The Jackhammer in the Basement: On writing (or not writing) through distractions

Thursday, October 29, 2020

“It’s a black fly in your chardonnay. It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late.” Alanis Morissette was kind enough to give us many definitions of irony in 1995, and to those I would like to add, “It’s a jackhammer in your basement when you’re trying to write a blog post about writing through distractions.” We’re getting our house earthquake-retrofitted — a project that was initially supposed to take…

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World Building in the Real World

Thursday, October 8, 2020

When writers talk about “world building” they mean more than just setting. Setting is where a story takes place. But a fictional world is setting, history, the special rules of that particular place, the people who inhabit that world, as well as the general tone or atmosphere that sort of floats over every page. The setting of the Harry Potter books is England, but in order to build her fictional…

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My path to publication: A comedy of failures

Thursday, September 10, 2020

I wrote last week about how I hadn’t planned on becoming a writer, and how writing was something I came to after being unemployed for a long time. So already my path to publication was a little longer and had more forking paths than some people. I completed the rough draft of my novel in about six months in 2011, and I spent the next four years first learning how…

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Interview with Author Sarah DiGregorio (and Book Giveaway!)

As someone who dealt with many complications getting pregnant, I was excited to talk to Sarah DiGregorio, who writes about premature birth in her book  EARLY: An Intimate History of Premature Birth and What It Teaches Us About Being Human (Harper). In this reported memoir, the freelance journalist, who covers both healthcare and food for many publications (including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, and Catapult)…

Saturday, March 21, 2020
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Finding Inspiration Through the Work. Or, Kathleen’s Third (?!) Book.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

It’s two weeks post-publication of Minor Dramas, and I’m writing from my bed at home, prepping for the second leg of my tour. (Are you in Texas?! I’m in Dallas tomorrow and Houston on Thursday and Friday, and I’d love to see you.)  Anyway, It’s been a whirlwind, and the best advice about surviving publication I’ve gotten so far is from my friend Laura: “Spend at least one hour per…

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Writing Dreams — Dreams of Writing

Friday, January 17, 2020

Dreams are boring. That’s a rule in fiction. Also in life. No one wants to hear about your dreams. Not your night dreams, or nightmares, and not even your regular life dreams or goals: The former lacks narrative structure (“and then you were flying? Wait, I thought you were a shark?”) the latter makes people nervous because they may not be in touch with their own naked ambition. I don’t want…

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The Most Challenging Part of Being a Writer (Apologies to Elsa)

Friday, January 10, 2020

Would you think me a bad parent if I told you my four year old has seen Frozen 2 three times? (Does that make it Frozen 6?) Well, I only saw it once. And at first the new anthem didn’t catch my gut the way “Let It Go,” did; I heard that anthem waaay before I became a mom and I knew it could be belted out ferociously even then. (Another…

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My Great Writing Resolution…

Friday, January 3, 2020

Every year, I start a new journal. I love the clean page, writing Jan 1 (although not the creeping years slowly). I think I started my first journal more than two decades ago. Let’s just say it was not in this millennium. “A new year! New Resolutions!” I would state, even though they were usually the same resolutions. Write a book. Lose Weight   Well, this year I don’t have…

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Self-Care For Writers

Friday, December 20, 2019

What the F is self-care? I recently heard a young millennial (or was it an old Gen Z’er) complain about the term. Maybe she wasn’t complaining as much as wondering. Why wouldn’t you care for yourself? wrote this young whippersnapper, whose every move, from waking up to eating the proverbial avocado toast to actually interesting things like partying, was posted on social. I am not making fun of her. I…

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How to write when you’re not writing

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

In 2009, I left my job as a high school English teacher and ran right smack dab into the Great Recession. It hurt. Nobody was hiring. I couldn’t get an interview, much less a job. After a few months of false starts and throwing myself at the wall, I harnessed what was left of my entrepreneurial spirit and started a wedding videography business. Wedding videography was something I had done…

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