Losing the Battle to Win the War

I was not born to ask for help. I was born into the wrong generation (Boomer) and with the wrong nature (I can DO that myself, might have been the first words I said to my mother). So when my first son was due it came as no real surprise to anyone that I was...

Does Story Matter?

  I have been struggling with dueling impulses lately–driven to pay attention to what is going in the world and equally driven to talk to more people about telling their story, to finishing my novel and getting it into the world. But, wait, isn’t...

Humbled by writing . . . again!

I have to say that it is VERY lucky that I learned to love failure a while ago. Because I get to do it again & again! And every time I do, I get better at it. Which is very handy. Because being in business for yourself requires a lot of it. And writing...

The Goldilocks Approach to Getting Writing Done

(Photo by Alvaro Serrano, via Unsplash) I’m just back from the James River Writers Conference in Richmond and dealing with an uncomfortable truth. I was sitting there, listening to agents and editors and the questions people were asking them. The conference is a...

How to Conquer the Challenge of Finding a Literary Agent

(Photo by Sam Ferrara, via Unsplash) If you have ever tried to find an agent to represent you and your books, you might have come away with the impression that it is as hard to get a literary agent as it would be to scale the toughest climb in the Alps, the Eiger....

What I Learned About Life & Writing From Norman Lear

My parents were really about as opposite from Archie & Edith Bunker as you could get. My father was an extreme liberal–he was anti-war and very, very, very pro-civil rights. We heard Martin Luther King, Jr. speak when my brother and I were youngsters and my...

How Not to Look Like an Amateur: Punctuating Dialogue

We all know the rules for punctuating quotes, right? Commas and periods go inside the quotation marks. Colons and semi-colons go outside. (Get a monthly writing tip here!) [This always reminds me of an ancient skit on SNL which I will mangle but had to do with someone...

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