Just Write and Other Groups

Friday, June 14, 2019

    I’ve moved around a lot in the past decade, and I’ve had to cull my writing friends from a number of different sources. The first time I joined an actual writing group was when I moved to the outskirts of Philadelphia and found one through Meetup that was only a few minutes from my children’s school. In many ways, Just Write changed my life. I had started a…

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Her First Ball

Friday, June 7, 2019

        A debut year for any writer is exciting and joyful. And it can also be stressful, frightening, frustrating, and lonely. In my little corner of the world, it’s been hard for me to find other writers to connect with, although I’m lucky to have a small circle. Even if you live in a big city, though, with lots of different writers’ groups available, the odds of…

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Unbeach Reads

Friday, May 31, 2019

    I’m not usually one for “beach reads.” I mean, I’m always reading, but I also would almost always prefer a big, heavy, literary tome to something light and funny. I see no problem with sobbing over the ending of Anna Karenina while sipping a Mai Tai on vacation. When I was eleven, I took on the task of reading The Executioner’s Song because I was looking for something…

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A Writing Education

Friday, May 24, 2019

    I’m always interested in talking about formal education when it comes to the arts, because these are vocations for which anything goes—you can study painting at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, or you can paint in a completely naïve, unschooled manner, learning everything by feel, and the validity of your art will not necessarily be affected. You will simply invite different kinds of judgement. I always go…

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A Writer at Any Age

    Because my release day fell on my birthday, I’ve already written a little about writing and age. One of the best things about writing, I believe, is that you can do it at any age. It belongs to you at any age. As long as you want to put words on paper, you can, although how you approach it might change. How it affects you, and what it…

Friday, May 17, 2019
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Maybe You CAN Take the City out of the Girl

Friday, May 3, 2019

  I’ve lived in a number of different places across Canada and the United States, and I think to some extent I’ve absorbed something from each of them that colors my writing in some way, but I honestly never gave much thought to that until I sat down to write this post. The first thing that seems to influence me is being Canadian. I have a penchant for describing long,…

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Interview with Kirstin Chen and Giveaway for BURY WHAT WE CANNOT TAKE

Saturday, April 20, 2019

  I could not be more thrilled to welcome this week’s guest, Kirstin Chen, to the debutante ball! Kirstin Chen’s second novel, Bury What We Cannot Take, was named a best book of the year by Entropy, Popsugar, and Book Bub, and a top pick of the season by Electric Literature, The Millions, The Rumpus, Harper’s Bazaar, and InStyle. She is also the author of Soy Sauce for Beginners. She has received awards from the Steinbeck Fellows Program, Sewanee, Hedgebrook, the…

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Writing Finances

Friday, April 19, 2019

      I am not a finance person. When I think of the words “financial” and “realities” in the same sentence, my brain tries to make a little symbolic dive under a sofa. All I can do with this post is just lay it out there and be honest. I have no problem telling everyone exactly what my book finances have been so far, because I think it’s important…

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You Say It’s Your Birthday…

  …It’s my birthday, too. On Tuesday this week, when my book officially came out, I also turned forty-four years old. Now, I am not a person who believes in signs or astrology or anything like that, but I am sort of a neat freak. I like it when things line up. So this little coincidence really does please me no end. I’ve received many wonderful and thoughtful birthday gifts…

Friday, April 12, 2019
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Researching Dreams

Friday, April 5, 2019

  I have to admit, the research for The Dream Peddler wasn’t particularly intense, and that’s probably just because I chose not to do tons of research. Despite the historical setting, I had read enough books from the time and learned enough in school to at least sketch out what the world of my characters would be like. I stopped writing now and then to google things like images of…

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