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…

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,…

The Irrepressible NaNoWriMo

It does seem like I am always mentioning NaNoWriMo, doesn’t it? There are two reasons for that. First, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) now comes around three times per year. Sort of. There’s always the official month in November, but they now offer Camp NaNoWriMo, which can be attended in either (or both) April and…

I Am Not Alone

I rarely write a blog telling you to go read a different article. But I noticed this article was full of things that I would tell you, anyways. So here it is: “How Not to Write a Novel” by James Scott Bell on Writer’s Digest online. I don’t remember how I came across this 2012…

Writers Is Writers

Recently I witnessed a most miraculous transformation, as a self-proclaimed political poet showed up to a local reading group and read what was his “first attempt” at a short story. It was so decent (read: better than decent) that I was further in awe when he shared offhandedly that it was completely not autobiographical. Besides…

Go Get ‘Em

When I was a kid, I was labeled “not sporty.” I was also never described as “adventurous,” that I can recall. Ideas of sporty and adventurous in my culture were limited to things like basketball and Lewis and Clark. As I got older, I realized a few things about that: one, sports are not limited…

Tenacious Dee

In the writing world, much of our advice becomes trite. Partly, I think, this is because it is true and therefore gets batted around so much it becomes tattered and, at times, useless. For example, my last post was about Write what you know. I have the feeling I could have written the first two…

Novel Planning: a NaNoWriMo Update

They all said to make a plan. I even chirped the same advice to my writing friends: October should be NaNoPlaMo, National Novel Planning Month, we said. Because if you want to succeed at the 50,000 words demanded of you to conquer National Novel Writing Month in November, you want to have all guns blazing…

Month Recap: Kids and GrownUps

I have started in a writing group, this month. (See “It Could Have Been Worse.”) I have entered another contest. I have been rejected by the establishment as a self-publisher. (To be addressed in a future blog, titled “The Rejection of the Nuances.”) I have signed up for NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. (See the…

It Could Have Been Worse

My intention was to find a writing group to join sometime this year. It was still sitting there on my list of Owl and Zebra goals when I was thrilled to find myself, one evening last spring, in a conversation with a new acquaintance about a burgeoning writing group which would happily include me, if…