Mark Hughes
  • Male
  • San Diego, CA
  • United States
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Mark Hughes's Friends

  • Marci Nault
  • Jen Haeger
  • Padmaja Singh
  • M. Kinnel
  • Irene Miscione
  • Wilhelmina Stolen
  • Ashley LaMar
  • Julie Luek
  • Tracey Barnes Priestley
  • Caitlyn Levin
  • Stephanie Renée dos Santos
  • Zetta Brown
  • Jill Starishevsky
  • Judith Marshall
  • Meg Waite Clayton

Mark Hughes's Page

Latest Activity

Mark Hughes commented on the blog post '[BODY, MIND & SPIRIT] Why Writing Isn’t Selfish Navel-Gazing'
"Bella - thanks for the insight, as I don't know if I've ever quite seen one of the points of entertainment (reading and other forms) quite so succinctly presented. It seems to me as though many of the stories that catch our imagination are…"
Apr 20, 2014
Mark Hughes commented on the blog post '[TIPS OF THE TRADE] How Many Readers is Enough?'
"I get the motive of social change behind the writing urge; it's a personal driver for me. As such, I look to the works of Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Upton Sinclair, and Louise Erdrich for inspiration. But that's only part of the why for me. I…"
Apr 20, 2014
Mark Hughes commented on the blog post '[Making the Leap] Singing Like Amy'
"Hi Julie - I've been "away" for a while as I'm in my next novel's development phase, which is one of the difficult parts. Come to think of it, they're all difficult parts. Well, anyway, I like the voice topic and the…"
Apr 19, 2014
Mark Hughes commented on the blog post '[Making the Leap] Be A Thankful Writer'
"I agree with all your points, and add that I like the serendipitous nature of the research into material for stories. Amy Tan discusses this in her TED Talk, which is worthwhile (as they tend to be). See if you can guess what's in the bag at…"
Dec 6, 2013
Mark Hughes commented on the blog post '[Making The Leap] Simplifying the Writing Life'
"Julie - you raise a point that's long interested me, which is the social stigma attached to judging people. In this TED Talk, Dr. Rebecca Saxe discusses the right temporo-parietal junction (RTPJ). It's a structure in our brain whose…"
Nov 16, 2013
Mark Hughes commented on the blog post '[Making The Leap] Simplifying the Writing Life'
"Julie - your post led me to wonder how many people choose "safe" careers over what really calls to them. I certainly did, and some time back, it led me to create something I call the 25/25 question, which is specifically aimed at those…"
Nov 15, 2013
Mark Hughes commented on the blog post '[REALITY CHECK] NaNoWriMo – The Great Butt Kicker'
"I suppose you can look at the exercise like a form of gambling--in this case you're gambling on the hope that some truly creative ideas arise, which they very well might, depending on how effectively the editor and his gang of thugs are…"
Nov 12, 2013
Mark Hughes commented on the blog post '[REALITY CHECK] NaNoWriMo – The Great Butt Kicker'
"I'm one of those discipline types Zetta mentioned (getting an engineering degree either beats that into you or beats you into an insane asylum). The point is, my one foray at NaMoWriMo went fine. I don't recall now, but I think I hit the…"
Nov 11, 2013
Mark Hughes commented on the group 'Historical Novelists'
"I missed the character discussion between you, Stephanie, and Wilhelmina, but I'll respond to it now. I, too, am in the early phases of developing my next novel. My main goal at this point is to define the story's inner and outer themes.…"
Nov 11, 2013
Mark Hughes commented on the blog post '[What's Next?] What is it About?'
"In my experience, there is nothing like the query phase of book publishing to grant you expertise with this question. I wrote and work shopped A LOT of query variations, all naturally aimed at answering this question. As such, I now consider myself…"
Oct 12, 2013
Mark Hughes commented on the blog post '[REALITY CHECK] Books That Have Affected Your Life'
"Well, let's see. I already listed some of the novels and short stories that affected me in your previous blog, so let me add one non-fiction entry I recently read: Phantoms in the Brain, by V.S. Ramachandran. What changed me in his book on…"
Oct 12, 2013
Mark Hughes liked Zetta Brown's blog post [REALITY CHECK] Books That Have Affected Your Life
Oct 12, 2013
Mark Hughes commented on the blog post 'What About the Criticism You Really Should Listen To?'
"Writing, as I see it, is verbal, face-to-face communication, taken to at least a few powers of ten. We all know how easy it is to be misunderstood in our short and sweet (or not so) conversations, and those issues that may cloud our attempts to…"
Oct 7, 2013
Mark Hughes commented on the blog post 'More tips for completing your manuscript'
"I, too, like the organized approach to creation. During the idea generation phase of a writing project (which may last 2-10 years) I carry a folded piece of paper and a pen in my shirt pocket. While I'm out walking for exercise, I carry a small…"
Oct 7, 2013
Mark Hughes commented on the blog post '[REALITY CHECK] – Oh, for the love of reading!'
"Thanks for setting up this question, as I hadn't considered the subject all that much before. When I look back on my reading career (if I may call it that), all manner of stories stand out in my mind: The Grapes of Wrath, Summer of '42, In…"
Oct 7, 2013
Mark Hughes commented on the group 'Novelists (Struggling or Not)'
"Ellisha - I think the E. B. Purtill would work quite well. To see a nice discussion on this topic, go to the Query Tracker Community here."
Sep 26, 2013

Profile Information

Who I am:
A retired engineer/marketing person who wrote my first book when I was twelve (yes, self-published, one copy, no blurbs).
Books I've written, anthologies I've contributed to, and any scripts or plays I've authored:
My roots are a dozen or so short stories published in an eclectic set of magazines, all leading to five+ spent on the novel.
My writing is:
Services I offer to other writers:
A shoulder? The lessons learned over twenty some years of toiling away at this art form?
I'm part of these writers' groups or salons:
How about She Writes (where I'm literally the odd man out)?
My professional associations:
Arcane engineering and power industry stuff.
I found out about She Writes from:
A web search.

The Picture

Yes, that really is me in the picture. An engineer in a white dinner jacket - something must be up. His wife's influence (or maybe even his mother's)? Who wears such a thing these days?

    Well, the story isn't particularly odd. I wore the outfit, including the de rigueur handkerchief in the pocket (and wine glass in hand) for a Halloween costume. Now, let's see who can be the first to guess which (fictional) character I'm impersonating.

Comment Wall (12 comments)

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At 9:41am on December 6, 2013, Wilhelmina Stolen said…

Thank you Mark!

At 11:36am on May 26, 2013, Vanessa B. Bernard said…

Thank you Mark!  I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question.


At 3:02pm on March 7, 2013, Meg Waite Clayton said…

The monthly chat is always scheduled for a half hour, although folks are of course welcome to stay and chat longer. That's as long a break as I can take in the morning, which is when I write.


At 12:39pm on February 24, 2013, Meg Waite Clayton said…

>when I looked back on my involvement it struck me that I had been obtrusive, even rude. Sorry about that

If you were, Mark, it hasn't registered in my memory bank. In any event, happy to have you join us.

At 3:04pm on February 8, 2013, Amy Long said…

Thank you, I was a bit concerned.  I was not sure how things work on the internet. My grandmother is my source of information on writing, publishing, editing and everything in between.  She was an English Professor, she is a published author of text books, novels and many books of poetry.  I have yet to publish anything, I sent out thirty query letters on one of my books and had some rather interesting feedback which normally one in hundred letters gets a response!  So my experience is limited and I am new to this site.  Thank you very much for the feedback.

At 9:02am on January 27, 2013, Mark Hughes said…

Melissa - your first inclination was right, though I see now the confusion about glass versus cigarette (though Rick did partake of both). What's funny about this - or true - is how it's exactly the reason we need others to read our stories. We think what we've written is clear, but often it isn't. I hired an editor to work with me on my novel and I think it was well worth it. Guess I should have had her look over my picture too :)

At 7:37am on January 27, 2013, Irene Miscione said…

Welcome to our group Mark! There's lots of talent in this group and a wealth of knowledge is floating around this site. Tap into it if you need to, I know I am.  I'm new too and still getting to know the other members. 

I like Melissa's comment on the Humphrey Bogart image!

At 10:55pm on January 26, 2013, M. Kinnel said…

Hi Mark! I've tried to figure out your "picture" question and I'm stumped. My first guess was a Humphrey Bogart character but then you would be holding a cigarette instead of a glass. Perhaps James Bond? Hmmm...I'm really stumped!

At 3:58pm on January 26, 2013, Meg Waite Clayton said…

Welcome to the novelist group, Mark. If you haven’t done so already, you might introduce yourself by telling us what you’re working on in the “Show Me Your Novel and I’ll Show You Mine” discussion.

We do a live chat at 1 EST on the first Wednesdays of each month, with instructions on how to participate in the "Our Water Cooler" box near the top of the group page. And we save the wall for discussion, but welcome links to helpful blog posts on the “Links to Helpful Blog Posts for Writers” discussion thread and to published books in the “Our Published Novels” one.

I hope you’ll enjoy the group.

Meg Waite Clayton
Novelist Group Moderator

At 1:41pm on January 24, 2013, Meg Waite Clayton said…

Mark, Just waving hello. I hope you’re enjoying exploring SheWrites, and best of luck with your writing.

Meg Waite Clayton
Moderator, Novelist Group
Bestselling author of four novels, including The Wednesday Sisters (a writing group novel), and the forthcoming The Wednesday Daughters, (all Random House/Ballantine)



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Glenna Mageau commented on the blog post 'Fiction vs Nonfiction Book Blurbs'
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