Blogs and podcasts and everything nice

Friday, December 14, 2018

    Over the years, I’ve read a number of books on writing, and I can highly recommend the following (and I have no doubt most of you will have heard of all of them already): Stephen King’s On Writing, Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life, Anne Lammott’s Bird By Bird.                                I don’t…

Read More >>

Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Words to Live By & Words to Write By

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

All of my writing mentors have at one point said the same thing: Don’t give up.  Keep Writing. When you’re stuck, change your surroundings. and my once-upon-a-time teacher teacher Lucille Clifton said, read your work aloud — if you start to stumble, if your tongue starts to trip up, then cut what you’ve written. Here’s some W.O.W. (words of wisdom): (thanks to AZ Quotes) My mission in life is not…

Read More >>

Interview with Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar + THE MAP OF SALT AND STARS giveaway

I’m so thrilled to welcome my friend Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar to the Debutante Ball this week! Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar is the author of the novel, The Map of Salt and Stars (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 2018) and a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI) and of American Mensa. Joukhadar’s work has appeared in Salon, The Paris Review Daily, The Kenyon Review, The Saturday Evening Post, and elsewhere, and…

Saturday, December 1, 2018
Read More >>

Advice, Against My Better Judgement

Friday, November 30, 2018

    I’m not a person who tends to dispense a lot of advice. I can tell myself that this is because I’m so great at withholding judgement, refuse to believe I know better than others about what’s best for them, but if I’m being honest, it probably has more to do with minding my own business. I don’t want to be responsible for steering someone in a direction that…

Read More >>

Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: What I Wished I Knew When I Was Starting Out

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Missing my poetry-mom Lucille Clifton especially today. Here she is reading aloud a poem of hers that I love. Until I got to graduate school, until I got to the people who would become my writing family and my writing community, I wasn’t encouraged much by my peer set in creative writing classes. Especially while I lived and worked in the Deep South. I always felt out of place, out of…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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….

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>