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…

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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
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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…

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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 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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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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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Candids

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Don’t think about making art. Just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art. — Andy Warhol I suppose I could write an entire tome about my fears these days, how unsafe America is for people of color, how America is changing, how the rhetoric and public discourse has become so…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Burying The Time

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

When I was a reporter, the best and worst part of my workday resided next to each other. The best moment was when I beat the deadline and turned in my news story to the impatient copy editors. The worst moment came next, when the copy editors and I would engage in a competitive dance off, figuratively speaking, questioning each other’s word choices and grammar (I have a thing for…

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