Dana Meachen Rau

Writerly Life

Work in Progress

Last fall, I became a college professor. That’s part of the reason this blog was rather quiet for a while. From September to December, I was fully immersed in studying required texts, drafting lectures, making tests, and reading papers. I’ll never know which lessons stuck with my students. But I do know one thing for sure. I learned a TON!

Inhale, Exhale

As 2016 comes to a close, I find myself taking a deep breath. It was an adventurous year for me—I got an agent, I dove headlong into writing a new novel, and I started a career as a writing professor. All good things. I’m grateful. I’m elated. But after such a banner year, I’m nervous, too.

What’s next?

Tinkering with Words

A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to discover A Mighty Girl blog had listed one of my early readers, Robot, Go Bot!, among its 25 Books Starring Science-Loving Mighty Girls. I love that readers are finding this book an inspiration to curious, science-minded girls. But it’s funny, too, because Robot, Go Bot! was not conceived as a science book.

Humpback Moments

One of the perks of being a writer is that you can coin new phrases, put them out in the world, and hope they catch on…

humpback moment: (noun) an unexpected wave of emotion

Here’s how the phrase originated. My family often visits friends in Cape Cod. For years, we had been considering going on a whale watch, but we always worried that we’d shell out a lot of money and not see too many whales.

Star Wars Was Always for the Girls

In my constant quest to uncover successful storytelling, I’m always fascinated by those stories that have worked their way into our cultural fabric. Think Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, Wizard of Oz, Frankenstein. And of course, Star Wars.
The original Star Wars came out in 1977. I was six years old—prime age to be snagged into a lifetime of fandom.

Writers are Birds

Writers are birds. That’s what I decided today while watching the flurry at the bird feeders outside my office window.

Each type of bird has a very different way of taking seed from the feeders. Clearly, for birds, there’s not just one way to eat. It’s the same for writers. We all approach the writing process in a way that works best for us.