Category Archives: The Writing Life

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Writer Nightmares

You give a reading and only one person shows up. It is your ex. You spend five years working on a novel about Marie Antoinette’s wigmaker. The day you finish your final revisions, Margaret Atwood publishes a novel about Marie … Continue reading

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Research Unleashed! And Leashed.

I knew I had a problem when I started envying my dog’s cone collar. Now, my dog’s problem was a hot spot. Allergic, itchy, hot, and double-coated, my German Shepherd had chewed her hind leg raw over the course of … Continue reading

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Workshopping My Dog

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Writers With Responsibilities: Patience is a Way of Life

Dear Sally, I want it all, NOW! What do you have to say to that? Your friend, Veruca Salt   Dear Veruca, You can stomp and jump up and down all you want—but the truth is, if you’re a writer … Continue reading

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WWTMD? (What Would Toni Morrison Do?)

Lately, during the sad, unproductive stretches of writing my first novel, I stare at an empty page and whisper, “What Would Toni Morrison Do?” This is the closest I come to prayer. Please show me the way, I say to … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-down: Why “Don’t Feed the Trolls” Falls Short

Over the last two weeks, the internets have exploded with news about terrible comment sections and how to handle trolls. As writers, we know that since comment sections are where humanity goes to die (Ploughshares comments excepted of course), putting creative work online basically means exposing … Continue reading

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Burnt Memories: Reading Gabriel García Márquez in Texas

It took every fiber of me not to rattle off a quick ditty about Gabo the night after he passed.  I tried, of course, but then where do you stop? Fifteen thousand words? Twenty? In this digital age you’re late … Continue reading

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496 Words on Writing Flash Prose

1. Last year, I started writing a novel. Along the way, craving completion, I wrote and published seventeen pieces of flash prose. Instead of an epic, I accidentally created a flash chapbook. 2. Okay, maybe not accidentally. I took a … Continue reading

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The Ploughshares Round-Down: You’re Not That Busy.

Meet the Busy Brag: social media’s hate-worthiest addition to the human experience. I am important, cry the crafted tweets and updates, because busy. Did you guys happen to notice I’m busy? If not, here are some pics about my busy. … Continue reading

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Get Real! Or Maybe Don’t Get Real? A Conversation with Lincoln Michel (Part 2)

Recently, on social media, Gigantic magazine editor Lincoln Michel questioned the label of “realism.” I write “realism,” and I’m branching into other genres, so I introduced myself and asked a few more questions. Our conversation, conducted over e-mail, spanned several days, topics, and … Continue reading

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