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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Interview with Karen Meadows and Giveaway of ALMOND, EYELESS

  It gives me great pleasure to welcome poet Karen Meadows to the Debutante Ball this week! almond, eyeless (2018, Groundhog Poetry Press) is the first book of poetry by Karen Meadows and is an SPD bestseller and recommended read. Her work has also appeared in Subtropics, Blackbird and The Hollins Critic. She was honored in March at McDaniel College as the 32nd recipient of the B. Christopher Bothe Memorial Lecture….

Saturday, November 3, 2018
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How I Fear: Facing Every Arduous Revision

Friday, November 2, 2018

    I forget which author it was who said that we write about what terrifies us—most likely many of them have. Until I read this phrase a few years ago, I’d never looked at my own work in that light, but it strikes me as true. My protagonist in The Dream Peddler suffers the disappearance of her only child, and this is definitely the worst thing I can imagine…

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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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Letter from an Editor

Friday, October 26, 2018

  There are a lot of ways to approach this topic, now that I think about it. We revise our work so many times before it’s published, with feedback from so many different people. After I wrote The Dream Peddler, I went through it twice, then I gave it to a few beta readers, and went back in with their feedback in mind. Then I began to query, and I’ve…

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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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A Childhood Bookshelf

Friday, October 19, 2018

    Most writers are also avid readers. That’s usually how we got here. So when you ask us what authors we admire, who has influenced us, it can be a pretty long list. As in a “please stop talking now, I just wanted a few names” kind of a list. In my case, I think I made it pretty clear that when I was a child and a teen,…

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Dorothy Parker and the Vicious First Draft

    It is one of the minor tragedies of my life, perhaps a major tragedy in my writing life, that no one ever told me first drafts are supposed to suck until I was thirty-eight years old. Yup. Thirty-eight. Now, this is most likely because I never really knew any writers, and I rarely took any actual writing classes. While most writers would probably agree that having an MFA,…

Friday, October 12, 2018
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The Myth of Having Thick Skin

Friday, October 5, 2018

    A couple of weeks ago, when we were all writing about our path to publication, the subject of rejection and failure had to come up. I shared the fact that I’d sent out one hundred and nine queries before landing an agent, so if you think about it, that’s one hundred and eight rejections. I had failed that many times.  But I don’t think I really wrote a…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Chronicles of an X-American (part 1)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

  Chronicles of an X-American (part 1) The best training is to read and write, no matter what — Grace Paley I’ve always been a poet, and it’s always some tributary of poetry that I return to when I have my teeth, metaphorically, kicked in. I started writing poems, mostly nature poems, when I turned nine. I was fast with my first drafts and slow to revise. Only my fifth-grade…

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