Carry it home with you

Less than a week has passed since I returned from the Sonoma County Writers Camp, organized by two amazing writing teachers—Ellen Sussman and Elizabeth Stark—with an appearance by Angie Powers and panels of writers and agents. It was held at an equally mind-blowing location: The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center in Occidental, California. While there,... Continue Reading →

Doggy essence hinders novel’s progress

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Nature trumps nurture. [Insert cliche of your choice here.] You get the idea: it’s difficult if not impossible to change your beliefs, attitudes, temperament, essence, and—most significantly—your actions. That doesn’t stop humans from trying. Billions go into self-help and self-improvement every year. Many of these dollars produce... Continue Reading →

Ask me anything (really)

Goodreads authors can now enable the “Ask the Author” feature, allowing readers to submit questions to their favorite (or maybe no-so-favorite) writers. When I heard about this, the acronym “AMA” came to mind. AMA is Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” open question forum where everyone from Guillermo Del Toro to President Obama can answer questions of... Continue Reading →

Where do your stories live?

As a Mother’s Day gift this year, I asked my family not for a thing but for an experience. “Let’s get together once a week and read a book aloud.” With much grumbling—and some one-upsmanship involving my 16-year-old proving how much more mature he is than his 13-year-old brother by being more agreeable—the three men... Continue Reading →

Laborious day reflections

I consider myself lucky... ... not to be working in a coal mine or on an assembly line or at any of hundreds of other dangerous and cripplingly repetitive jobs ... to have a writing-related job that supports my not-quite-profession of being a fiction writer ... not to have to punch a time clock (though... Continue Reading →

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