2018 Hit List

Friday, December 28, 2018

    An American Marriage by Tayari Jones** From the publisher: Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. In this deft exploration of…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things….

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

These are some of my favorite books of 2018 (in no particular order): Heart Berries by Marie Terese Mailhot. The Friend by Sigrid Nunez. There There by Tommy Orange. The Carrying by Ada Limon. Dear Current Occupant by Chelene Knight.  Still Lives by Maria Hummel. All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung. Crave: A Memoir of Food and Longing by Christine O’Brien. Feeding a Thousand Souls by Vijaya Nagarajan. Old…

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Am I The Only Deb Who Likes To Relax?

Friday, December 21, 2018

        I am practically rubbing my hands together with glee right now, because this has got to be one of my favorite writing topics of all time. There is so much emphasis in writing culture on how much time one spends writing, how quickly one can write, how many words one can churn out in a day. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I do…

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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Down-Time and Other Myths of Relaxation

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

I’m supposed to be writing about self-care and relaxation and the art of not writing. Um, I don’t think I’m in any position to give anyone advice about this.  I agree everyone needs down-time. I wish I took more breaks. When I’m stuck in my work-in-progress I usually go outside with my camera and take a photograph, or take out the dog for a walk. The fresh air and the…

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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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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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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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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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