About Me, Meaningless Drivel, My Thoughts, The Writer's Life, Writing Encouragement

I Quit. Again.

There is a tiny flame that burns deep within a writer. A pilot light. In moments – some lingering, some fleeting – that pilot light sparks to life and becomes a furnace of ideas. Great books have been stitched together from such moments. These are not sweet and beautiful moments. There are no butterflies whispering perfect words into your ears. There are no fairies singing songs of your literary brilliance. These are pain-filled moments where orcs threaten you with bodily harm and the flame itself threatens to incinerate your soul. Your fingers fly across the keyboard not in delight, but chasing fire. You fear the unpredictable flame, as well you should, but the end of…

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About Me, Meaningless Drivel, My Thoughts, The Writer's Life, Writing Encouragement

What If?

Usually it goes something like this: What if I’m a terrible writer. Or (gasp) a truly average writer? What if all the kind words people offer about my stories are nothing more than polite lies accompanied by fake smiles because they want to avoid hurting my feelings? What if my dogged pursuit of traditional publishing is a fool’s errand? What if there are exactly zero literary agents interested in the kind of stories I write? What if the only thing I learn from querying is how poorly I handle rejection? What if I self-publish and the book just sits there on the virtual shelf, impervious to my attempts to find…

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About Me, Meaningless Drivel, The Writer's Life

Enough

My hair is mostly gray. I’m not young enough to engage in Twitter conversations with YA authors. But not totally gray. I’m not old enough to be revered by them. I write by the seat of my pants. I’m not degreed enough to talk shop with the MFA crowd. I was raised in the church. But I’m no longer Christian enough for that culture, or the subculture of writers who are fighting to find their place in it. I was married for a quarter century. I’ve been alone for nearly a decade. I’m not married enough to join you and…

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Beyond Categorization, Meaningless Drivel, The Writer's Life, Writing Encouragement

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 eyes does. She asks questions. She hasn’t learned filters yet. Thank God. Because you need her to ask these questions.…

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Meaningless Drivel, My Thoughts, Uncategorized

Spinning

The earth is spinning on its axis at 1000 miles an hour while it whips around the sun at  67,000 miles per hour. And I can’t keep up. I know what you’re thinking. I don’t need to. The earth is going to do its thing regardless of my thing and thanks to the magic of physics, we don’t even have to hang on. But I’m not here just for the ride. I want to stand on the leading edge and see the sunrise before it knows its colors. I want to stick my toes out as we cross into autumn,…

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Beyond Categorization, Meaningless Drivel, My Thoughts, Snark Alert

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 Fingernails of Magical Thinking – fantasy. To my surprise, not an intentional parody. Henceforth: “Nutter.” Association by Death – “clever…

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Editing, Meaningless Drivel, My Thoughts

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Freelance Editors. Okay, Just 13 Things.

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t particularly like numbered-list blogposts. They just feel artificial to me. So…um…here’s one about editors. Sorry. 1. We edit because we love books and writers but also for the money. 2. It’s a good thing we love books and writers. (And Ramen noodles.) 3. We don’t laugh with maniacal glee while slicing and dicing our way through your manuscript. We know how hard it is to write, and how much harder still it is to share that writing with a virtual stranger – especially someone whose job it is to find all the things that…

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