My top 12 for 2017

Everywhere you turn this time of year you find a top this-or-that list: books, movies, political disasters. I wasn't thinking about lists or the new year when I sat down a few days ago for my morning writing session. What emerged was a contemplation, in the form of a list, of why I pursue the... Continue Reading →

The novel, reduced to absurdity

Unless you’ve been living in a cave or atop a Himalayan peak, you’ve probably heard the news that humans now have a shorter attention span than goldfish. (Eight seconds, in case you’re wondering.) This revelation translates, for writers, into a series of eminently logical commandments: Write shorter sentences. Use shorter words. Construct shorter books. Use... Continue Reading →

NaNoNotNow because ToMaNoExAl*

*Too Many Novels Exist Already If you’ve ever written a novel, contemplated writing a novel, have a friend who has, or have looked at trending hashtags on Twitter recently, you are no doubt aware that November is National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short. National Novel Writing Month is also a non-profit, with a mission... Continue Reading →

Bunny on the run reveals work in progress

One thing you learn about life after a while is that there is never a perfect time for anything. A few weeks ago, my former doula client, Fault Zone assistant editor, fellow writer, and friend Dorcas Cheng-Tozun e-mailed me to ask if I’d be interested in participating in a “blog hop.” Flexing my haunches and... 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 →

What you don’t know won’t kill you

We've all heard the cliché "Write what you know." Perhaps it’s a useful instruction to beginning writers so they don’t get distracted while learning the basics of craft. Beyond that, it seems silly. My journalism training gave me the confidence to write about almost anything, as long as I was willing to do research. I... Continue Reading →

Art vs. commerce

Last week, my usually sedate monthly critique group erupted in a lively debate. We're a diverse bunch, consisting of non-fiction writers pursuing memoir and personal essay, as well writers in various fiction genres: chick-lit, mystery, young-adult fantasy, historical, and literary (me). We seem like a gaggle of odd geese but I have come to really... Continue Reading →

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