Even if I have all the ingredients, I feel this uncontrollable urge to substitute things. It's not always easy to follow a recipe, but— can we agree— it's less risky? There's a frontiersman in me that doesn't want to take a well-worn path, even to chocolate cake. Where's the fun (or artistry) in that? My… Continue reading Spontaneous 10: Outlines, Like Recipes, Are Negotiable
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
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
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
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.
If you're a writer, you may start out thin-skinned, but if you're to survive, you can't possibly stay that way. Most writers fall into the craft because of some strategically-timed compliments, generally given by authority figures and well-meaning English teachers in our formative years. This is usually coupled with an insatiable appetite for reading.… Continue reading Spontaneous 7 Oxymoron: Thin-Skinned Writer
In Spontaneous 5 I mentioned spending upwards of seven (it was actually more like ten) hours on my first page. Well, you can see the fruit of that labor and even vote anonymously whether or not you'd keep reading my work HERE. This is me, begging you. I'm not asking for strokes. Vote your conscience.… Continue reading An Invitation to FLOG This Writer AND…I Got Shot
Ever wonder why that would-be writer is taking FOR. EVER to produce something? I mean, Where's the beef? You've been at this for, what? –a year? So and so writer churns them out with the regularity of vegan bowel movements, and you're still just...writing? Here's how non-writers regard book-writing. They take the time it took… Continue reading Spontaneous 5: Where’s the Beef?
If you're a cup half-empty person, you're always asking and answering that question. I am, admittedly, a prophet of doom. I can ALWAYS see how things can get worse. Just ask my husband. He'll tell you about the giant trees that stood majestically on our front lawn, the ones I imagined falling. Not in just… Continue reading Spontaneous 4: How Can This Get Any Worse?
Sometimes I slug the coffee down. Sometimes I sip. Depends on what I'm trying to achieve. What's on my mind as I wrap my hands around a steaming mug of superhero? Lions and gazelles. I've got Africa fever lately. My sister lives there. My husband's going there. I just put an Africa-shaped blood stain in one… Continue reading Weekend Coffee Share…Lion or Gazelle?