Join us as we hear from our BookSparks authors on where they write to find inspiration.
Introducing – Where I Write!

Where I Write – Barbara McDonald

My writing usually begins in a journal where I scrawl dreams, anecdotes and ideas. Tucked in the back of my closet hides a packing box jammed with journals dating back some 40 years. Often I write in bed when I wake up.

Another source of inspiration is the marsh behind my home. Morning strolls over the three bridges and along Bayfront Park clear my head. The abundance of flowers and grasses, the geese, egrets, hawks, phoebes and the other birds that populate the marsh and meadow provide moments of reflection. My senses awaken: the salt smell/taste in the air, the array of greens and browns and spots of color, the intermittent birdsong, the patterns of the tides. I note the occurrences in my journal and sometimes take photos on my phone.

The accounts eventually lead to the computer where the thoughts and impressions gain authority. The magic of the keyboard brings the scribbles to fruition. Characters emerge, scenes develop. Write, rewrite, write, rewrite – ten, twenty, thirty times. Each edit is a minor victory, inching toward the finish line. When the computer darkens, it’s time to visit the marsh.

Barbara McDonald

A lifelong writer, Barbara McDonald has had poetry published in anthologies and magazines and spent several summers at the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, where she worked on Slipsliding by the Bay. She held various positions at Lone Mountain College in San Francisco before it closed: adjunct faculty, director of institutional service, editor and writer, and alumni director. After being a stringer for local papers and managing editor of a magazine, she worked at Dominican University as director of facilities. North American Review commissioned her to write an article on Lone Mountain, its progression and demise.