Here I blog about writing, editing, reading, books, submissions, freelancing, getting published (and rejected), journalism, revisions, life after the MFA, teaching writing, and living the writer's life. Welcome. BUT -- if you are a writer: Write first, read blogs second.




Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Fridge Clean-Out: Links for Writers -- April 21, 2017 Edition

I'm seeing a big uptick in readers here lately, so welcome! For those who don't know: it's called Friday Fridge Clean-Out because years ago, when I began sharing links, it mirrored the way I fed my family on a Friday night--clearing the fridge of all the tidbits we'd accumulated during the week. (Nowadays, I just call for pizza!). Enjoy.

> My friend Laraine Herring shows us how to write about illness/medical events without a smidge of self-pity. Please read her "Robot Kisses." 

> When I once fell, breaking three front teeth and cutting up my face, someone told there must be a reason. My (slightly annoyed) conclusion: I'm clumsy. Maybe that's why I loved "Being Leery of Everything Happening for a Reason and Other Takes by Ariel Levy," at The Riveter.

> I concur with the headline of this excellent article by , at the Science of Us: "Writing a Memoir Is a Strange Psychological Trip Through Your Past."

> Not sure what to do next with your (writing or any) career? Try Delia Lloyd's approach and ask your future 90-year-old self.

> At semester's end, Aubrey Hirsch gives her college creative writing students a comprehensive handout, "A Beginner's Guide to Publishing" which she's made available at her website.

> I recently discovered Denton Loving's blog, which periodically posts submission calls.

> Sounds like good news from the Boston Globe, for those with books in the pipeline, looking to book promotional stops in the Northeast: "Indie bookstores in smaller towns hatch plan to lure authors for readings".

> In her post, "When You Engage in Some Good Old Literary Citizenship Because, Really, You Just Want New Writer Friends with Whom To Bitch About Publishing," Steph Auteri says a few nice things about me and The Writers Circle, but what makes it terrific is how it confirms the benefits and strengths of having a literary community in person as well as online.

> Finally, in this week's student brag box: Carol Accetta, a writing coaching client, achieved her first publication, a lovely short work of creative nonfiction, "The Geese," at Gravel Magazine.  Former student Vincent Fitzgerald, who is also a therapist, published "I'm a Client And a Clinician" at Psychology Today, and a work of narrative nonfiction in the British literary journal Into the Void. Congrats!


Have a great weekend!


Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Fridge Clean-Out: Links for Writers -- April 7, 2017 Edition

> Can binge watching have a writing purpose? Reedsy editor (and novelist) Andrew Lowe thinks so, at least about a certain eight shows.

> Somewhat related: I learned about Belletrist, the young actor Emma Roberts's online book clue when she was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Only mildly interested, I perked up when I arrived at her website to see she'd interviewed Joan Didion about her latest book, South and West: From a Notebook.

> Good listening: an episode of the #CNF podcast features Jennifer Niesslein, founder/editor of the online essay site, Full Grown People.

> Traveling? Or trying to organize a book promotion tour? Check out "The Best Bookstore in Every State," via Real Simple and Yelp.

> Find yourself torn between devoting time to writing, and making sure you are tending to business aspects of a writing life? At Catapult, Melissa Febos asks, 
"Do you want to be known for your writing or your swift email responses?"

>Speaking of Melissa Febos, I heard her read from her new memoir, Abandon Me, this week at Halfway There, a newish quarterly reading series in Montclair, NJ (my literary backyard), and was impressed by how, in the middle of what she explained was a weeks-long, cross-country book tour, she made the material sound new and fresh, even  (it seemed at least ) to herself. If I ever do readings from any book of mine, I'm going to find a video of her reading, and study it.

> Looking to get involved in behind-the-scenes work at an online literary journal? Hippocampus Magazine is in need of volunteers for several different posts.

> Every week, novelist Elizabeth S. Craig compiles a long juicy list of links to writing advice and writing-related articles and posts that appeared that week on the web.

> That collective groan you heard last weekend was thousands of essay, memoir, and other nonfiction writers upset over the demise of the Lives column which will, after 19 years, no longer appear in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. (And the scratching was all of us crossing it off our publication bucket list. Sigh.)

> Three cheers for these high school student journalists who understand the value and power of fact-checking.

> Finally, from the department of that-sounds-completely-crazy-but-it's-still-(alleged)plaigarism, comes this story about how cultish hip-hop musicians apparently stole a poet's work.


Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Write. Read. Repeat. Susan Sontag said it first. I just follow Directions.

By now, you probably know that I simply do not understand writers who aren't also constantly reading. Because how--other than through reading--do we even begin to want to be writers? And what's paramount to learning more about writing than reading?

I'm over at Story Dam today, participating in their April A to Z blogging challenge. I was asked to name a favorite bit of writing advice, and then say something about it.

It's posted today under "D is for Directions" and is a brief commentary on the Susan Sontag command: “Directions: Write, Read, Rewrite. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 as needed."

"I’ve heard this advice interpreted several ways. Some folks think it means that you should write and then read what you have just written, then rewrite it. And of course, that’s true. But I take this advice in the broader sense..."

Read the rest here.


Image: Story Dam