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While reading through my first draft one thing has become abundantly clear: What I have here isn’t a draft at all. What I have is a really, really detailed outline.
Part of the reason for this is that my main goal while I was writing was to just finish. I really wanted to get from point A to point B and wrap things up. While I was working I just kept pushing forward, trying to think of events that could occur to keep the story moving and grow these characters, until they reach closure at the end. Because my focus was just finishing, the writing and the story sort of suffered.
I realize that was a really pessimistic way to start this post, but I’m not feeling down about it at all! I knew when I finished that I wasn’t sitting on something brilliant or even very good. I was proud of myself for finishing my first draft of my first book, and when people ask me about it that’s what I say – it’s just a draft, and it needs some work, but I finished something, and that…Continue
A few weeks ago, Girls Write Now held its first-ever annual benefit and awards. It was a perfect evening--as authentic, inspirational and moving as the organization, and worthy of the girls and the wonderful professional women writers who serve as their mentors (like Alice Canick, pictured with her mentee, Paldon Dolma, here). As the board chair, I was asked to say a few words. But how could I convey the critical importance of this organization to the people in the room in just a few words? I decided to do it by asking two questions. First, "Who in this room has had a mentor who changed his or her life?" There was a show of hands, but by no means the majority of the attendees had been so lucky.…Continue
A few weeks ago, my friend and former jogging partner Ellen Sweet sent me this snapshot that she had just discovered while scanning old photographs into her computer. I remembered the picture, and I may even have a copy of it somewhere, but it was something of a shock to see it illuminated on my computer screen. The shot probably dates from the early 1980s when I had first started running along with half of Manhattan. From the beginning Ellen and I challenged ourselves by entering races in Central Park– races for women only, which this image seems to memorialize. (I should say for the record that Ellen, thinner and lighter, always ran faster than I did.) I think my personal best was a 10 and one half minute mile. A person could well walk faster than that! Still, we were quite faithful…Continue
In a couple of weeks, Hedgebrook’s second Vortext Salon for women writers will take place on Whidbey Island: three extraordinary days of workshops and conversation, in a beautiful setting, led by six renowned writers and teachers: Dorothy Allison, Karen Joy Fowler, Elizabeth George, Jane Hamilton, Ruth Ozeki and Gail Tsukiyama.
Vortext was just a gleam in Karen Joy Fowler’s eye a year ago, when she came to us with the idea of convening her compadres at Hedgebrook for a reunion and Salon. They taught together many moons ago (in the now defunct Maui Writer’s Conference), where they were the renegade literary women. Over the years, their friendships have deepened through raucous reunions in their homes: wine, good food and laughter flow abundantly as they share fresh work, critique early drafts of each other’s novels, commiserate about the business of being a woman writer, and cheer each other on.
It’s not the moves, it’s between the moves.” This was one of those offhand remarks that has stuck in my mind for at least twenty years. I remember the person who said it―an old friend (actually one of the oldest since we met in junior high) the artist Mimi Gross--but I can’t remember the context. Mimi always had a way…
I've posted a video highlighting 29 ways to keep your inspiration going:
Book contest alert: please enter to win novels by Mark Barry and Mary Ann Bernal http://maryannbernal.blogspot.com/2013/05/big-birthday-bookie-bash-giveaway-may.html#.UZ38XGoo6M8
I hope your day is going well. I'm in a villa in Negril, Jamaica (http://cassandra-black-author.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-caribbean-sea-is-gorgeous-today.html) doing some article marketing for my ***NEW RELEASE*** Samantha's Cravings,…
she has narrow shoulders,
much to bear.
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There are several serviceable biographies about child psychoanalyst Anna Freud, who lived from 1895 to 1982. But as a fictional memoir, Hysterical…Continue
A record of O’Barr’s personal and professional journey—one that paralleled…Continue