Stolen Goldin Violin Now In Print!

I picked up 2000 copies of The Stolen Goldin Violin from Worzalla Publishing yesterday afternoon. We should have a way for non-local people to order the book in the next few days, so keep your eyes on this blog. For local customers, come see us at the following locations:

Saturday, May 8, UWSP NFAC Michelson Hall
We will be selling before and after these events:
2:00 Suzuki Solo recital
3:30 Suzuki Solo recital
7:30 Central Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Concert

Sunday, May 9, UWSP NFAC Michelson Hall
We will be selling before and after these events:
1:00 Suzuki Piano Festival Concert I
2:30 Suzuki Piano Festival Concert II

Thursday, June 17, Portage Co Public Library, downtown Stevens Point
6:30 We will be presenting a short program and then doing a book signing and sale.

Books are also available at the Aber Suzuki Center office in the NFAC on the campus of UWSP.

Writer’s Block

I never believed in writer’s block. I always felt that it was the result of a lack of discipline. A writer should sit down and write and eventually he/she will work through it. I’ve come to think that perhaps writer’s blocks is something a little different.

Let me explain to you my boxes metaphor. I think of my mind as a big open space with a few boxes floating around. The big open space is where I live most of my life. When my head is in the here and now (at work, with my family, doing ordinary chores, etc.) I am in the big open space.

There is a box for my reading life. When I sit and open a book, I move into one of the boxes floating in my big open space. I’m in a different world, a fun place to be. I can go in and out of that box whenever I want.

There is a box for my writing life. If I sit down at my computer, I go into that box and stay there until I leave the computer. I can go into that box in a day-dream sort of way at other times in my day as well. I go there to meet with my characters, sort out what’s happening with them, what they think and feel about the plot, tour their landscapes, etc.

Lately, I find I don’t have access to that box. I’ll step inside, start to think about what is happening with the story, but then I’m suddenly outside the box. I’m not thinking about what’s happening with the story. So, I go back in and like a mirror trick I find myself outside the box again. I can’t seem to focus on the story or the characters or anything. I sit down at the computer and type (I’m disciplined), but everything is flat. I’m only writing what I remember from being in the box–I’m not actually in the box.

How has this happened?

There is another box floating around that has its door open, and I can’t seem to get it closed. It is the box where I keep all the unpleasantness of life: world poverty, wars, communities not willing to pay for public education, divisive government, global warming, etc. That box used to work quite well. It had a strong door that I opened when I wanted to be a good citizen, knowledgeable about what was happening in the world and my community. I would go into that box when I listened to or read the news or when I talked politics with friends; however, I could leave and close the door when the news was too painful, so that it would not interfere with my everyday life–my big open space.

Now the door to that box is open. I can’t shut it. I’m plagued by the ignorance and selfishness of mankind. We are a cancer upon the earth. Unable to shut that box, I’ve tried desperately to get inside my writing box so I can be productive, do something “happy” and maybe when I come back out, the pains-of-the-world box will have a working door again. But my writing box won’t let me in.

Which brings me back to discipline. Should I force myself in front of the computer more often? If I write flat, then I write flat. If I just stare at the screen trying to access the box, will I eventually gain admittance?

Comments? Ideas?

April 29

This is the date I just received for the probable pick up date for our 2000 copies of The Stolen Goldin Violin from Worzalla Publishing. A local music store has agreed to sell our book online, and hopefully we will have that page up and running pretty soon. I’ll keep you informed.


About ten years ago I read Girl with a Pearl Earring, a beautifully crafted, brilliant book by Tracy Chevalier. After reading it, I wanted to be a writer again. I was inspired to sit down and write, to mould a story, invent and develop characters. It took me three years, but I finished Charlotte’s Inheritance. It is not yet published, but I now consider myself a writer.

Last week I started reading A.S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book. It is an incredible novel, with a host of amazing characters, and so much information about the turn of the twentieth century. She writes so skillfully, and I learn so much without feeling like I’m being lectured at. While writing Charlotte’s Inheritance, I read other works by Byatt, and I feel like her “instructional” prose influenced that story. However, I do not feel inspired by The Children’s Book. Instead, I feel disheartened, unworthy, incapable of creating anything worthwhile. Her standard is so high, and my ability so low, why do I bother?

Intellectually, I’ve been wondering why those two responses? The Girl with the Pearl Earring remains one of my favorite books. Byatt’s new novel has not set a standard that Chevalier did not reach. Why does one incredible book inspire and another incredible book deflate?

Is it my own mood? The book I’m currenly writing isn’t progressing well. I am having trouble making myself work on it, and it isn’t growing at the rate it should. When I’m reading Byatt, I’m neglecting Olivia. Is that it? Is it something else?