Interview with Cinelle Barnes + MONSOON MANSION giveaway

Saturday, November 24, 2018

I’m so thrilled to welcome Cinelle Barnes to the Debutante Ball this week! Cinelle Barnes is an essayist, memoirist, and educator from Manila, Philippines, a recipient of fellowships and scholarships from Kundiman and Voices of Our Nations Arts (VONA), and is the writer-in-residence at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. She received an MFA from Converse College. Her work has appeared in Catapult, Buzzfeed, Literary Hub, Hyphen, The Margins, and…

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Dear Reader

Friday, November 23, 2018

        I remember when I went to my writing group after my agent got the offer from Penguin, and a writer friend asked me if I was happy. He wanted to know if selling the book was as great as I thought it would be, or if it was somehow disappointing. A let-down. I told him it’s every bit as great as I hoped. It’s a dream…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Gratitude

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. — Albert Schweitzer I’m so grateful to so many this past year, for lifting me up when I was feeling low. Writing is often a lonely venture, and this time last year, I was discouraged….

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Interview with Vijaya Nagarajan + FEEDING A THOUSAND SOULS giveaway

Saturday, November 17, 2018

I’m delighted to welcome my friend Vijaya Nagarajan to the Debutante Ball this week! Vijaya Nagarajan is an Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Theology/Religious Studies and in the Program of Environmental Studies at the University of San Francisco. She writes about Hinduism, gender, ritual, ecology and the commons. Recently her work has centered around spiritual autobiographies of place, especially around immigration and motherhood. She has been active in…

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Tips for Querying (or as I like to call them, Q-tips)

Friday, November 16, 2018

  You know how they say you should never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear? I know why. It’s because if you poke around in there with something that actually fits, like a q-tip, you might slip up and accidentally jab yourself in the eardrum. Which is really painful. Much like querying. You can see where I’m going with this. I’ve been racking my brain to come…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Channeling Jean Kwok (and you can too!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

  “The query letter is…the single most important page an unpublished writer will ever write” — Nicholas Spark This week’s subject of discussion is supposed to be about querying tips, as in what tips can you give an aspiring writer when querying potential publishers and agents? Unfortunately my querying stories and experiences are good only in the theoretical — as in it’s a good topic to discuss in the abstract….

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Interview with Christine O’Brien + CRAVE: A MEMOIR OF FOOD AND LONGING giveaway

Saturday, November 10, 2018

I’m so thrilled to welcome Christine O’Brien to the Debutante Ball this week! Christine is a lecturer in the English Composition Department at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. She earned a BA in English at the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a double MFA in non-fiction and fiction from St. Mary’s College, where she was awarded the college’s Agnes Butler Scholarship for Literary Excellence. Christine has previously worked…

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Driven to Distraction

Friday, November 9, 2018

  Tips to keep your writing distractions to a minimum: Don’t have children. Download one of those apps like FocusMe that let you forbid yourself internet for a certain block of time. See number 1. Alternatively, book a babysitter/bribe your partner/friend to watch the kids you chose to have so you can have uninterrupted time. Kids will not let you write. I repeat: they will not. You will put your…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Distracts, Distracting, Distractions

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

“Morning comes whether you set the alarm or not.” – Ursula K. LeGuin Well, I’m in the thick of the stew now, aren’t I? I’m trying to expel 50,000 words from my brain onto the page by the end of the month for NaNoWriMo and trying hard not to be sucked in to the countdown until the Midterm Elections. By the time you read this, if you read this, We…

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How I Fear: Facing Every Arduous Revision

Friday, November 2, 2018

    I forget which author it was who said that we write about what terrifies us—most likely many of them have. Until I read this phrase a few years ago, I’d never looked at my own work in that light, but it strikes me as true. My protagonist in The Dream Peddler suffers the disappearance of her only child, and this is definitely the worst thing I can imagine…

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