The Purge! (or, Getting that first draft out of your system)

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Ernest Hemingway famously said all first drafts are garbage, except he used a way more *effluent* term instead of garbage. This is something that I’ve, at various times, thought was completely true, completely false, and now believe is somewhere in the middle. First drafts are your best effort at the time, and I hate to say anyone’s best effort at the time is no good. I’ve also read lots of…

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A Plotter’s Guide to First Drafts

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

To plot, or not to plot? It’s the perennial question writers everywhere eventually face. The internet is rife with articles waxing poetic about the virtues of Plotting vs. Pantsing. It’s the Empire vs. Rebellion of the writing world. Do you plan out your story before you write? Then you’re a Plotter. Do you let the muse guide you along the journey without a plan, or maybe with an end-point in…

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The autodidact’s reading list

Thursday, February 11, 2021

I’ve written previously about how I have an MBA, not an MFA. And how that didn’t work out so great for me. So when I was unemployed and stuck in a tiny apartment while raising a newborn baby, it wasn’t a great time to contemplate going back to school for yet another masters degree. Plus, I reasoned, I’d always been told I was a great writer. How hard could it…

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Writing Tips for Writers: Sure, I Have A Few!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Hello Friends, I’m here today writing about tips for writers. I am the social media maven for The Debutante Ball this year and lead a team of 2021 debut authors on our Instagram account. One of the things I/we focus on is creating attractive visuals. We want to snare attention from those who use and enjoy social media, especially those folks who see social media as a means to find…

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The Jackhammer in the Basement: On writing (or not writing) through distractions

Thursday, October 29, 2020

“It’s a black fly in your chardonnay. It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late.” Alanis Morissette was kind enough to give us many definitions of irony in 1995, and to those I would like to add, “It’s a jackhammer in your basement when you’re trying to write a blog post about writing through distractions.” We’re getting our house earthquake-retrofitted — a project that was initially supposed to take…

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World Building in the Real World

Thursday, October 8, 2020

When writers talk about “world building” they mean more than just setting. Setting is where a story takes place. But a fictional world is setting, history, the special rules of that particular place, the people who inhabit that world, as well as the general tone or atmosphere that sort of floats over every page. The setting of the Harry Potter books is England, but in order to build her fictional…

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Advantages of writing for the 2020 Deb Ball

Thursday, May 28, 2020

When I was in my undergrad program for fashion, I took my very first writing gig blogging for a recently launched menswear site. I remember applying and being so excited when I was chosen! I felt so official with this, my first fashion writing gig. But I was super nervous upon accepting the position. I realized, my name would be “out there” and what if people didn’t like the content…

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Interview with Humorist R. Eric Thomas

Saturday, February 15, 2020

R. Eric Thomas may be the funniest current events writer around. In “Eric Reads the News” at Elle.com, he presents his unique take on pop culture and politics, like Watch Donald Trump Explain How a Dog Works or Once Again I Am Delighted To Spend My Entire Check On Oprah’s Favorite Things. I’m so excited for his memoir in essays, HERE FOR IT, or How to Save Your Soul in…

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Interview with Lisa Barr, Author of The Unbreakables PLUS BOOK GIVEAWAY

Saturday, September 14, 2019

  Lisa Barr is the author of The Unbreakables (HarperCollins) a delicious, sharp novel about a Chicago woman who jets off to France after her “perfect” marriage collapses, putting the broken pieces of herself back together while rediscovering her own joie de vivre—a lust for life, art, and passion. Artful, feminist, and emotionally gripping, The Unbreakables is a remarkable tribute to a woman’s strength in the face of heartbreak and adversity.        What’s one book that made…

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When The Muse Calls With Inspiration — You Listen

Friday, September 13, 2019

You always hear people talking about muses whispering in their ear, as if in a trance, or their “characters” speaking to them. Well, I’m not a novelist so I don’t have characters to take over the heavy lifting of writing, but I will say that it feels like someone else wrote up my book proposal. I had been working for a while on a memoir about my infertility, based on…

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