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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Being Female is my Super Power

    When I decided to leap over the abyss of common sense and devote myself to writing, I came across the infamous “Write Like a Motherfucker” essay by Cheryl Strayed. So write, Elissa Bassist. Not like a girl. Not like a boy. Write like a motherfucker. —Cheryl Strayed I held onto Cheryl Strayed’s words all through college. When I needed help, I turned to my Facebook Binders group. I met…

Tuesday, July 3, 2018
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Interview with Book Publicist Andrea Kiliany Thatcher 

For Industry Insiders week, I wanted to introduce you to Andrea Kiliany Thatcher of Smith Publicity, whom I worked with in the months leading up to the release of my memoir,  Girlish: Growing Up in a Lesbian Home.   Andrea Kiliany Thatcher is a Marketing Manager and a Book Publicist at Smith Publicity. Andrea has a long relationship with the independent bookselling community having been a bookseller and social media manager for…

Tuesday, June 26, 2018
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Author Interview with Lisa Romeo + GIVEAWAY!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

I first met Lisa at HippoCamp 2016 where I attended her incredibly useful session on writing about one topic across multiple pieces. That was my first writing conference ever, and I was so intimidated by everyone that I only spoke to something like five people, of which Lisa was one. We chit chatted in the waiting area to pitch agents and editors for our then-unpublished memoirs, and although I don’t…

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Navigating Failure is Easier Than Navigating Success

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Trigger warning: depression, anxiety.   People who have experienced trauma may associate the excitement of success with the same physiological reactions as trauma. They avoid subjecting themselves to excitement-inducing circumstances, which causes them to be almost phobic about success.  Psychology Today  This week’s topic (navigating failure) isn’t hard or scary for me, because I’ve chosen failure for so much of my life. Navigating failure is historically pretty comfortable for me….

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Technology I Can’t Live Without—Wow am I Privileged

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

I can’t write on paper. Not only is my handwriting wretched, but my hand can’t keep up with my brain, so I’m constantly writing letters out of order. Add in that I’m left-handed, and it’s a miracle that anyone can ever read anything I write at all. I didn’t like writing much of anything until my mother bought our first home computer circa 1985, when I was twelve. Suddenly, 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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It’s My Release Day!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Here it is: release week. It’s rather fitting that my regular posting day here is also my release day.  Today I’m driving to my hometown—Rochester, New York—for my release party. I am looking forward to seeing some of my childhood friends, some of whom are mentioned in the book, and others who were present at the time but not mentioned. I’m looking forward to my snack trays from Wegmans. (Wegmans…

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Sometimes Time Spent Not Writing is Necessary

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

I left my husband because he wouldn’t read the stories that consumed me. OK, there was more to it than that—marriages rarely dissolve over just one issue. But it was a big issue for me. My mother—who had herself been a single mother of two toddlers (my brother and I)  and knew about such things—warned me that my writing time would evaporate if I left my husband. I’d have to…

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My Electronic Co-Worker Has My Back…Usually

My calendar reassures me that I have everything under control.  It sends me electronic nudges that make me a better mother (NO CHESS CLUB TODAY), better friend (FRANCINE’S BIRTHDAY), and better writer (SUBMISSIONS OPEN FOR_____MAGAZINE). I have a shared calendar with my ex-husband to manage the children’s’ overly-full schedule (RED), another shared calendar for the Debutante Ball (PURPLE), holidays and other things Google has decided I need to know about…

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
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