My Biggest Fear Is That I Won’t Be Able to Take the “Me” Out of “Memoir”

October 26, 2016

  Can you believe the color and transparency of Island Lake (above)? I took that photo last summer in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. It’s one of my happiest of happy places, a place to which I can transport myself when I’m stressed or upset – so needed this week since we’re talking about publishing fears. The other day a few of us Debutante Ball authors were commiserating about our pre-publication jitters…


10 Halloween Season Publishing Nightmares

October 25, 2016

My top 10 Halloween Season Publishing Nightmares: Simon and Schuster calls. They’re terribly sorry, but they thought this whole time that Amy Poehler wrote SMALL ADMISSIONS. They appreciate my understanding for the mistake and would ask me to please return the advance at my earliest convenience. I am reading in front of a big crowd at a book store and suddenly have a hot flash, flop-sweat debacle to the degree of Albert…


Fear is the Mother of Foresight, or OMG I’m Going to Be Published!

October 24, 2016

This week, in prep for Halloween, the Debs are writing about their biggest fears about publishing.  The quote in the headline comes from Thomas Hardy in his “A Laodicean.” I found it apt for this post. Why? Because I’m a worry-wart. I probably should have added that to my confessions post,. I over-think nearly most every situation, prepping myself for what might come. I recently learned that the term for…


Louise’s Big Leap

February 29, 2016

Publishing is full of big leaps. You sign with an agent after a twenty-minute phone call. You sell your book to an editor you most likely have never met in person. When your book comes out there are all sorts of leaps—giving public readings, doing interviews, writing essays and op-eds—endless opportunities to do things you have never done before. But what I consider to be my biggest jump happened many…


Recipe for an Unfinished Novel

December 14, 2015

This week on the Debutante Ball, in celebration of the winter solstice, we are writing about the dark times of writing–moments when we thought about quitting or let our doubt get in the way.  Recipe for an unfinished novel Ingredients 1 work in progress 1 workshop, preferably your first one 1 bag of peanut M&Ms 1 famous author/instructor 1 bullying workshop attendee 8 other workshop students Instructions 1. Read aloud…


Good Habits, Bad Habits, and David Bowie

January 13, 2015

This weekend I revisited the 1986 movie, Labyrinth, starring David Bowie, a young Jennifer Connelly, and a slew of Jim Henson muppets. As a young teen, I rented this movie many times, but Adult Me couldn’t remember what I loved so much about it. To my delight, Netflix had it in the current streaming lineup, so I spent ninety minutes getting in touch with my teen self. Teen me wanted this…


3 Sane (and 1 Slightly Less Sane) Ways to Get Through a Writing Rut

December 3, 2013

Though this week’s topic is how to keep writing when we don’t have time, I have a theory: 95% of the time, “I don’t have time” really means “I’m procrastinating” or “I’m burnt out.” I’ve been there too many times to count. And I’ve gotten out of it in traditional and not-so-traditional ways. 1. Change things up and write by hand. I write the majority of my drafts on a…


Fear Is a Zombie — It’ll Eat You Alive

November 1, 2013

I don’t know about you, but zombies top my fear list. I mean come on, hideous undead creatures who want nothing more than to suck the marrow out of your bones while you’re still alive? That’s just nasty. Fear is kinda the same thing. It lurches about within us, inhabiting the dark, festering corners of our minds, ready to munch on us a little here and a little there until…


Use It or Lose It: How to Deal with Fear in Writing and Life

October 29, 2013

I could write way too many words about the things that scare me. My list of fears—both writing-related and just in general life-related—could go on and on until you’d stop halfway and think, “How can one person live with so much fear?” I’ve learned there are really only two options when faced with something that terrifies me: I can either use it, or ignore it. It’s not always easy, and…


FIRST FLOATING LESSONS || How Not to Sink on the River of Life

September 13, 2013

Here’s what my friend, S, said: “It’s like you wade into the river, and then suddenly you’re in the current, and then you can’t just step out again. You’re IN. No going back.” The other day, Tuesday to be exact, I drove four hours up I-5 from southern Oregon to Portland. I cried off and on the whole way. I’d attended a beautiful wedding and hung with friends I don’t…