Features (2,181)

Being The Crazy Country Cousin at the Family Christmas

I hope my Christian friends have had a Merry Christmas, my Jewish friends are having a wonderful Hannukah, my African-American friends are having a good Kwanzaa...and, lest I forget, Happy Boxing Day!
My family (husband, 2 sons, daughter, dog) and I travelled from Kentucky to Texas to be with his Mother and her husband for the holidays. I needed to rest up a couple of days after our journey because I had to drive the entire 900-odd miles of the trip.

Added by LuAnn Braley on December 26, 2011 at 12:44pm — No Comments

Looking Into the Eyes of 2012

     “Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out alive.”              --Bugs Bunny

So it’s pretty clear that all the people “in the know” seem to think that New Year resolutions don’t work. Deepak Chopra, a popular alternative self-help author, when asked if he thought there was a way for people to make their resolutions stick, said, “yes, if they go beyond motivation and find true inspiration,” and then he says that it is about going to a deeper…


Added by Donna Jean Freberg on December 23, 2011 at 2:08pm — No Comments

How Long Should a Book Take to Write? (On a Writer's Natural Rhythms and Pace)

Recently, a fellow writer (who publishes short essays and pieces of travel writing) told me about a book she’d just finished reading. It was an excellent book she said, but added with wide eyes: “It took him seven years to write! That’s crazy. I could never do…


Added by Julija Sukys on December 22, 2011 at 4:00am — 22 Comments

What's The Matter With Some People?

I wrote this essay toward the end of last year, and just last week, Christopher Hitchens lost his battle with cancer. I will miss his sharp, fearless mind and his inspiring vocabulary. I hope his end was peaceful, surrounded by his family and loved ones. I don't know much, but whatever lies on the other side, I don't think it's threatened by anyone who is unwilling to take a leap of faith they don't believe in, who dares to question and think it all…


Added by Donna Jean Freberg on December 21, 2011 at 11:40pm — 2 Comments

Just Say It!

In recent posts, I've talked about dialogue and the importance of using beats, and about how many first-time authors struggle with the tendency to tell their readers instead of showing them. This issue pops up a lot in dialogue, where we often see sentences like the following:

  • "Of course I'll go,"…

Added by Maria Murnane on December 20, 2011 at 2:59pm — 2 Comments

Around SheWrites, December 21, 2011

Here is what you might have missed around She Writes this past week


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Added by Mary Keating on December 21, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments

The antidote to having a million things to do

Fiona writes: Sip. Sip. I'm drinking hot earl grey as I type, brought up by my husband. I glance up from the computer screen at the Christmas lights we've draped around the room. A thousand tiny pinpricks of light, pulsing on and off like stars in ultra-fast motion.

Sip. Sip.…


Added by Satya Robyn on December 20, 2011 at 2:30am — 4 Comments

The Doing of It

At the end of most years, I reflect and write on what I have learned. Or at least scratched the surface of learning. So here goes for this past year. You had better sit down. Just kidding, sort of. This year brought me to my knees in every way. In despair. In earnest. In repentance. In love. Amelia Earhart said, “Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.” And I’ve needed more raw courage this year than ever before. Courage to face myself in new and deeper ways, courage…


Added by Donna Jean Freberg on December 20, 2011 at 2:10pm — 2 Comments

Times of Not So Quiet Desperation

When I read the story last week about the woman who walked into a Welfare office in Texas, to plead once more for money--was turned down for a final time--and then took out a gun and shot her son and daughter, and then herself, it sent my mind reeling. All I could think of, as a mother myself, was how desperate she must have been. Clearly she must have snapped, losing sight of the sanity highway altogether but I can’t help but ask myself, just how smothered by desperation does a mother…


Added by Donna Jean Freberg on December 19, 2011 at 3:15pm — No Comments

A Day of Action for Women and Girls Who Write

Hi everybody!  I wanted to take a break from my sabbatical to write to all of you today about something that has been greatly on my mind these past few weeks, and ask you to take a MEANINGFUL ACTION TODAY to do something about it.

On my mind is the way women writers are consistently under-represented in the all-powerful "best of" lists that begin coming out at the end of each year.

As Meg Waite Clayton…


Added by Kamy Wicoff on December 19, 2011 at 9:00am — 30 Comments

Four questions for Amy Scholder, Editorial Director of The Feminist Press

Several years ago, I met Amy Scholder when she came to visit the Goddard MFAW residency.  With more than twenty years experience in literary and political publishing, Amy had just been named Editorial Director at the Feminist Press after a career that began at City Lights Books, and…


Added by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on December 17, 2011 at 12:28pm — 1 Comment

The Daily Mentor - Nicola Morris

Nicola Morris started off British, but now lives in Vermont, and is an expert on, among other things, the golem as a figure for post-Holocaust humanity.  Nicky is the co-editor of Alchemy of the Word, and her contribution, excerpted here, speaks of the power of books to save lives and change lives,…


Added by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on December 17, 2011 at 2:00am — 1 Comment

Three Best Social Media Platforms for authors

 Social media can be a powerful tool for authors. As we spend more of our lives in front of computer screens and having an online presence has become inevitable, exercising a measure of control on that presence has become very important. First impressions tend to last and by building a coherent online presence, authors can have a say on what those impressions are. Instead of relying on traditional PR and advertising methods, authors can personally have a strong impact on how they are…


Added by Majo Tinoco on December 16, 2011 at 8:34am — 16 Comments

The Daily Mentor - Rebecca Brown


Rebecca Brown is fearless as well as prolific.  Her latest book, American Romances, is a smart, moving collection that transcends – no, it crushes – all expectations of what an essay should be.  To this day, one of the greatest compliments I have ever gotten came after I read a short story at…


Added by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on December 16, 2011 at 2:00am — 4 Comments

Susan Straight: Writing in the Van

When I first met Susan Straight, she and I had traveled from different places to visit a friend in need and Susan walked in and…


Added by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on December 15, 2011 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

If You Build it, They Will Come: On Blogging, Service and Platform-Building

Shoeless Joe Jackson by John McNab

I started my blog almost two years ago after attending a writers’ workshop on publishing in the digital age. There wasn’t much talk of e-books or self-publishing from the presenters. Instead, they hammered a single message into us all day: you, as writers, need an electronic presence . . . preferably a blog. It’s how you control the message of who you are and what…


Added by Julija Sukys on December 15, 2011 at 6:30am — 29 Comments

The Daily Mentor - Susan Kim

Poetry may be the only thing Susan Kim has not written.  She has worked in television, for children’s programs and Martha Stewart’s Christmas; she has two graphic novels out, a dystopian young adult trilogy in the works and even made menstruation funny and fascinating on The View.  Susan is…


Added by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto on December 15, 2011 at 6:05am — 3 Comments

"What Do You Want For Christmas?"

Marriage + The Holidays = This.

Only married people (or children of married people) can understand how a seemingly simple and harmless question like "What Do You Want For Christmas?" can become so complicated and hurtful...

Added by Laura Zigman on December 13, 2011 at 9:20pm — 10 Comments

Turn the beat around

A few posts back, I talked about using dialogue to bring characters to life. Today, I'd like to discuss the importance of using beats. A "beat" is a description of the physical action a character makes while speaking, and good beats can bring your characters to life and make your dialogue pop right off the page. Beats can also help you show your readers instead of…


Added by Maria Murnane on December 13, 2011 at 4:37pm — 1 Comment

Making space for heartwork when it feels impossible

The end of the year is rushing towards me.

Christmas presents to buy. Relatives to visit. Projects to finish. 2011 is disappearing like sand through my fingers.

So what about the important things? You know, those things…


Added by Satya Robyn on December 12, 2011 at 9:26am — 8 Comments

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