and will be teaching at two more writing events before this year is over. I love the opportunities to help other writers and widen my own understanding of every kind of writing.

Two years ago I began doing writing sessions/consultations/skill teaching/ via Skype or phone..from my own home.  I fell in love with the one-on-one sessions. They are held in my own quiet room where I can conduct long-duration consults, with no one tapping the table to remind us of the time elapsed. I can ask enough questions to make sure I understand what the writers are trying to do, then help them do it.

I will work with any serious writer.
To see my usual rates and session choices you can contact me @::    kathleenduey at earthlink dot net

FB       *** https://www.facebook.com/kathleen.duey
Twitter ***   https://twitter.com/kdueykduey

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The oddness of scents and books


I have to get to work....but first.....

This is the Ice Cream Bean Tree that shades the sliding door of my office. When it is blooming there is a sweet, very strange perfume in the air that appears and disappears with every tiny breath of a breeze.
This tree is making it's first appearance in a book this morning....
where it makes some people sick and not others....and no one knows why.
Yet.


 

Saturday, August 03, 2013



Late afternoon sun-sifting via one of my epiphyllums. I am sorry that I am so absent here. I am writing like mad, like wolves are behind me. I am slowly unwinding the editor's comments on the first draft. Wow this is a complex book. Who wrote this massive, convoluted two-timeline monster of a........oh. Yeah. I did.

Friday, June 28, 2013




  So this morning I am working on Outside the Walls to address astute agent concerns. Since I don't outline plots or character arcs, I have decided to start here:



Saturday, June 22, 2013



Oh, look.

It's morning.
I am working on three writing projects now:

First:::
book #3/ A Resurrection of Magic

Second:::
Outside the Walls, a story about tradition and fear.

Third::
Russet, a story that spans a lifetime. Maybe. (It began as a twitter novel and amazes me every day.)

And I am preparing for teaching at the Monterey CA festival of the arts in a few weeks.

I love my job.