Criticism and the Impostor Syndrome

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I was a lawyer for almost a decade, and every brief I wrote was edited by other lawyers. This never bothered me. Once, my boss crossed out a paragraph in which I’d explained, in multiple dependent clauses, not unlike this sentence, that the plaintiff — while perhaps well-meaning and confused — was, unfortunately, operating under several sadly incorrect assumptions. He replaced it with four words: “The plaintiff is wrong.” I…


On Being a Grown Woman

Friday, December 4, 2015

November is my birthday month, and I recently had my 48th birthday. That’s right. I think of myself as “pushing 50.” I’ve always been very open about my age, particularly in my engagement with young people. In teaching college students, I consider it part of my job to be a role model. I’m the same age as the parents of many young adults, but my life doesn’t have to look…


Being Good at Something Doesn’t Mean You Should Do it

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Being good at something doesn’t mean you should do it. I wanted to be a writer from a young age, and there were early indications I wasn’t terrible at it. But it was also clear I was fiercely competitive and desirous of showing the male dominated business arena that they weren’t the only game in town. It was my father who helped me parse these two passions. Looking back, it’s as…


You’re Only as Old as You Write

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

This week it’s about age. How old we are. How old we feel. How old we write. I am the oldest Deb. I also waited the longest of any of us to start writing. I was 43 when I typed “Chapter One”, and 49 when I typed “The End.”  My novel will be published when I’m 51. I am, by default, the best authority among us on what it’s like…


Even Cynics Grow Old

A year from now you'll wish you had started today
Tuesday, December 1, 2015

“No, that is the great fallacy: the wisdom of old men. They do not grow wise. They grow careful.” —Ernest Hemingway, A FAREWELL TO ARMS My first job in publishing was as an editorial assistant at a small book packaging company. I was fresh faced, a go-getter, and the only one in the office who knew how to work the computer. I have such a clear memory of my first…


It Takes a Village …

Thursday, November 26, 2015

How does the old saying go? Behind every good man is a good woman. That adage drives the feminist in me bananas, but if you remove the gender reference, its underlying point is solid. It takes a village holds true for anyone pursuing a dream. In my case it took my father, my sister, and my husband. We’ll start with the patriarch, my father, Michael Fabiaschi (aka Poppy). He wasn’t a…


Willpower vs. Social Media

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I’m supposed to give y’all advice on how to write through distraction, but that’d be like an active alcoholic talking you out of a bender. I’m grateful to my Debutante Ball friends for picking this topic because it forced me to assess the gravity of my current situation: A year ago I had no book deal and was last man standing on avoiding social media. I wrote 4-6 hours a…


Guest Blogger Stephanie Gayle, author of IDYLL THREATS

Saturday, November 14, 2015

  Stephanie Gayle is the author of MY SUMMER OF SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT, one of Redbook magazine’s Top Ten Summer Reads, and IDYLL THREATS, the first in a mystery series featuring police chief Thomas Lynch. Her short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in Kenyon Review Online, The Potomac Review, Punchnel‘s, and several other publications. She has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Ms. Gayle is also the co-founder of the…


The Dream-Come-True Part

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The sales cycle for I LIKED MY LIFE went like this: edit, send to a handful of publishers, collect rejections, err, I mean feedback, repeat. We were on round three of this daunting process when I sent my agent—the amazing Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein—my latest revision. I no longer obsessed about when I’d hear back, exactly who’d be pitched, etc. I’d come to peace with my always-the-bridesmaid-never-the-bride lot as a writer….


She Says Tomahto, That Guy Over There Says Tomato: My Experience On Submission

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This week we’re talking about our submission process, and what’s been interesting to me is how different each of those processes were. Louise’s path was deceptively easy — she was fortunate enough to impress a great editor with her first forty pages, but then she had to fulfill the promise of those pages and nurture that editor’s interest for three full years. Jennifer’s first novel died in submission, and she…