Happy New Year!

Man, was I sick! I know I thought I was sick enough in November to warrant a week off work, but that was nothing compared with this flu that’s raging through the states. And out of the four of us–yes, all four of us had it–I was the worst, followed by the wee one. I…

Need A Boost?

When I was just a wee writer, having “published” my first book in elementary school with rubber cement and wrapping paper, I kept a box of “Write On!” next to my typewriter. A brief search on the internet reveals that you can’t buy Write On! anymore. At any rate, Write On! was a heavily shellacked,…

NaNoWriMo Strikes Again

It’s coming… And it’s National Novel Writing Month. I know I blog (a little obsessively) about this twice per year, but I am still going to tell any uninitiated readers what NaNoWriMo is. NaNoWriMo is always in November (which makes October, affectionately and unofficially, NaNoPlaMo, or National Novel Planning Month). NaNo hosts a great website…

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…

The One About Nothing

I find myself with very little to say, today. I am supposed to be relaxing with my family, enjoying the cool rain of upstate New York, but instead I have stayed back from the annual trip to the pet store in order to get my bi-weekly blog up. I have not finished any books lately…

Summer Writing

Last fall, when my youngest kid went off to kindergarten, I went full-time (six hours a day during school days) as a writer and publisher. The year turned into three novels at different stages of production: one is in the later stages of editing, and two are half-written. Now that summer break has arrived, I…

The Hard Way

Some of these lessons, you just can’t be “taught.” The truth is, to be a good writer, and a good indie publisher, you have to have outside feedback, and then, miraculously, you have to know what to do with it. Because sometimes it’s not grammar or spelling or even A + B = C, but…

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…

How To Write What You Don’t Know

How many times does an individual writer hear, “Write what you know.” And conversely, if you write something–even completely fictional–and write it well, you get “When did you do that?” or even the dubious, “How could you have written that?” Look at the hubbub surrounding Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone (a painfully intimate account from…

Goin’ Campin’

If you have been around this blog, long, you witnessed my first attempt at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), last November. (For the journey, see here.) If you haven’t, I’ll just explain that NaNoWriMo happens each November, and tens of thousands of writers and would-be-writers sign up to pound out 50,000 words during the thirty-one…

YA Vs MG

Let’s get this settled once and for all. Where is the line between YA (young adult) and MG (middle grades) literature? What ages are we talking here, let alone themes and appropriateness? (Please note that this debate has been worn out just about everywhere else on the internet, but I have not settled it for…