Interview with Chelene Knight + DEAR CURRENT OCCUPANT giveaway

We are so thrilled to have Vancouver-based author and poet Chelene Knight as our guest on The Debutante Ball this week!! Chelene has been published in various Canadian and American literary magazines, and her work is widely anthologized. Chelene is currently the managing editor at Room magazine, and the 2018 Programming Director for the Growing Room Festival, and CEO of #LearnWritingEssentials. Chelene has been a judge for many writing contests…

Saturday, December 29, 2018
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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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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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How to Find Inspiration Anywhere (& a new short story!)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

This week, Barrelhouse featured my short story “Urban Legend” in their seasonal issue. I’ve pasted the first paragraph below: It was the week of her performance review, and Adrienne was ready for a promotion. That Monday morning, at the 12th Street Gym, all the lockers in use were fastened with locks. When she joined months ago, they told her she could buy one at any hardware store, but Adrienne had…

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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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Attacus Atlas & Other Inventions: Words to Live By & Words to Write By

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

All of my writing mentors have at one point said the same thing: Don’t give up.  Keep Writing. When you’re stuck, change your surroundings. and my once-upon-a-time teacher teacher Lucille Clifton said, read your work aloud — if you start to stumble, if your tongue starts to trip up, then cut what you’ve written. Here’s some W.O.W. (words of wisdom): (thanks to AZ Quotes) My mission in life is not…

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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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