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Dis-Encouragement ?>

Dis-Encouragement

This is not a hopeful post. Usually when I say something like that up front it’s just a clever (or not so clever) ruse; a setup for the inevitable twisty punchline that will leave you feeling strangely encouraged, despite having walked barefoot across the broken glass path of a none-too-pleasant publishing reality. There is no clever twist this time. Have you seen the movie, 500 Days of Summer? When it begins, you’re certain it’s going to be a love story, but then the voiceover says, without apology:…

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#amwaiting ?>

#amwaiting

When the language gods sat down at their very expensive polished maple conference table to decide which term to use for the art of putting words together to tell stories, “writing” wasn’t their first choice. “Bloodletting” actually had the most up-votes and was likely to get the nod. But then one of the lesser gods – the one everyone mistakenly called Vern – felt compelled to mention how similar “writing” was to “waiting,” which they’d already determined would mean “excruciatingly long pauses where…

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Exercising the Why ?>

Exercising the Why

Let’s say you’re in a coffee shop. I think we can all agree that’s a reasonable assumption. A four-year-old girl walks up to you. She’s a precocious curly-headed moppet with curious blue eyes and a surprisingly accurate sixth sense about strangers. She knows you’re the non-dangerous type, despite the army of wrinkle-lines marching across your face while you sort through a particularly tricky plot point. “What are you doing?” she asks. Because that’s what a precocious curly-headed moppet with curious blue…

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The Society of Abandoned Manuscripts ?>

The Society of Abandoned Manuscripts

Transcript from the January 26, 2013 meeting of the Society of Abandoned Manuscripts, Colorado Springs Chapter. Meeting location: Empty warehouse on the lower east side. The one scheduled for demolition 0n Tuesday. In attendance: gallager’s brain – self-proclaimed “literary novel.” Henceforth, “gal.” Bite, Bitte – a vampire romance. You probably think it’s set in Germany. It’s not. Henceforth, “Bitte.” Love Comes to the Loaf’n’Jug at Exit 277 on I-80 – a regional romance. Henceforth, “Loaf.” Harold Nuttersby and the Yellow…

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Your Book Reviews Are In ?>

Your Book Reviews Are In

I’ve been to the future. I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Quintuple-stuff Oreos. The reanimation of Walt Disney*. Laundry robots. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. And the reviews for your novel. No, not the one you’re writing now, the next one. The one you’re certain is the best possible work you could ever do. (Wait, don’t scrap the one you’re currently writing. It’s the best possible work you could ever do. For now.) The Time…

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10 Things Writers Can Learn from a Brick ?>

10 Things Writers Can Learn from a Brick

All those “list” posts for writers annoy me. Especially the ones I’ve written. Most especially, this one: 1. A brick is skilled at staying on task. Put one in front of a computer, it will sit there for hours. 2. A brick doesn’t jump in front of a truck when it gets a rejection letter. 3. A brick understands the importance of structure. 4. A brick rarely complains on Twitter and Facebook about the unfairness of bricklayers. 5. A brick isn’t jealous of…

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Totally Believable Publishing Predictions for 2011 ?>

Totally Believable Publishing Predictions for 2011

My predictions are based on extensive eavesdropping at my local Starbucks. Additional data supplied by that one night when I might have accidentally taken too much cough medicine before bed. 1. Barnes & Noble and Borders will merge after all and call their new stores “Noble Borders.” This will result in the closing of nearly half of existing stores, leaving thousands of bookish employees out of work. In an unrelated story, there will be a significant rise in the literary…

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