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fiction

Judge me by my Books

In my first novel (I just began #3), I have a character say something like, you can know a lot about a person by the books he reads. My character said this because I believe this. Not that everything my characters say are sentiments with which I agree. Except the villains. I agree with everything… Continue reading Judge me by my Books

fiction

Language is Not the Star

A tide of writerly emails swamps my inbox each day. Everyone has advice on how to write and how to write better and how not-to-give-up-when-everyone-hates-your-work and here's some literary flash fiction. Here's some atrocious flash fiction from somebody you accidentally followed. Here's a Ted Talk. Here's some poetry. Here's this new author, that new agent.… Continue reading Language is Not the Star

fiction

My Procrastination Protocol

Recently, I read an article that revealed a particular form of procrastination that mimics responsibility. And guess what? I do it. Maybe you do, too. Here's the thing. I am NOT guilty of cyberloafing, and I recently became that person who divorced Facebook and am now living under a rock, socially speaking. I write and… Continue reading My Procrastination Protocol

fiction

5000 Words Winter 2020 Contest Winners!

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. ― Sylvia Plath Shelter at home...and write a story. That's what the 5000 Words students did, and the results are in. Click the titles… Continue reading 5000 Words Winter 2020 Contest Winners!

fiction

Art

Like church, the art museum offers free admission. Priceless art, for free. But no. I remind myself: nothing is free because everything has been paid for by someone. I imagine sitting before Picasso's Guernica. The Guernica is silent. It hangs there, unobtrusive. Patient. I can decide whether to sit and let it in or walk… Continue reading Art

fiction, on writing

Fear Gets it Done

This act of turning formless fear into places and characters [is] what a good writer does. - Rebecca Moon Ruark When I have written, and my task is to revise, revise, revise—that's my sweet spot. This can only happen after I've actually done the grunt work of pulling a story from who-knows-where, that mystical place… Continue reading Fear Gets it Done

fiction

Spontaneous 9: Smart, Honest, Critical

What every writer needs: a smart, honest, critical reader. Or in a perfect world, a posse of smart-honest-criticals. Let's face it. If you have an Einsteinian friend, but he only heaps praise upon your work and doesn't share what could be better, how does that help? If you have an Eeyore-type who honestly sees prickles… Continue reading Spontaneous 9: Smart, Honest, Critical

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Spontaneous 8 Drama on the High Sea

They say there's always a cruise story. Here's one you wouldn't expect.  How does this relate to writing? A writer must be able to see the worst possible scenario in order to create tense moments, but she must also be ready to see the best, to be the ultimate optimist. So I got a rejection, … Continue reading Spontaneous 8 Drama on the High Sea

fiction, on writing

Writing is a Solitary Pursuit. Being Read, a Sociable One.

Writing is a solitary pursuit. I remember telling my professor-uncle I wanted to be a writer. His response was that I should prepare for a painful, lonely existence. I was in college and had taken a few writing classes. Still high on workshop praise and being ever the pragmatist, I decided writing was the "career"… Continue reading Writing is a Solitary Pursuit. Being Read, a Sociable One.