“Once upon a time…” & the Power of that First Line

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Every story my 6-year-old daughter tells us starts with this line: “Once upon a time…” I’m not sure if I’m responsible for that, or if school is, or if it came from one of the shows she likes to watch, or the books we read together…but while it might just be the most recognized writing cliché there is, it does exactly what a great first line is supposed to do:…

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For Deb Molly, The Scariest Thing About Writing Is… Writing

Writer Mark Baechtel once told me, “If you’re not scared when you’re writing, you’re not working hard enough. You must be enormously afraid. But keep going.” I scribbled his words in my journal so I wouldn’t forget them. Later, I copied them onto another sheet of paper and hung them above my computer, as a reminder and a challenge. Sometimes I found them soothing: It’s okay to be afraid. Keep going….

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
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No Beaching for Me! by Deb Danielle Younge-Ullman

I’m not a beach girl–at least, not a lying-on-the-beach girl. Due to being horribly pale, prone to heat rashes, freckles and sunburns that, unlike other people’s sunburns which turn into tans, simply peel away, leaving me back where I started, I have a hard time enjoying the beach. It’s like being Cinderella at the ball, but without the fun part of going to the dance in the glass slippers and…

Thursday, July 24, 2008
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My Massive, Sappy Time Capsule by Deb Danielle Younge-Ullman

Don’t say I didn’t warn you… I have a few dozen diaries and journals I would put in my time capsule. The first is a little fake-blue-leather thing with a lock where I wrote the hilariously precocious longings of my fourth grade soul. The journals become less legible as time goes on until, by the time I was twenty-six and actually writing real journal entries while on stage during my…

Thursday, July 10, 2008
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My Hot 20 by Deb Danielle Younge-Ullman

For me, talent is one of the biggest factors in making someone ‘hot’ and so is generosity. These are the two factors I used for this list, with slightly more weight given for talent–ie everyone on the list is talented and some are also people I know to be very generous. (Please note that many of these authors are also physically hot and a few of them also create work…

Thursday, June 12, 2008
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