Inspiration from all sorts of places

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

This week, we’re talking about writing inspiration. I tried to answer this question in a delightful prose-oriented blog entry, but kept on getting foiled by having way too much to talk about—because as a former journalist, everything pretty much spurs me to pick up a pen! So here is a short list of things that have inspired me over the years. Make one for yourself — you might find it…

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My Most Perfect Day (Not).

My most perfect day was any day before the Coronavirus hit. I woke up, took my daughter to school, then spent the day writing (or procrastinating on writing which I hope is the same thing. #goals). Then I thought about what I would write next, to whom I would sell it, and working on my book marketing plan. And setting up book promotion events. And calling the press. It was…

Friday, March 20, 2020
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My Personality is My Writing…

Boy do I LOVE run-on sentences. I discovered this recently while working on the audio version book of The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind. Now, many authors don’t get to read their own books (especially novels) but when the head of Penguin/Random House first called me, she wanted me to read the intro to my book. But then she read my book, and discovered…

Friday, March 6, 2020
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Who Am I and What is My Brand?

God, the word “brand” seems to be the antithesis of actual writing.  But when you’re writing non-fiction that’s what publishers want to know. Not, “I have an idea for the greatest relationship advice book in the world,” but, who are YOU to write a relationship book?? See even if it’s the greatest business/relationship/pregnancy book in the world, or even a memoir on addiction/prison/infertility — it’s going to have to join dozens…

Friday, January 31, 2020
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Comp Titles – Something Old, Something New…

Friday, January 24, 2020

When I used to work as a newspaper editor, people would send in all kinds of crazy submissions. Like, hello? “We don’t publish poetry,” I would sometimes reply. “But you should!” They’d write back. (Which why I stopped replying). A publication (magazine/newspaper/website) wants to publish similar things to what they’ve been publishing but not the same. They don’t want ideas for new columns or things they should be doing. I…

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Writing Dreams — Dreams of Writing

Friday, January 17, 2020

Dreams are boring. That’s a rule in fiction. Also in life. No one wants to hear about your dreams. Not your night dreams, or nightmares, and not even your regular life dreams or goals: The former lacks narrative structure (“and then you were flying? Wait, I thought you were a shark?”) the latter makes people nervous because they may not be in touch with their own naked ambition. I don’t want…

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The Most Challenging Part of Being a Writer (Apologies to Elsa)

Friday, January 10, 2020

Would you think me a bad parent if I told you my four year old has seen Frozen 2 three times? (Does that make it Frozen 6?) Well, I only saw it once. And at first the new anthem didn’t catch my gut the way “Let It Go,” did; I heard that anthem waaay before I became a mom and I knew it could be belted out ferociously even then. (Another…

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My Great Writing Resolution…

Friday, January 3, 2020

Every year, I start a new journal. I love the clean page, writing Jan 1 (although not the creeping years slowly). I think I started my first journal more than two decades ago. Let’s just say it was not in this millennium. “A new year! New Resolutions!” I would state, even though they were usually the same resolutions. Write a book. Lose Weight   Well, this year I don’t have…

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All the things you can (and can’t) control

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, just like some of the other Debs. “Lose weight” usually ends three weeks in when I twist my ankle on the treadmill and remember that pasta exists. “Spend less” makes me shriek with laughter, since I’m a homeowner. I’d love to “learn a new hobby,” except that between keeping the baby alive and keeping my career alive, I barely have time to…

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Best Writing Advice Ever On Your Worst Enemy

Friday, December 6, 2019

“What should I do?” I began my session with my mentor. See, I was in a low-residence MFA, where we had two weeks in school (then the rest of the semester remote.) “I mean, I kind of like this beginning,” I said, showing her a printout of an essay I began, “but maybe this one makes more sense,” I said, whipping a different version out of my backpack. I often…

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