Pretty Pictures, by Emily Winslow

Good description is beautiful, even when describing something that is not beautiful. The first two paintings here are by my friend Tom Paquette. He gorgeously paints gorgeous clouds, and leaves, and tree limbs. The next two are by my friend Valeri Larko. She gorgeously paints industrial buildings and equipment, and trash heaps. Artists of all kinds, including writers, can make something beautiful, no matter what the topic.

Monday, June 7, 2010
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Discipline v. Inspiration, by Emily Winslow

A recent quote from my blog “Emily Winslow Talks to Strangers”: I am not in control of my inspiration It’s very fashionable, and practical, to rail against the idea of “inspiration.” Writers I respect talk about discipline and hard work and consistency, and how absurd and indulgent it is to depend on inspiration. “Butt in chair,” they say. “Fingers on keyboard.” But I’ll confess: I’m not above inspiration. After weeks…

Monday, May 31, 2010
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Tomorrow is a big day by Emily Winslow

Well, this is it. Tomorrow by first novel is officially out and about, meeting strangers in bookstores and going home with them. (I hope!) To help it along, I’m spending the entire month of June on the road. In a previous post, I mentioned my public bookstore events. I have seven of those. And also, 17 private events: book clubs, lunches, parties, talks, a writing conference and two local TV…

Monday, May 24, 2010
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My Mom, by Emily Winslow

My Mom is amazing. Five years ago, when I was waiting through a hot New Hampshire summer to give birth to our second child, she came two weeks before my due date, just in case. Then I ended up being two weeks late. She passed the time that month playing with our four-year-old, doing the laundry, and cooking my favorite meals. Normal “good mom” stuff, right? She also: polished the…

Monday, May 17, 2010
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Punting to Moonrat

My editor sent me two copies of my book this week: real, finished, hardcover copies, with the gorgeously formatted interior, and pretty dustjacket. I washed my hands before touching, handled them gingerly, and checked that they used the author photo I liked best. I admired the color of the book under the dustjacket, a lovely subtle blue that matches the cover illustration. I opened it to look at each of…

Monday, May 3, 2010
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Like ten high school reunions rolled into one, by Emily Winslow

This week’s theme is “shopping.” That’s something I’m doing a lot of right now, because for all of the month of June I’ll be traveling all over the States promoting my book (see this post for the schedule). I’ll be seeing lots of old friends which is WONDERFUL. It’s also daunting. I’m diligently whitening my teeth, and in a few weeks I’m having my hair professionally colored, a treat I…

Monday, April 26, 2010
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Don’t Do It! by Emily Winslow

It’s tempting, I know. But resist! Amazon is littered with the comments of authors defending themselves from negative reviews. Nothing good can come of such public displays of indignation. I originally wrote this post linking to two examples of SPECTACULAR author tantrums prompted by negative reviews. It’s bad enough to respond in a moment of passion, but these were ongoing crusades fueled by delusion, entitlement, and paranoia. Some even involved…

Monday, April 19, 2010
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Tax Time, by Emily Winslow

Living a dual-country life sounds glamorous, doesn’t it? It’s delightful–except for dueling taxes. See, the UK and the US have very similar tax structures, if by “similar” one means “absolute opposite.” For example: The US “tax year” is measured from January 1 to December 31, reported on April 15th. The UK tax year is measured from April 6th to April 5th, and reported in January. If I’d written that two…

Monday, April 12, 2010
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Backstory Feast, by Emily Winslow

I love backstory. Beginning writers are cautioned against it, because it’s so alluring but kind of tricky to pull off. Flashbacks and memories can halt the present action. They can be pauses that seem to the reader as unconnected to the current story as a commercial break to a TV show. Or, done right, they can be players in the present action. Memories can be active participants in a scene,…

Monday, April 5, 2010
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Fool Me, by Emily Winslow

The “Museum of Hoaxes” website has a delightful list of the Top 100 April Fools Day Hoaxes in history. Here is a sampling of some of my favorites: #15: Metric Time “1975: Australia’s This Day Tonight news program revealed that the country would soon be converting to “metric time.” Under the new system there would be 100 seconds to the minute, 100 minutes to the hour, and 20-hour days.” #31:…

Monday, March 29, 2010
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