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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The Manuscripts In Lara Lillibridge’s Drawer

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

  I write a lot. I devote the majority of every day to writing, reading, and editing. (It really helps to have a work-and-home SigO who is always working.) I know I’m both incredibly lucky to be able to do so and also incredibly boring by most people’s standards.  I get antsy when I’m away from my work for too long. Even when I travel—and I travel a lot—I write…

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If You Can Visualize It, It Can Be Yours—Or Maybe Not

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I held a story in my chest and this story breathed when I breathed, and it flowed through my veins and pulsed with my heartbeat. I couldn’t shut it off. Everything else I tried to write was colored by it. My story needed to be told, so I put it down on pages and it became a book, and then I didn’t have to carry it any longer. As I…

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Self Promotion—Awkward Yet Necessary

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

I love talking about my book. I love posting on social media about my book. Having my book come into the world is one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me. What I don’t love is feeling as if I’m a show-off, or begging my friends for help. Every time I post about my book, I’m secretly ducking the negative anti-promotion vibes I’m sure are headed…

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Writing Programs, MFAs, and What to do if You Can’t Afford Any of Them

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

When I started writing in a serious, dedicated way, I had 95 undergrad credits and three active student loans. I didn’t have a bachelor’s degree or an MFA and had never been to a writers’ workshop,  but I believed in my stories. As a gift, my parents paid for me to take a week-long writing workshop at the Chautauqua Institution, and more importantly, volunteered to babysit my boys (one of…

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The Quotes That Got Me Through Publishing my Memoir

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

This was my laptop’s wallpaper through out the months of crafting my memoir:   I have posted it on Facebook too many times to count. When I wake in the middle of the night short of breath from anxiety, when the idea of my memoir coming into the world seems too much to bear, I chant it over and over. Your silence will not protect you. I had first read…

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Creative, or Just Odd?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

My mother always told me that I was creative, by which I think she meant peculiar. I couldn’t draw, paint, or dance very well. Lord help me, singing was not my strong suit either. Writing made my hand cramp, my arm forming the awkward spiral common to left-handed children everywhere. I liked to make sculptures but I wasn’t very good at that either, and I showed no real talent for…

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The Best Kind of Editing

Monday, April 10, 2017

This week, instead of doing our taxes, the Debs are talking about auditing, err, editing.  In the fall of 2007, I took a novel-in-progress class at Grub Street with instructor and author, Lisa Borders. It was the first time I was showing anyone the novel I was working on, which turned out to be the early drafts of FEAST OF SORROW.  It was there that I met Anjali Mitter Duva,…

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An Old Knives Tale

Monday, March 27, 2017

This week the Debs are sharing deleted scenes, shifts in their books and all sorts of behind the curtain tidbits.  When I began writing FEAST OF SORROW, I was writing a very different book, about a celebrity chef with a special set of magical knives. I wanted an origin scene for those knives and this is what happened. I kept some of this in the book, but most of it…

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Invoking the Muse

Monday, October 17, 2016

This week the Debs are talking about how they torture their characters, make choices for them, or how their characters lead the way.  One of the most wonderful things about writing is how the mind seems to unravel the story from a place hidden deep inside. I can’t tell you how many times I have stopped writing after a few hours and sat back to re-read the words and thought,…

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