I know, I know, I’ve been somewhat MIA over the past few weeks, and for that I’m sorry. I promise I won’t always be this absent.
My apology, while it may not be worth much to you, bears with it a gift of sorts in the form of a wonderful quote by Lorrie Moore, whose book Bark I am currently enjoying.
Most things good for writing are bad for life. “May your life be not very good material” is a blessing I offer students and small babies.
Isn’t this so true? I laughed especially hard at “small babies.” Maybe I should be blessing my own children in such a way.
A friend of mine posted on Facebook just yesterday that there were only 6 months left until Christmas. If you know me well, you understand how pumped I am about this.
In the spirit of the fact that we are now less than half a year away from the holidays, here’s a video I made of our family this past Christmas. I started this tradition two years ago and have really loved going back to watch these things and realizing how much my kids have grown. My three-year-old will sit and watch them for hours at a time. (I think she just likes seeing herself on the TV screen.) Continue reading
Amazing list of top writing tips and craft topics curated from around the web—and not just because I’m in it (though it certainly does help)!
Summer started off with a bang here in the south Jersey-southeastern Pennsylvania-Delaware region. First we had a heat wave, then a fierce line of storms that knocked out power for many. The forecast for Saturday is rain and temperatures that won’t reach 70. We’re not complaining (too much), however, because we’ve been spared the floods, drought, and fires that are ravaging other parts of the country.
One thing you can do when the power goes out is read, even if you have to use a flashlight or candle. Reading benefits adults as well as children. In fact, P J Parrish asserts that everything she ever learned she learned from potboilers. and wonders if, in our effort to stuff information into kids’ heads, we are leaving insufficient room to let kids develop their imaginations.
Readers can help writers too. Nicole Froio mentions 4 ways readers can help make publishing more…
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Such an interesting quote that has got the cogs turning in my head tonight. Maybe I’ll pull a full sized post out of this at some point.
It isn’t enough for your heart to break because everybody’s heart is broken now.
Great post on handling the infamous “boring” comment from your critique group or—worse—your editor/agent. Originally published on the writing blog of one of my amazing writing professors at Converse College, Leslie Pietrzyk. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—her blog is spectacular.
Intro below: Continue reading
How have I never known this poem before? Perfect for the day.
Robert Hayden’s poem “Those Winter Sundays”–
Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,
Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?
In the spirit of Father’s Day:
When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
The life of a writer is a truly terrifying thing. Not in the way most people may think, though. It’s not the general lack of a paycheck. It’s not the anxiety of writer’s block. It’s not the seemingly never-ending stream of editors and agents telling us how not-good-enough we are. It’s something much worse.
I promise, I’m not trying to be dramatic here. There are, undeniably, so many more dangerous professions, countless individuals who truly put their lives at risk on a daily basis. And no matter which way you spin it, writers are simply not among those courageous souls (unless you’re Martha Gellhorn). We sit comfortably inside the four walls of our own homes—or lounge on vintage furniture in ritzy coffeehouses—and we benefit from the luxuries of such a life. Our profession is not typically perilous, and we know it.
But every single day, we do lay at least a part of ourselves on the line for that which we cherish most. To write is to expose oneself to the masses, to reveal the most intimate parts of the mind to the critics and the naysayers of the world. And that takes courage. Continue reading
WordPress and I, after a three- or four-year separation, have recently made up and renewed our vows to each other. The commitments are the same as always: I have promised to blog regularly, and WordPress has promised to deliver great content. It’s a win-win, right?
Not so much.
While WordPress does provide me with content to read and enjoy; I’m starting to notice an obnoxious trend in what is being curated. I can’t tell you how many times in the past few weeks I’ve seen a title on “Freshly Pressed” with a title similar to this: “30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 16.”
Really, WordPress? Is that the best you can do? I know firsthand by the amount of links on my Twitter feed that writing blogs are in no short supply. And I just can’t bring myself to believe that all writing bloggers are jumping on this antiquated bandwagon. The silver lining, however, in this rather irritating disservice is my inspiration for this blog post. So here’s my anti-writing-challenge rant: why writing challenges are a waste of time and how they are diminishing your writing. Continue reading
Making reality real is art’s responsibility. It is a practical assignment, then, a self-assignment: to achieve, by a cultivated sensitivity for observing life, a capacity for receiving impressions, a lonely, unremitting, unaided, unaidable vision, and transferring this vision without distortion to it onto the pages of a novel, where, if the reader is so persuaded, it will turn into the reader’s illusion.
—Eudora Welty, On Writing