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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On the Road with Denny and her Writing CRAFT Journey!

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

I am a self-proclaimed craft geek. I love craft books, craft classes, online or when possible, in person. I have traveled as far as Maui to take a workshop and have purchased audiotapes and videotapes and bid on private craft lessons with superstar instructors at online auctions. Sounds a bit like an addiction, I’ll admit it. But for nearly two decades, writing workshops fell under my idea of a great…

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Celebrating the small stuff

Thursday, January 28, 2021

It feels a little funny to be writing about milestones and celebrations before my book comes out. It almost sounds like the kind of article I’d write 30 years from now, when I’ve got a shelf full of bestsellers, a trophy case jammed with awards, and a desk built to look like my celebrated novels. What’s that last thing, you ask? I’m sorry, has no one shown you what Danielle…

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I left my heart in Corpus Christi

Thursday, January 14, 2021

My fellow Debs and I are blogging this week about our favorite types of scenes to write, and it made me think of something George Saunders said once about how you should always write into your strengths. Saunders claims he’s not great at plot (methinks he’s being a touch humble), and so when he writes, he emphasizes his characters, or setting, or whatever, in order to make up for the…

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Inspiration or Just Some Books I’ve Read and Loved

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Inspiration is difficult to pin down. At least, that’s the position I’m sticking with. So, I decided to go back in time, not literally (not a time traveler :), but I started thinking about what has inspired me to write—and my answer is writing. Now, I’m not talking about my writing. Although, I wrote my first story when I was seven years old, inspired by Charlie’s Angels, which is not…

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Tips for Navigating the NaNo Blues

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

We’re sharing our best writing tips this month here on The Debutante Ball, and since this happens to coincide with National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo for short), I thought I’d tailor my advice for the NaNo folks out there. November is quickly running out and for many writers it’s make or break time. So what do you do if you still have 10-20k left on your word count…

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Finding Your People: A guide for new writers

Thursday, November 19, 2020

A funny consequence of having a book coming out is that friends and family (and the occasional stranger on the internet) now come to me for advice on writing and publishing. It’s weird to give advice because I feel like I’m still learning these things myself. I don’t have an MFA – I literally just learned about the concept of negative capability this summer!     But when I’m asked…

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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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Writing Through Distractions: What Distractions? (Add insane laugh, here:)!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Good morning! First, I’m writing this post at 5:30 AM. That’s about the time I rise this time of year…I’m a seasonal creature, so my sleep pattern shifts. I am an early riser in the fall and winter and am down for the count around eleven o’clock. But my sleep habits aren’t the topic today. The question before me is how do I deal with distractions and such. Well, here…

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[News Flash] October 25, 2020

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Thank you to Lois Ruskai Melina for joining us for an interview this week about her essay collection, THE GRAMMAR OF UNTOLD STORIES. Lois will also be participating in a livestream reading and conversation with Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita Paulann Petersen on Friday, Oct. 30 with Annie Bloom’s Books. Click here to register. Lyn Liao Butler also sat down with Mindy McGinnis this week to talk about the anxiety of…

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