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Category: On Writing

Novelist, Essayist, (Recovering) Journalist

Five Goals

Or: A workaholic’s guide to avoiding going to meetings   For Dee Wallace* I have a working theory: Workaholics Anonymous doesn’t exist because you could never get a workaholic to go to a meeting that wasn’t attached to a budget line or a task in their project management suite. (I use basecamp at my day…
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Mojo Binders

Or: Fetish and the Art of Writing I remember reading, where I don’t know, that Hemingway used pencils to write in his notebooks. It must have been in A Moveable Feast, because I remember it was in his own voice, so strong, authoritative, and direct. The comment was almost a throwaway, the kind of detail a writer…
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When the heat is a sulter?

Or: On Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner and the English Language There’s an old joke that goes something like this: Why did the broke writer pay $5 for a latte at Starbucks? How else would everyone get to see him writing his novel? Sitting in a Starbucks before the mountain of pulp totaling some 350 pages, I’m slogging through…
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Finding inspiration and will power

One of the most frequent questions writers are asked is about their “writing space,” that special place to which they retreat to spend hours upon hours with a keyboard and a stack of blank paper. The question is a tried and true staple of interviewers seeking to get inside the heads of their writer-subjects. Ernest…
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Villain, thou name is Grammar

I’m not a grammar Nazi. I don’t wander around with a copy of Strunk & White‘s Elements of Style in my satchel, waiting to pounce on the first individual to dangle a modifier or end a sentence with a preposition. (Okay, fine. I do carry a copy of Strunk & White. But I don’t lie in wait…
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A Dab of Luck?

(Or: How astrology seems to impact the pattern of literature) Let me begin with a disclaimer: I do not buy much into the belief that where the stars are when you are born plays a large role in your development as a human being. I’m enough of a hard determinist to refrain from discounting the…
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Quinn Fabray is dead (Or at least she should be)

Before I go any farther down this particularly dangerous rabbit hole, please understand that I am a huge Gleek. First among my loves on Glee is Miss Quinn Fabray, portrayed by the ever beautiful Dianna Agron. That being said, I’m a writer, acutely aware of storycraft and always on the lookout for  those times when writers…
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Flash fiction?

Here’s a question: what would it take to get you to read a five or six paragraph short story every day? The stories wouldn’t be interconnected. They would have only occasionally reoccurring characters and they would appear in your inbox each morning. Once they were distributed via email, they would be archived. I’ve been toying…
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Papaw’s Typewriter

Papaw’s study is perhaps the most vivid of my childhood memories. Everything about that room — the heavy oak desk, the southeastern window, every surface piled high with papers — has a mystical pull upon the deepest recesses of my mind that walking through Office Depot will frequently turn into a trip back in time. A…
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33 Days

Or: I’m going to kill myself getting this done in time. I do this to myself every year. March is a month I should spend celebrating my birthday. (I turn thirty-four at the end of the month.) I should be recovering from the onslaught of allergies that happens every year in late February. I could…
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