Telling Myself the Story: Composing a first draft

Monday, November 27, 2017

It’s fortuitous that this topic falls here, at the end of November, as I’ve spent the past 26 days frantically drafting Book 2 of the Aven Cycle as my NaNoWriMo project (with intermittent work on two other projects at the same time). It’s also a bit unfortuitous — I’ve been so busy drafting that I haven’t had a lot of time to think about how I draft. What leaps to…

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Writing Through the Road Blocks

Friday, October 13, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th! And in October, too! Spoopy! This week we’re talking about creativity. Where do we find it? How do we cultivate it? How do we hang onto it? This week we’re talking about creativity. Where do we find it? How do we cultivate it? How do we hang onto it? I’m having a rough week, y’all. For the last year and a half or so I’ve been…

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To You, My Thanks: 5 people to whom FROM UNSEEN FIRE owes its existence

Monday, September 11, 2017

For this week’s theme, the Debs are sharing the love and discussing five people without whom our books wouldn’t exist. I use “five” a little loosely — but here goes: My family: I mean, this almost seems too easy, but I couldn’t start anywhere else. My parents have supported my dreams of writing for as long as I’ve had them. They knew I’d be good at it before I did. (My…

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Re-Writing Caged Eyes

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Caged Eyes may have taken me a decade to write, but I can summarize the process easily: expand and contract. My first draft was a factual recount, a straight linear narrative one might read in some kind of textbook. It made for a terrible memoir, I assure you. Over several additional drafts, I went to the opposite extreme. I added details, dialogue, and reflection, and suddenly my memoir doubled in…

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2017: The Year of the Second Book

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

  I’m going to finish my second book this year. No, really, I will. Yes, I’m serious. Yes, I said that last year. Yeah, okay, I said that the year before. It’s different this time. Some days I’m frustrated with myself that yet another year has passed and I haven’t finished my follow-up memoir, the recovery half of my story, the story of how climbing Colorado’s highest peaks helped me…

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Writing Through Trauma

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

This week we’re discussing writing through distraction, and I thought I’d put my memoirist’s spin on the topic: writing through trauma, which is, in a way, very similar. The heart of succumbing to distraction often comes down to avoidance, and it just so happens that avoidance is also a key component of post-traumatic stress disorder. Those with PTSD sometimes go to extreme lengths to avoid situations that remind them of the…

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Writing with Distractions (or Sure, Blame Me and my Tiny Bladder)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about that lady, it’s that she tends to blame others for her inability to focus. The truth is she can’t concentrate for shit. I’m just being honest. Between the noise in her head and the noise out there in the world, distractions are a big problem for her. But instead of taking responsibility for it (or medication), she blames everything on me and my…

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Writing is the Hardest Thing You Could Ever Choose To Do

Monday, November 7, 2016

In the spirit of election week (have you voted yet?) this week’s Deb topic is about big decisions we’ve made as writers. I watched Ann Patchett speak a few years ago and something that she said really stuck with me. I don’t recall her exact words but essentially she said that a profession as a writer was the hardest thing you could ever choose to do. Let me elaborate: You…

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Deadlines? Writing Schedules? No, Thanks!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  First thing in the morning, I take a cup of tea to my laptop. I work dutifully for four hours before taking a break for lunch, abstain from surfing social media in between sentences, and write at least 1,500 hundred words a day. …Yeah, right! I hate admitting this about myself, but I’m terrible with putting structure around my writing. I like to consider myself an organized person, someone…

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Pressure and Time: The Shawshank Method of Writing

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

This week we’re talking about how — as writers — we cope with pressure. Do we thrive under a deadline, or do we get a mean case of writer’s block? Do we like our agents to give us a firm due date, or do we prefer to set the pace for ourselves? Like most writers I have a love-hate relationship with pressure. I’m fairly new to this whole writing thing, but what…

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