The Importance of Not Writing

Monday, December 16, 2019

On a couple of Saturday night’s a month, my husband and I pop one of our favorite movies into the DVD player and sit on the living room couch in the pitch dark like patrons do in movie theaters. Recently we watched the 1944 psychological thriller “Gaslight,” starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. In the story, an innocent woman (Bergman) marries a charming man (Boyer) who tries to drive her…

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Interview and book giveaway: Author Lisa de Nikolits

Saturday, December 14, 2019

I am so excited to welcome Lisa de Nikolits to The Debutante Ball. Lisa’s latest novel is The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution. It is a serio-comedic thriller about a couple who embark on an unintentionally life-changing around-the-world adventure, The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is about the meaning of life, healing from old wounds, romantic love at all ages, and how love and passion can make a…

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Favorite Writing Craft Book, Bird by Bird

Thursday, December 12, 2019

My very favorite writing craft book is one recommended to me by several people when I first voiced that I wanted to write a novel. Anne Lemott’s Bird by Bird is a uniquely styled writing manual that stole my heart. I loved the playfulness, the sense of humanity and forgiveness that she injected into the advice and challenges for growth as a writer. Bird by Bird was the book that…

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Abandon your darlings

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Imagine, if you will, the author in her very early twenties. She’s two months out from her college graduation, completing her second or third week as a real journalist at a real newspaper. She’s wearing a suit that’s far too fancy for the newsroom around her, but that’s just because she only owns the one right now. She’s so new she hasn’t been out shopping for business casual clothes yet….

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Kathleen’s Favorite Writing Resources

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

We’re discussing our favorite writing craft resources this week, and before I share mine, I want to offer a caveat. Books on writing, podcasts about writing, meditations on creativity: they’re all great. But, there’s no substitute for actually sitting in the chair and typing the words.  Writers write.  They may also read about writing and think about writing and commune with other writers, but none of those can take the…

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THE LEAST SCARY STEPHEN KING BOOK I’VE EVER READ

Monday, December 9, 2019

I was in the waiting room of the dentist’s office the other day when another patient glanced over and asked me what book I was reading. It was On Writing by Stephen King. She went on to list all of King’s books that she’d read: The Shining, Misery, and a few others. With a gleam in her eye she said, “His books are scary. Spine-tingling!” I looked down at my…

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Interview with Guest Author Hannah Orenstein

Hannah Orenstein is the author of Playing with Matches (2018), Love at First Like (2019), and a third novel forthcoming from Atria Books (2020). She’s also the Senior Dating Editor at Elite Daily; previously, she was a writer and editor at Seventeen.com and the youngest matchmaker at the largest luxury dating service in the country. She lives in Brooklyn. Find her at: Twitter   Instagram:   What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had? When I…

Saturday, December 7, 2019
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Best Writing Advice Ever On Your Worst Enemy

Friday, December 6, 2019

“What should I do?” I began my session with my mentor. See, I was in a low-residence MFA, where we had two weeks in school (then the rest of the semester remote.) “I mean, I kind of like this beginning,” I said, showing her a printout of an essay I began, “but maybe this one makes more sense,” I said, whipping a different version out of my backpack. I often…

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Writing Mentor, aka, Author Life Support

Thursday, December 5, 2019

My writing mentor, Valerie Hayes Perry, has given me guidance and support for my writing voice from even before I had an idea for a novel. I was a very insecure new writer when I first attended her meetup workshop in 2014. What I will never forget is how after a reader had shared their piece, she would pause, taking a moment of reflection with her eyes closed. And then,…

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Eyes on your own paper.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

I can’t remember who told me this first, but here’s the piece of writing advice that changed my life: Eyes on your own paper. I can’t tell you how many careers Comparison and her brother Jealousy have ruined. And they’re vicious. They’ll roll right into your house, take your remote, crack open a soda and put their feet up on your ottoman before you even know what’s happening. They’ll ruin…

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