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March 16, 2017 Life Lessons

It’s Never too Late for Some Resolutions

I realized a few days ago that I never wrote my annual goals post for 2017. I usually do it around January 1st but that day is overflowing with resolutions and good intentions. Why not put a little of that optimism into March, which, let’s face it, is often just a long slog toward spring….

March 25, 2016 Writing

A Writing Experiment in which Garen Attempts Poetry

So I’ve been wanting to write a poem for a while now. It’s one form of the written word that I haven’t attempted since probably junior high English. Today, I decided, was going to be the day I sat down and tried my hand at a few stanzas. Just as an experiment, if nothing else….

November 20, 2015 Creativity

100 Things That Fuel My Creativity

This has been a weird week. I’ve got a serious case of back-from-vacation blues and a minor case of food poisoning. There was a major windstorm with a power outage. A sick baby. A sensitive kid. And a few other things that shouldn’t have bothered me but really got under my skin. So when it…

November 13, 2015 Writing

A Writer in Paradise

These are the first words I’ve written in days. There is something called NaNoWriMo happening right now. I think I’m supposed to be writing a novel or outlining one at least. I have a list of publications to check out and query for my freelance business. I haven’t looked into a single one. I was…

November 6, 2015 Writing

Some Excuses for Not Writing

As promised, this week’s blog post is brief. The end of week one of NaNoWriMo is drawing near and I am behind schedule. I had hoped to write at least a little every day, but that hasn’t happened for a number of reasons. The primary one is that after putting the first 800 or so…

August 21, 2015 Life Lessons

What Are Your Plot Holes?

I’m in the final stretch of editing my novel. I am very happy to be typing that sentence, but at the same time I am starting to feel a bit anxious. As I scurry around the manuscript tidying things up, here and there I will run into little bits and pieces of dialogue or exposition…

August 7, 2015 Writing

I’m Feeling Good: Novel Coming Soon

It’s been over two months since I last posted an update about the novel. Exciting things are happening, and I feel the need to share. First off, no, I never heard from that I agent I was all hopeful about (you can read more about that here). I’m still bummed about it. It feels a…

July 24, 2015 Writing

Halfway There: Forget Prayers. Give Me Caffeine.

I’m serious. Where’s my coffee? This week’s post marks the halfway point of the year commitment I made to Scriven by Garen. I have been writing weekly blog posts for 26 straight weeks. I’ve learned a lot so far: 1. Writing short, polished pieces each week helps keep me on point. Writing done well is…

July 17, 2015 Writing

Writers Are a Dime a Dozen. Here’s My Secret Weapon.

I’ve been feeling a bit low these past couple of days. It’s a funk I get into every now and then when things aren’t going how I thought they would. Expectations can be deadly. For starters a flash fiction piece I entered in a writing competition didn’t make it into the top ten and so…

June 12, 2015 Writing

The Wisdom of Ratatouille

I almost didn’t write a post this week. My manuscript needs my attention now, and it’s hard to find time to write. When I do scrounge together a few minutes my scrappy little novel calls my name. I significantly revised the first fifty pages and resubmitted them to the potential agent (for a recap of…

May 28, 2015 Writing

A Glimmer of Hope on the Agent Horizon

This is going to be a short post. The reason: I have a lot of work to do. Why do I have a lot of work to do? Let me explain. I read this amazing article on Medium yesterday and it inspired me. It’s called Submit Like a Man: How Women Writers Can Become More…

May 22, 2015 Life Lessons

Hulk Smash or Hulk Maybe Write Blog Post

A week ago I got really angry. Seven days later and every time I think about it I start to get angry all over again. So I am going to write about it. Why? Because writing is cheap therapy and it almost always makes me feel better. The incident occurred in a Starbucks parking lot….

May 14, 2015 Uncategorized

I Like Big Words and I Can Not Lie: My Faults as a Writer

I read an NPR Books article yesterday on Nancy Reisman’s novel Trompe L’Oeil. I was initially drawn to the review because the book’s title is an art term, and I’m a sucker for stories about art. But while there are apparently sections of the novel that describe and interpret various artworks, it turns out the story…

April 16, 2015 Uncategorized

The Personal Values of a Part-Time Writer

I’ve never been a very good employee. Oh sure, I am conscientious, and I get my work done on time and to the best of my abilities. I can make spreadsheets and presentations, and I’ve generally received positive feedback from my former bosses. But I have a problem. I’ve never been truly happy at a…

April 9, 2015 Creativity

Thinking Inside the Box: The Power of Constraints

Think outside the box. It’s a platitude that’s meant to stir the creative mind. Don’t give in to convention, step outside the everyday, be true to yourself, not the crowd. It’s good advice, really, and let me tell you, as a staunch non-conformist I try to live it everyday. But while all that fighting against…

March 26, 2015 Life Lessons

The List: 10 Goals for the Rest of the Year

It’s already been a month since Bean was born. March is usually a slow moving time for me, the last long slog toward spring, but this year the month flew by and the cherry blossoms and daffodils seemed to come a little earlier than usual. Life with a newborn and a preschooler is vastly different…

March 19, 2015 Writing

Writing a Book was the Easy Part: An Update

Perhaps the most surprising thing I’ve learned about this writing a novel thing is that the actual creative act of stringing nearly 90,000 words together into a coherent story was the easy part. It was fun. Even the stuff that at the time didn’t seem so great, like when I had to rewrite the first…

February 24, 2015 Writing

The Great Pretender: What Makes Someone a Real Writer

Some days on this writing journey of mine (okay, most days) I feel like a bit of a faker. There are certain professions when the transition from amateur to professional is fairly clear. Usually the shift is marked by some kind of degree, a test, or a swearing-in ceremony. If you pass these hurdles you…

February 18, 2015 Creativity

Writing with Kids: Creativity Vampires or Miniature Muses

As of this morning I’m less than three weeks out from my due date with my second child. His or her imminent arrival fills me with a mixture of apprehension and excitement which I manage to control with a swiftly depleting reserve of patience. Of course it doesn’t help that I am also waiting to…

February 10, 2015 Life Lessons

If I Only Had the Time: The Phrase That Makes Me Cringe

A few well-meaning people, when I told them I was writing a novel, replied in what is decidedly one of my least favorite ways: “I would love to write a novel too, if only I had the time.” This response raises my hackles because it implies that whatever that person does with their life is…

January 26, 2015 Creativity

The Value of Mistakes

In a now famous commencement speech delivered in 2012 to the graduating class of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts my favorite author Neil Gaiman eloquently elaborated on the virtues of making mistakes. When I read the speech later it was the first time I’d ever thought about mistakes in a positive light. You see I’m a bit…

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