I Cooked Like a Roman!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

For this post, here are a few things you ought to know about me: Outside of writing, I don’t have an ounce of artistic inclination. I’m not a cook. I mean, yes, I sometimes rearrange, mix, and heat food, but I don’t have any clue beyond the basic of basic skills. I could sustain myself easily on the same three or four go-to meals for my entire life. See points…


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…


Sneak Peak of Alpenglow

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

This week we’re writing from our main character’s point of view, which is a little funny for me considering I AM my main character and all. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to post tiny, early chapter from my work-in-progress, the sequel to Caged Eyes. The tentative title is ALPENGLOW, and it’s the story of my journey to climb Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks, and the healing that went along with…


A Deleted Scene from Caged Eyes

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

At the beginning of their processes, memoirists have a tendency to think everything they put on the page is critical. It’s only natural, after all: we write from memories, and often those we start with are the strongest, the most powerful, and it takes a while to understand that what life moments are most key for our psyche aren’t necessarily key to the particular story which we are telling. The…


If You’ve Met Me…

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A few months ago, a friend asked me to pick him up and drive him to the airport. When I arrived at his place, he was standing on the porch wearing a Biscuits t-shirt and a New York Rangers hat complete with Super Mario Bros pin. His climbing pack was at his feet, and he may or may not have been smoking from a vape. As he climbed in my…


How Caged Eyes Was Meant to Be

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Okay, I’ll admit it: a few months ago, I told a little fib. In my post, “Feeling Some Envy? Great!! Get to Work,” I may have said something about not being very susceptible to jealousy. I only admitted to a few instances, and I overlooked a time when I was ripe with envy. Several years ago, when I was fresh out of the Air Force Academy and making the decision…


A Few Tips from Literary Agent Leigh Feldman

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

This week we’re passing along advice from the publishing industry, and my agent, Leigh Feldman, was nice enough to outline her top pointers for querying writers. I’ve had the honor of working with Leigh for the past two years, and one of the things I love about her is that she tells it like it is! **Make sure the agent you query represents books in the genre you have written. When…


Guest Interview with Melanie Brooks + #DebBallGiveaway of WRITING HARD STORIES

Saturday, March 4, 2017

I have a confession: when I found out that my publisher, Beacon Press, would be publishing a book about “writing hard stories” on the same day that my memoir dropped, I was dubious.  I was worried because I didn’t think there’d be any way for a single book to elucidate the complicated feelings of putting trauma on the page and then out into the world. I was worried that the book would…


Social Media for the Memoirists (Or… “Aren’t I naked enough already?”)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

This week we’re writing about technology, and wow, Crystal nailed just about every tech tool that can help you keep your otherwise-unruly in-process novel organized. And Amy put up another hilarious-yet-not-hilarious post about what it’s like to write in this political climate (oops, I think that was a bit of a spoiler). Anyway, I thought I’d put my usual (somewhat whiny but always real) memoirist tilt on things. When I…


Calling All Celebrity Activists

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

This week we’re writing about celebrities whom we would love to have read our books. When I first thought of of a few names, my literary heroes came to mind: Alice Sebold, Roxane Gay, Cheryl Strayed, and perhaps most of all, Maya Angelou. I love those writers because not only do they create such beautiful sentences and stories, but they raise much needed awareness for social issues. Their books are…