Suddenly Writing

One day last month, a writing friend contacted me by email to inform me that there was an affordable writing conference taking place in a couple weeks’ time in the next town over. For only something like $20, I could spend most of my Saturday learning and workshopping in a group that would consist of…

Music as Inspiration

When I write a novel, or basically anything, I keep the volume around me at zero. Or at least at white noise, like the dull roar in a cafe. If I’m home though, there is no music that I listen to when I write. When I get asked that question, I just answer honestly: I…

Headed to Camp

If you have been following this blog for forever, then you should know what NaNoWriMo is. If you haven’t, you may anyhow, but my experience has been a lot of blank stares where I mention it. If you are a writer and don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, then it is time I introduced you. NaNoWriMo…

Lessons in Unusual Places

I am in the middle of a blog-blast, reading a book a day (read: one-two days) and blogging about the books. I took a day off because I was using up my whole evening to attend a local reading, and I figured that had to count for something. Plus, I couldn’t reach my house without…

Book Review: Olive Kitteridge

Is it a novel? Is it a book of short stories? Personally, I have it filed on my bookshelves in the short stories section, but you could really go either way with this Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Elizabeth Strout. I came across this book several years ago, when it won the Pulitzer and landed on…

Book Review: No Pretty Pictures

No Pretty Pictures: a Child of War, by Anita Lobel. Published by Greenwillow Books, New York, in 1998, with an unfortunately drab and unexceptional cover (especially considering that the author is known as a children’s illustrator). The more recent 2008 reissue cover is much better. DISCLAIMER: I do not see this as a children’s or…

Change of Season

I am headed into hibernation. Let me first apologize for the lack of posts on this blog. For a time, I have been too busy to post and, honestly, I haven’t known what to say. I haven’t known what to say for two reasons, and the most important is that I didn’t know what the…

Writer’s Fatigue

Dictionary.com defines writer’s block as “a usually temporary condition in which a writer finds it impossible to proceed with the writing of a novel, play, or other work.” Wikipedia defines it as “a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. The…

The Bad Comma

I am real good at literature. I read it well. I write it well. I thoroughly enjoy it. I intuit it well. I went to school for English literature. I was editor-in-chief of my college literary magazine. I was an assistant editor for a big publishing company. I was a freelance editor. I’m a writer,…

Dishing It Out

How many times have you heard someone say, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? For the most part, I actually believe in the truth of this advice. You see, I used to have anger management issues, which manifested largely when dealing with other drivers, customer service, and my kids.…