So Much to Be Grateful For (And Yet…)

Friday, November 29, 2019

“You have a book coming out. Aren’t you excited!” “Excited” is not the word that I or anyone around me would use. A chicken running around without her head, is more like it. Others wouldn’t be so kind. But the run-up to a book can be very fraught. You have to get blurbs, those advanced praise quotes you see on the back of books and on websites like Amazon and…

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When a Purple Rose Blooms – Guest Author Jenee Darden

Saturday, November 9, 2019

When a Purple Rose Blooms (Nomadic Press, 2018), is a collection of essays and poetry about Black womanhood from Jenee Darden’s personal experience. She writes about love, sex, race and mental health with honesty, humor, and insight. This is Jenee’s first book and we are so excited to have her share some of her brilliance with us today. Follow Jenee: Website Twitter: CocoaFly Twitter: JeneeDarden Facebook Instagram *** What is…

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What is Scarier than Empty Space?

Friday, November 1, 2019

Well, I’m glad Halloween is over. Now it’s time for more prosaic fears. Myself. Yup, it’s that time of year again, when my book edits were submitted (“This is the last time you can make substantive changes,” GULP) and I am in that twiddling thumb space. I’ve been in this space before — the first time I handed in my draft in June — but after that I collapsed. I…

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The One Thing Scarier than Halloween

Monday, October 28, 2019

Halloween is a spook-tacular occasion, what with ghosts, goblins and ghouls ringing the doorbell and phantoms roaming the streets. If you’re a writer, what’s even more terrifying than Halloween, is being haunted by your fears. The 1980 major motion picture, The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall, offers a spine-tingling example. Jack Torrance, as portrayed by Nicholson, is an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a position as…

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The signs of a skilled editor

Monday, October 21, 2019

Usually when I submit an essay or short story for publication to a literary magazine or anthology, and it’s accepted, I only hear from the editor with an acceptance email and a permission to publish form attached. But when I submitted the essay, “The World I Didn’t Know Existed” to Inspire Press for the publisher’s Inspire Forgiveness anthology a few years ago, I got something entirely different. I got a…

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My Desert-Island Top 5 Books (That Influenced Me)

Friday, October 18, 2019

To paraphrase Nick Hornby, My desert-island, top-five most memorable books in chronological order: 1. Escape to Witch Mountain Tony and Tia were different. (Didn’t we all feel that way as kids?) They could both read minds and had telekenisis – they could move objects with their minds. That was a talent I tried to practice as I suffered silently at the dinner table. Instead of paying attention to what was…

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Where Do You Draft Your Words?

Friday, October 11, 2019

Did you ever notice how, on TV or in the movies, when they want to show the difficulties of writing, they have people sitting in front of a  typewriter tossing off crumpled pieces of paper into (or near) the garbage? Real writing isn’t like that. First off, we use computers now, so the visual of trying to write is much less dramatic…just a cursor key going forward and backward. More…

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Rejection is a teacher.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Rejection is a great teacher. When I was a journalist in upstate New York, I’d often have to ask tough questions of people that were not entirely excited to speak to me. The problem is, as a journalist, you can’t really go along with rejection. If someone says “no,” you have to continue to say “yes.” You have a responsibility to the story and to your readers, so you have…

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When The Muse Calls With Inspiration — You Listen

Friday, September 13, 2019

You always hear people talking about muses whispering in their ear, as if in a trance, or their “characters” speaking to them. Well, I’m not a novelist so I don’t have characters to take over the heavy lifting of writing, but I will say that it feels like someone else wrote up my book proposal. I had been working for a while on a memoir about my infertility, based on…

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Introducing Amy Klein: Author of THE TRYING GAME

Friday, August 30, 2019

I’m beyond thrilled to introduce you all to your new Friday blogger, Amy Klein! Amy is the author of The Trying Game: How to Get Pregnant and Get Through Fertility Treastment Without Losing your Mind (Ballantine, 2020) based on her New York Times Fertility Diary column. As soon as I read her application, I knew I wanted her to be on the Debutante Ball, and now I’ve got my wish. It…

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