Author Archive

Episodia 2.4: Lessons in Creativity from “Mad Men”

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized No comments
Tonight the seventh and final season of “Mad Men” premieres on AMC. I’ve loved this show and the slow, magnetic swirl of 1960s Manhattan ever since the episode “Babylon” aired in 2007. The entire series might be considered in terms of the opening credits we’ve all grown familiar with:

Episodia 2.3: Why Writers Need Jury Duty

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 1 Comment
A while back, when I was living near Newark, I got a summons for jury duty. As soon as I saw the thin slip of paper that labeled me as “juror x,” I started to brainstorm how I might be able to get out of it. I was more

Episodia 2.2: Writing About Our Secrets

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 2 Comments
Last weekend, I spent an evening in the woods with a group of strangers in search of owls. It was a cold, eventless quest, punctuated by the unanswered hooting of our guide and the sporadic cry of distant foxes. Every ten minutes, the guide would call out with a

Episodia 2.1: When Art Goes Public

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 14 Comments
I like to be alone when I write. When I’m deep into a project, I don’t answer the phone, I don’t respond to emails, and on the most intense days, I don’t even venture outside. Part of what appeals to me about the writer’s life is this partnership with

Episodia 1.16: How to Structure Your Memoir

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 4 Comments
Sometimes memoirists can feel as if we have very few choices about our stories. Bound by truth and memory, we can often conclude there’s not much room for our creative selves to have a say. But here’s a secret—we don’t have to pin down a narrative in the order

Episodia 1.15: Revising with Sherlock

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 3 Comments
I don’t know about you, but when I write my rough drafts, I’m staggering around in the dark. There are plot holes, dropped story lines, and unanswered questions—all the good, gnarly stuff that goes into the early part of the writing process. The key for us writers is—when the

Episodia 1.14: An Antidote to Scripted Female Friendship

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 1 Comment
A few months ago, I wrote a post on the best bromances on television. Since then, I’ve wanted to write a similar post on female friendship, but I came up empty when I hunted for good examples. There are so many storytelling techniques that current scripted television gets right

Episodia 1.13: Embracing Your Dark Side

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 3 Comments
Let me begin by confessing that this was not the post I wanted to write. All week, I have been working on an essay about female friendships on television. Unfortunately, my writer-self is not cooperating. You’ve had that moment—much like this one—when you sit in front of the computer

Episodia 1.12: Heroes and Villains

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 3 Comments
Ever since I began writing this “Episodia” series, I’ve wanted to write about “Breaking Bad.” It’s a show I’ve loved from the moment Walter White and his pseudo-slacker ex-student Jesse Pinkman made their first batch of crystal meth in a rundown RV in the desert. When I first heard

Episodia 1.11: Character Differentiation

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 2 Comments
During the first creative writing class I ever taught, a student approached me with a particular challenge. She had a wonderful premise for a novel that revolved around a pack of women who worked in a 1970s factory in the Midwest. But even with a strong idea, she was