Kathleen’s Career Fantasties: A Bucket List for the Ages

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Writing a career bucket list seems in direct opposition to my New Year’s Resolution to take one thing at a time.  But, I’m nothing if not a rule-follower, and my assigned topic this week is a bucket list, so here we go. It’s a writer’s dream: I’d like to buy a fancy new dress in order to attend a Hollywood party celebrating the successful adaptation of my work. Let’s take…

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Writing. It’s Not a Bad Gig, Actually

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

We’re talking about the hardest part of being a writer this week. But all things considered, being a writer isn’t particularly hard, at least compared to the other jobs I’ve had. In contrast, the challenges in teaching are myriad (and well documented, may I say, in Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes, out in just twenty-seven (!!OMG!!) days from Berkley). I miss a lot of things about teaching–daily interactions with my…

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Interview and book giveaway: Molly Greeley, Author of The Clergyman’s Wife

Saturday, January 4, 2020

I am thrilled to welcome Molly Greeley to the Ball this week! I met Molly virtually in an online group for debut authors, and she strikes me as kind, genuine, and hardworking. Follow her on Instagram for a sneak peek at the writing life alongside three children, a couple of cats, and whole lotta Jane Austen enthusiasm. Her novel, THE CLERGYMAN’S WIFE has many rave reviews, but I especially like…

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Chill! Or, Kathleen’s New Year’s Non-Resolution

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Yesterday, Lisa wrote about how she doesn’t do New Year’s Resolutions. I’m the opposite. I’m usually 100% all in on resolutions. I’m also in on relentless self-improvement, overwhelming workout plans, and just-in-general pushing of myself. This year, though, I’m going to chill.  Ok, but I’m looking at that sentence now and thinking “chill” seems like a weird and sort of inadequate resolution.  In fact, I’m declaring right now that it’s…

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Kathleen’s Favorite Books of the (Half) Decade

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

I’ve been scanning the lists popping up recently of favorite books of the decade. I can’t do a full decade because I didn’t “reclaim my reading life” and resolve to read 52 books per year until 2014. But, since then, I’ve been recapping my reading in a series of year-end blog posts. I thought it would be fun this week to choose the five novels from my own personal “best”…

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Not Writing in a Post-Revision World (aka Kathleen’s Gone Round the Bend)

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Today’s topic–the importance of Not Writing–is coming at a perfect time, as I just turned in a major revision yesterday at about 6pm Central Time. I’ll be a professional Not Writer (except, of course, for some blog entries, a newsletter, and the addresses on many-a-Christmas card) for at least the rest of the week. Also, I’m admittedly a little punchy, a side effect of revising my face off for many…

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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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Writing Advice from Three Fictional White Guys

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Want to succeed in writing? Look for help from the older fictional white guys you see in movies.  Advice #1 arrives from Albus Dumbledore of Harry Potter fame. Dumbledore has zillions of inspirational one-liners, but my favorite comes from The Chamber of Secrets: “It is our choices, Harry,” he says, “that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”  The writing connection? In my experience, writing books…

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When 3 Pages of Acknowledgments Are Not Enough

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Somehow I went from “let’s see if I can write a book” to a full-time author whose debut is publishing in 10 short weeks. I’m insanely grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. In fact, I wrote 800 words’ worth of acknowledgments for Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes. I’m pretty sure three pages is longer than standard for an acknowledgments section, but it turns out, I still haven’t exhausted my thank-yous. Here…

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Interview with Emma Sloley, Author of Disaster’s Children

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Yay for Emma Sloley, author of Disaster’s Children, a gripping dystopian novel recently published by Little a! An accomplished writer of short fiction and creative nonfiction, Disaster’s Children is Emma’s first book. She has the endorsements of some of the most prominent writers of literary fiction today. Jinmin Han calls Emma’s novel “lush” and “mesmerizing.” Rebecca Makkai says, “Sometimes a new author will sidle up and whisper in your ear,…

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