A Year or a Career

Friday, January 18, 2019

    Before writing this blog post, I never really gave much thought to a bucket list for this year. Or a career bucket list, for that matter.  I daydream about miraculous debut and career events all the time: I see my book in O Magazine. Terry Gross wants to interview me on Fresh Air. I make the NYT bestseller list. Wait, they get bigger: eventually, I win the Pulitzer…

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A TBR For 2019

Friday, January 11, 2019

  This week, I thought I might try to focus on picking one book to represent each genre I like to read in order to keep my list here from being a thousand books long. I may fudge a little, since many of the books I’m anticipating could fall into more than one category.   YOUNG ADULT:  On the Come Up by ANGIE THOMAS I know this pick could not be…

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Does a Ladder Matter?

Friday, January 4, 2019

      It’s coming home to me how often I start these posts with some comment about how I “don’t really do” whatever the topic of the week happens to be. I don’t live life with balance, I don’t dispense advice, I don’t blah blah blah. So let me hit you with a big surprise: I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. Truly, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard…

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2018 Hit List

Friday, December 28, 2018

    An American Marriage by Tayari Jones** From the publisher: Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. In this deft exploration of…

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Am I The Only Deb Who Likes To Relax?

Friday, December 21, 2018

        I am practically rubbing my hands together with glee right now, because this has got to be one of my favorite writing topics of all time. There is so much emphasis in writing culture on how much time one spends writing, how quickly one can write, how many words one can churn out in a day. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I do…

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Blogs and podcasts and everything nice

Friday, December 14, 2018

    Over the years, I’ve read a number of books on writing, and I can highly recommend the following (and I have no doubt most of you will have heard of all of them already): Stephen King’s On Writing, Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life, Anne Lammott’s Bird By Bird.                                I don’t…

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What John Steinbeck Said That Helped Me

Friday, December 7, 2018

    I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. It might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit—John Steinbeck     I spent my blog post last week advising everyone not to pay too much attention to writing advice. I guess it…

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Advice, Against My Better Judgement

Friday, November 30, 2018

    I’m not a person who tends to dispense a lot of advice. I can tell myself that this is because I’m so great at withholding judgement, refuse to believe I know better than others about what’s best for them, but if I’m being honest, it probably has more to do with minding my own business. I don’t want to be responsible for steering someone in a direction that…

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Dear Reader

Friday, November 23, 2018

        I remember when I went to my writing group after my agent got the offer from Penguin, and a writer friend asked me if I was happy. He wanted to know if selling the book was as great as I thought it would be, or if it was somehow disappointing. A let-down. I told him it’s every bit as great as I hoped. It’s a dream…

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Tips for Querying (or as I like to call them, Q-tips)

Friday, November 16, 2018

  You know how they say you should never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear? I know why. It’s because if you poke around in there with something that actually fits, like a q-tip, you might slip up and accidentally jab yourself in the eardrum. Which is really painful. Much like querying. You can see where I’m going with this. I’ve been racking my brain to come…

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