Wednesday, March 20, 2019

#metoo and The Writer

By Eleanor Shelton

As I work on my novel, there are days when I question my ability and sanity, followed by days I’m sure my inspiration is genius, and still, others when my muse has figured out I’m a fake and has packed up and left. 

But eventually, after years of comments from writing groups, mapping plot twists on a wall-sized whiteboard, notations in various colored markers, and many compliments from my mother, I was done. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

It Wasn't

By Brian Kaufman

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…” 

~Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Much respect to Charles Dickens, who wrote great, sprawling novels that have entertained generations of readers, but the passage quoted above drives me crazy. It and was are a terrible pairing of words that have allowed even skilled writers to be lazy and confusing. Let me explain.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

To Read Or Not To Read: For Me There Is No Question

By Eleanor Shelton 

I assume that all of us writers enjoy reading. Maybe it was reading that provoked the idea that we could do this too. I didn’t like to read when I was a kid. I have dyslexia and reading was a frustrating chore. I’ve overcome dyslexia’s worst side effects and even though I read slowly, I’m addicted. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

How to Be Awful to Your Characters

By David E. Sharp

Sometimes, writers develop proud-parent syndrome. Our characters are special to us, and we want good things to happen for them. We bond with them. We want them to be happy.

But happy characters make a lousy story!

And that is why we must torment them! We must be cruel. We must dangle hope in front of them, but we can't let them get hold of it until they've withstood the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and taken arms against a sea of troubles.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to be awful to my characters.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

First Word Problems

By Ronda Simmons

Writers can get a little precious about their writing environments and accoutrements. Just the other day I couldn't find my favorite tea and thought my writing day was shot. I was able to find a reasonable substitute, averting tragedy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Your My Won, True Love

by Laura Mahal

Like most writers, I derive great joy from the written word. I’m happy to be home in my pajamas, creating new worlds (or sending super long emails. Some of my emails might contain entire universes.) When I’m working on my own stuff, I digress down rabbit paths. I saunter into lyricism and venture onto uncharted literary terrain. 


Then the other side of my brain kicks in to save the day. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

We Are Real Writers

By Eleanor Shelton

Recently a friend took me to a reading party. A local writing group was celebrating their 15th year together by publishing a chapbook. Each member contributed poems, a short story, or an essay. A hearty group of about 30 had collected to listen to the writers read their favorite work. 

As we mingled before the event, my friend kept introducing me to these members of the writing group in a way that made me very uncomfortable.

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