Ellen Cooney

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Born
in Clinton, Massachusetts, The United States
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June 2008


I'm writing a new novel, my tenth. When I came to rural, midcoast Maine twenty-one years ago, it was supposed to be all about finding quiet for brief periods--quiet as a change from a busy, crowded life in Cambridge MA. But I stayed, and I keep on staying. All I see from the windows of my writing room are trees and sky. The ocean's close by, and the Kennebec River, and a large freshwater pond. It's a watery world. Did I start to be a better writer because of the quiet and the pace of daily life defined by light and rural-life chores? I like to think so. I would also like to think that after a lifetime of reading and writing--I published my first novel in 1983--I actually have some expertise in doing things with words, sentences, paragraphs ...more

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Ellen Cooney "The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances" first came to me literally like a cartoon of a lightbulb suddenly self-illuminating over my…more"The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances" first came to me literally like a cartoon of a lightbulb suddenly self-illuminating over my head, as I was sitting one day with my adopted rescued dog, Skip, in my lap, patting him and telling him I wasn't ever going to give up on loving him and believing in him, even though he was so screwed up due to his past, and so difficult to teach (and so difficult to "civilize," for he was pretty much feral when he came to me). I knew I wanted to write about teaching and learning and love and keeping one's eyes on the future. How I'd go about it took a while, but once I was in it, I really went with it.(less)
Ellen Cooney I'm not sure there's even such a thing as writer's block. If I'm in a stretch where something I'm working on isn't coming out right, or if it's not…moreI'm not sure there's even such a thing as writer's block. If I'm in a stretch where something I'm working on isn't coming out right, or if it's not coming at all, it's because something is wrong with the "thing." Maybe I was trying to force a character or a plot toward some development that's all wrong, or maybe I was skimming a surface of something that needed more depth and feeling. Or maybe I was tired and needed to rest, and what could have been defined as a block was actually like, well, writing is like tides, and for me, low tide is presently here. (You just have to believe the tide will change,because that's what tides do.)(less)
Average rating: 3.18 · 2,578 ratings · 534 reviews · 9 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Mountaintop School for ...

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Thanksgiving

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Lambrusco

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The White Palazzo

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The Old Ballerina

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Gun Ball Hill

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All the Way Home

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 1984
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Small-Town Girl

3.67 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 1983 — 2 editions
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I'm not sure there's even such a thing as writer's block. If I'm in a stretch where something I'm working on isn't coming out right, or if it's not coming at all, it's because something is wrong with the "thing." Maybe I was trying to force a char... See Full Answer
More of Ellen's books…
“She was healthy & thriving, like a weed: a weed with no interest in trying to become, say, a proper flower.”
Ellen Cooney, A Private Hotel for Gentle Ladies

“then the bottom fell out of everything that used to have a bottom, and now she's expected to kill her own plants. At”
Ellen Cooney, Thanksgiving

“it her fault that the graveyard has the best dirt? She loves her plants! Just”
Ellen Cooney, Thanksgiving

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