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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Don’t Be a Delicate Flower: Advice to a Younger Kathleen

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

This week, we’re sharing what we’d wished we’d known when we started writing. It’s a hard question. While I tell people I didn’t start writing seriously until about age 36, I’m realizing that’s not really true. The first story I remember writing, all the way from start to finish, was a pirate adventure. I wrote it when I was nine, I think. I can’t remember the details, but there was…

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Kathleen’s Query Letter!

Minor Dramas
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

So many aspects of being a writer are anxiety-producing. I’ve basically been bathing in cortisol since I finished a first draft of MINOR DRAMAS & OTHER CATASTROPHES in 2016. Finding an agent? Going on submission? Working on revisions? Writing another whole book? To be honest, I’m pretty much red-lining with anxiety all the flipping time. I’m not trying to be a downer (and maybe being an author is different for…

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Distraction? There’s an app for that!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

We’re tackling the problem of distractions this week, and like many of us, I’m an expert at finding reasons to not write. Laundry to be folded? Dishwasher to be unloaded? Twitter to be checked for the fiftieth time in an hour? I’ve succumbed to all of these and a million more. Luckily, I’ve got a pretty simple and low-level hack to share. This works for me, given my oft-discussed proclivity…

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Kathleen’s Daily Specials: Irrational Terror and Crippling Self-Doubt

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

I’m rolling my eyes at myself as I begin my “Writing Fears” post. I’m an anxious sort. I’m afraid of tons of things. In fact, my daily specials include irrational terror and crippling self-doubt.  Yesterday, Lisa wrote about her fear of losing her work. I’ve got that fear-base covered, too. Will I spill tea on my computer and fry it before I can back it up? Will the cloud implode?…

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