The Fire in My Oven

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

When I was 20 I caused a tiny fire in my oven. It wasn’t a big deal. It was perhaps the size of a quarter. I’d been trying to bake a cake and some of the batter leaked out and caught on fire. My sister saw it before it got any bigger, grabbed the fire extinguisher, and gave my cake a nice white frost. After all was taken care of,…

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Meet My Writer Friends (And How to Get Your Own)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hmm. That title sounds kinda harsh and possessive, doesn’t it? That’s because these are my writer friends and I’m not sharing (kidding). It’s really because, like all communities, each one is different. The people you click with might not be the same people I click with, but the point is, find the people who are right for you. Since there’s no real formula to writer friendmaking (though Lori has some…

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Aimee Bender’s 5 Pieces of Advice for Debut Authors

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Since we’re sharing advice from veteran authors this week at The Ball, I reached out to one of my favorite writers, Aimee Bender. I’ve always been in awe of her work; the way she blends the real with the fantastical and makes poetry out of simple, powerful truths leaves me struck by her stories long after I’ve finished reading them. It’s such an honor to welcome her to the blog…

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LAURA HEMPHILL On Being a Woman In a Man’s World + Buying In GIVEAWAY

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Please join us in welcoming fellow debut author, Laura Hemphill, to the Ball today! Laura’s novel, BUYING IN, launched this past Tuesday and has already been chosen as a December pick by Glamour magazine and been called “a fine debut about survival in a cutthroat business” by Publisher’s Weekly. Laura’s writing has appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek and on NewYorker.com. After graduating from Yale, she spent seven years on Wall Street, at…

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6 Surprising Things Freelance Writing Taught Me About Book Publishing

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I started freelance writing in 2006, thinking it would be the perfect lifestyle and career choice for an aspiring novelist. It turns out freelancing not only gave me the time I needed to write fiction, it also taught me several important things about the business of publishing. 1. Yes, you’ll need to write a query letter. For newbie freelancers wanting to break into a magazine, their best shot is usually studying…

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Use It or Lose It: How to Deal with Fear in Writing and Life

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I could write way too many words about the things that scare me. My list of fears—both writing-related and just in general life-related—could go on and on until you’d stop halfway and think, “How can one person live with so much fear?” I’ve learned there are really only two options when faced with something that terrifies me: I can either use it, or ignore it. It’s not always easy, and…

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My Inner Critic, the Hero

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Truth be told, I’m kind of proud of my inner critic. I mean, the girl has gone through a complete transformation during my writing lifetime. You need only flip through the journals I wrote throughout my teen years to realize she was probably just filing her nails, occasionally glancing over her shoulder and screaming, “Omg, you’re soooo talented!” as I scribbled my angsty poetry. She called that a good day’s…

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The Only Thing I Know About Writing is That I Don’t Know

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I have two mantras when it comes to writing. One is intentional. The other one…well, let’s just say I’ve said it to myself so many times, it’s an honorary mantra. 1: Make it happen. (This is me struggling to wake up extra early to write, realizing the world doesn’t care if I do or I don’t. It’s solely up to me.) 2: I hope I can pull this off. Now that I…

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Not Every Day is a Writing Day

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I have to confess: I don’t write every day. Not always. Not 365 days a year. Not 7 days a week. I don’t necessarily believe in the butt-in-chair method (isn’t the new thing that sitting is killing us?). I can’t buy into a one-size-fits-all definition of what a writer’s life should look like. What I do believe in is fluidity. Constant change. My writing life is a lot like the…

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Waiting to Exhale: How I Got an Agent & a Book Deal

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Here’s what I’ve learned about The Call: it never happens when you think it will. Sure, we dream about it. When I started querying agents I’d fantasize about it happening every. single. time my phone rang. Every single time my phone notified me of an incoming email. Life became a constant game of “Is this it?” followed by a let down. Oh, it’s just my sister calling to ask how…

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