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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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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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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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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Introducing Author and News Flash Organizer Elizabeth Gonzalez James!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

It is my pleasure to introduce Elizabeth Gonzalez James, who will be taking on the the role of News Flash Organizer and Topic Whisperer which I have managed for the past Debutante season. Elizabeth is the author of the forthcoming  MONA AT SEA, a sharp and witty debut launching in the Summer of 2021 that asks, When we find what gives our life meaning, will we be ready for it?…

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Interview and Book Giveaway with Author Yaffa Santos!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

It is my pleasure to welcome Yaffa S. Santos, author of A TASTE OF SAGE to The Debutante Ball!  Let me tell you a little about her. Yaffa was born and raised in New Jersey. Her debut novel, A TASTE OF SAGE, combines her interests in the romance genre with her love of cooking and its singular ability to bring people together. Yaffa lives in Florida with her family. A…

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Interview with Alia Volz, author of Home Baked (and Giveaway!)

Saturday, August 8, 2020

I’m so pleased to present Alia Volz, our guest blogger this week! She is the author of Home Baked, a humorous memoir of a ‘sticky’ family business, which launched April 20th. I met Alia at AWP, pre:pandemic, and her energy and storytelling talent have burned bright in my mind since. I’m honored she will share some stories with us. About Alia Volz: Author of Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and…

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5 tips for successfully tackling distraction

Monday, November 4, 2019

I read once that air traffic controllers must be able to concentrate in a room where multiple conversations are going on simultaneously. For example, in a large airport tower, the room could be filled with the sounds of controllers speaking with several pilots about all manner of clearance, changing frequency, taxiways, takeoff, etc. Controllers must be able to make quick decisions and not be distracted by the conversations of their…

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What is Scarier than Empty Space?

Friday, November 1, 2019

Well, I’m glad Halloween is over. Now it’s time for more prosaic fears. Myself. Yup, it’s that time of year again, when my book edits were submitted (“This is the last time you can make substantive changes,” GULP) and I am in that twiddling thumb space. I’ve been in this space before — the first time I handed in my draft in June — but after that I collapsed. I…

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The One Thing Scarier than Halloween

Monday, October 28, 2019

Halloween is a spook-tacular occasion, what with ghosts, goblins and ghouls ringing the doorbell and phantoms roaming the streets. If you’re a writer, what’s even more terrifying than Halloween, is being haunted by your fears. The 1980 major motion picture, The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall, offers a spine-tingling example. Jack Torrance, as portrayed by Nicholson, is an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a position as…

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