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.…

Something New

Sometimes things are just what you expect, but they are not at all what you expected. Thus went the first inaugural Read Local NC Book Festival. I participated in a number events on Sunday only, and every one of them went just about how I thought it would and yet was not at all what…