Interview w/ Shannon Leone Fowler + Giveaway for TRAVELING WITH GHOSTS

Saturday, February 3, 2018

I am excited to introduce our readers to one of my favorite memoirs of 2017, TRAVELING WITH GHOSTS: A MEMOIR OF LOVE AND LOSS.  It’s a heartbreakingly beautiful memoir, and Shannon Leone Fowler, whom I met in a Facebook binders group, is a strong and resilient woman who always has encouraging words for emerging writers.   About TRAVELING WITH GHOSTS: In 2002, Shannon Leone Fowler was a blissful twenty-eight-year-old marine…

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Critique Partners and Beta Readers—Some Stranger Than Others

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

  I have had several kinds of critique partners on Girlish. I didn’t have a writing group that met once a week and read each other’s works in progress, but I did have several key people, all located in different parts of the country, who read my work and helped me whip it into shape. Some of the chapters were written during my MFA at West Virginia Wesleyan College, where…

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Writing Through Distractions of the Small Child Variety

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

My emergence as a writer and a mother occurred nearly simultaneously—I was suddenly flooded with stories when I was pregnant with my second child, and my oldest was two years old. Writing for me has always involved coping with distractions of the small child variety.  Yet, I earned two college degrees and wrote over one thousand pages while mothering two small creatures over nearly a decade, and I like to…

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The Quotes That Got Me Through Publishing my Memoir

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

This was my laptop’s wallpaper through out the months of crafting my memoir:   I have posted it on Facebook too many times to count. When I wake in the middle of the night short of breath from anxiety, when the idea of my memoir coming into the world seems too much to bear, I chant it over and over. Your silence will not protect you. I had first read…

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My Love-Hate Relationship With First Drafts

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

First drafts are my favorite drafts. I love the immersion in the story and the constant internal pressure to write and write until it is all out. When I’m writing a first draft I don’t screw off much on social media, don’t return emails promptly, and often drive by my exits on the expressway without noticing. During my first draft, I’m definitely a fly by the seat of my pants…

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Writing Books and Chasing Dreams—But First, Survive the Diaper Years

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

I sat in my very first writer’s workshop the week after I left my soon-to-be-ex-husband.  I was going to chase my dreams, damn it, along with raising two boys in diapers and finding a job and a place to live.  The presenter said something along the lines of, “you can’t write a memoir before you are forty,” or maybe it was, “no one wants to publish a memoir by someone…

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My Debut Year: Standing in My Truth

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Publishing Caged Eyes has changed the surface of my life as dramatically as the events of the actual memoir. When you stand in your authentic truth, powerful things happen – hard things, sad things – but ultimately all positive. I have no idea how many copies I have sold, and frankly, I try hard not to care. As an author, those numbers matter, but as an advocate, they are completely…

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Make New Friends But Keep The Old

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

My 2017 reading list has been a lot like that old song: “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold. A circle is round, it has no end. That’s how long, I will be your friend.” But of course in this instance, I’m talking about book friends. I relish returning to the books which have moved me in the past. Two of my new…

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What Sophomore Book?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

This week we’re blogging about our second book efforts. I’m here to weigh in as the Deb Ball Team slacker! Yes, I’m the only one of the five who does not have a second book in at least a completed draft form… …and I’m okay with that. I’ve already written a few times here about my struggle to write my follow-up memoir to Caged Eyes. I believe in this second…

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Summer Turns Me Into a Dirt-Bag Trail Runner

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I wait all fall, winter, and spring for summer. I watch the snow melt on the peaks just west of my house, waiting for the days when I can go on high-country trail runs or climbs without bringing snow shoes and avalanche beacons. I recognize I’m extremely privileged to take off for weeks at a time in the summer to camp and run in the mountains. For me, summer means…

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