My secret writing shame…and why I should never wear sandals

Let me just introduce myself by saying that the piece I am about to read completely sucks. In fact, so do I. I didn’t exactly put it that way at my writing group yesterday, but as one of my reviewers put it, by opening up my excerpt by confessing that my work is ‘low-brow’ young adult faction, […]

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Got feedback? Let me resent you for it

I am not good at feedback. Whenever someone in my writing group says anything that is the least bit critical about my work  I  hate their guts for about 3 – 30 seconds, depending on how much cheese I have consumed. Once I actually process said critique, I am always Incredibly Grateful for the insight they have gifted […]

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Project GET MY MOM TO BLOG

My mother has started making hats out of old sweaters. When I suggested she start a blog about her repurposed creations, my mom responded by scrunching up her nose like I just gave her tickets to an Eminem concert. “Why would I do that?” she said. I tried to tell her about all the amazing wool […]

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Vulnerability: lessons from writing on living (with help from Brene Brown)

I wrote a memoir manuscript once. It wasn’t very good. I could tell when one of the teen readers I work-shopped it with scrunched up her nose and said she just didn’t connect with the voice. Years later I finally understand what it was lacking. It’s the same thing that makes ‘evil-doing’ characters into ones that […]

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Seth Godin’s Purple Cows for Queries

I finally figured out why writing query letters sucks (and I mean aside from the repeated stick-in-my-chest rejections): boredom. I have sent out twenty slightly-modified versions of the same query letter as of last week and frankly I’m tired of it. In fact, I think I may have a brown on my hands. According to […]

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Literary agent webinars: dream makers or advantage takers?

I received several notices about webinars offering ‘exclusive’ access to literary agents in my email this week. I’m not sure whether to be excited—or irritated. When I was fourteen my mother made me an appointment to see a modeling agent. The agent’s name was Dyan and after taking my photo and measurements she apparently decided that […]

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