I'm Marisa.

What I've Learned Writing


Have Your Elevator Pitch Ready?

Artist Statements

Creative Writing Cluster

Mistakes to Avoid while Writing your 1st Novel

Writing and Freelancing Blog

Have Your Elevator Pitch Ready?

January 23, 2023

After a fair bit of hemming and hawing, I decided that I was tired of tripping over the flood of ideas coming to mind when a kind person asks me what my novel is about. How to condense a decade of writing and conflicting ideas as numerous as my moods into a succinct answer? How to garner interest and support? How to be vulnerable yet professional? 

I took a stab at it. I didn't want to harangue or subject myself to a hand wringing, time consuming distraction from my novel writing. Part of the artistic process, for me, is learning to take the easy, easy. Compared to multiple narratives and plot structures, the elevator pitch doesn't have to be made more difficult. 

I took a breath and jotted down a quick paragraph. 80 words, not so bad. With a focus on the key words, I cut down the paragraph to 68 words. I read it aloud (as it is meant to be conversational). At a comfortable 53 words, this is what I ended up with:

My debut novel in progress is about a woman who lives outside of late medievel society built on ancient Roman ruins. She saves a man from death and her life will change forever. Part Women's Study, part historical fiction, my book explores the psychological and emotional aspects of the period with magical realism.

I have no doubt this description will evolve. 

I breathe between the words and sentences so my ideas and enthusiasm have the space for absorption. I savor the authentic connection with another person. I then  return to my desk, more confident than before.

Artist Statements

November 14, 2022

Where, oh where did my artist statement go? 

I wrote an artist statement several years ago. I look at the young woman in this picture and wonder where she would have filed it away. At the time, she was very organized as she learned to take her writing seriously. 

Artist statements declare what you write and why. They can also answer how and include inspirations. Now, to write one...

Creative Writing Cluster

April 6, 2020

I believe in intentions.  

Since I've started freelance writing, I've met so many supportive people along the way.  The nurturing that I've been generously given has powerfully affected me.  After reading through The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, I feel called to make even more artist friends.  That's why I would like to initiate a Creative Writing Cluster.  I've even prepared a flyer!

Mistakes to Avoid while Writing your 1st Novel 

May 31, 2019

The Importance of Setting

When I close my eyes at night I think of stories.  I usually have a handful of them to circulate through.  Each time I play through the scenes of my imagination, I change minor details and try different scenarios. I even stare out windows and daydream until someone waves their hand in front of my face.

Writing a novel is more practical.  It must be more deliberate.  Establish a definite setting before undertaking the journey of novel writing.  It will save you many hours of revision. The mistake I made was writing my characters as I saw them for many, ahem, many pages before hitting a wall.  I realized I could go no further in my story before committing to a precise time and place.  My narrative flow was interrupted as I shifted focus to research. Then came backtracking through each page of all of my chapters while undertaking revisions at a stage where my creativity strained to be let loose!

June 3, 2019

Setting as Character

In my novels and short stories I am as fond of my settings as my characters.  I think it is fun to build the setting once you have a starting point, that is.  Defining your setting to time and place gives you boundaries and a framework.  There are lots of ways to establish setting but to my aesthetic, I think setting should evolve and be open to multiple perspectives from different characters and their feelings from moment to moment.  

I mentioned writing at times must be practical in my previous post.  I tag a setting detail and develop it as the scene progresses.  I imagine it as layering transparencies over each other.  Each transparency has a different detail but together they represent the vague outline as perceived by multiple sources.  I feel the impression forms more clearly in reader's minds.  The fluidity of the picture gives it motion and the ability to adapt and grow as much as the characters inhabiting its space.