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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So Much to Be Grateful For (And Yet…)

Friday, November 29, 2019

“You have a book coming out. Aren’t you excited!” “Excited” is not the word that I or anyone around me would use. A chicken running around without her head, is more like it. Others wouldn’t be so kind. But the run-up to a book can be very fraught. You have to get blurbs, those advanced praise quotes you see on the back of books and on websites like Amazon and…

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Tips for new writers

Friday, November 22, 2019

“What’ so special about your life that you want to write about it,” one date said to me when I was in my early twenties. I guess it was his way of flirting – that negation thing that men do that’s supposed to be sexy — but as I looked down at him (I think I was sitting on a washing machine in what must have been a prelude to…

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My Book Pitch Letter

Friday, November 15, 2019

We can discuss pitching and pitch letters till the sky turns green, but what would probably be more helpful is if I show you my book pitch. Unlike fiction and possibly memoir (the debate is out there on memoir) non-fiction, which needs a lot of research to complete the book, is sold on proposal. (I’ll talk proposals another time). But you still need a pitch letter. So here’s mine. Dear…

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