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…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Go-To Books, Podcasts, Blogs

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

It’s that time of year, when we resolve to do better when we change out the wall calendar in a few weeks time. No matter which book you pick up and how many exercises you skim and skip, just remember one thing: you have to write. Preferably for a little bit every day. Here are a few podcasts, blogs, books that may interest you:       My favorites remain…

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What John Steinbeck Said That Helped Me

Friday, December 7, 2018

    I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. It might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit—John Steinbeck     I spent my blog post last week advising everyone not to pay too much attention to writing advice. I guess it…

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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…

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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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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…

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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…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Channeling Jean Kwok (and you can too!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

  “The query letter is…the single most important page an unpublished writer will ever write” — Nicholas Spark This week’s subject of discussion is supposed to be about querying tips, as in what tips can you give an aspiring writer when querying potential publishers and agents? Unfortunately my querying stories and experiences are good only in the theoretical — as in it’s a good topic to discuss in the abstract….

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Driven to Distraction

Friday, November 9, 2018

  Tips to keep your writing distractions to a minimum: Don’t have children. Download one of those apps like FocusMe that let you forbid yourself internet for a certain block of time. See number 1. Alternatively, book a babysitter/bribe your partner/friend to watch the kids you chose to have so you can have uninterrupted time. Kids will not let you write. I repeat: they will not. You will put your…

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