Impractical Magic ?>

Impractical Magic

There is no magic formula, no conjuring spell. No eye of newt, and toe of frog. No wool of bat, and tongue of dog. Oh, you’ll find a few who would claim otherwise – people quick to sell you the secrets to a guaranteed bestseller. But they are charlatans. Or fools. There is no such thing as a magic formula for a guaranteed bestseller. You can’t reverse-engineer J. K. Rowling’s books, find out what makes them tick, then build a better…

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How Do You Know You’re Growing as a Writer? ?>

How Do You Know You’re Growing as a Writer?

I’m not sure how to open this post. I thought about playing the simile card and saying something about how becoming a better writer is a lot like becoming a better other thing – a better architect, a better juggler, a better OPI color namer, a better human. That would have been entirely true. And entirely boring. I also considered manufacturing a conversation between a beginning writer and a seasoned writer that could foreshadow the post’s inevitable wisdom. I probably…

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This Could Be a Problem ?>

This Could Be a Problem

I like languishing in obscurity. Languishing is my love language. This could be a problem. Well, not yet. But it will be if I reach any of my writing goals for the year, which include: a little book based on my #thewritinglife Twitter updates; the first novel in a YA series; a contemporary adult novel that’s been six years in the making; a few more blog posts; at least one provocative tweet. You can’t have a successful writing career unless…

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Welcome to the Club ?>

Welcome to the Club

Sometimes I watch the Twitter-stream and think the New Digital World is a beautiful place. A place of generosity. A place of kindness. In the Sometimes you can almost hear people listening, nodding, patiently waiting their turn to add to the chorus. In the Sometimes, the digital shell dissolves and we’re in a small room together, face to face. You mention a book. I say I know that book. You say isn’t it the best? I say it’s brilliant. I…

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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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The Table in the Corner ?>

The Table in the Corner

There is a table in the corner of a small cafe where The Writer sits. It is a table for two, but one seat always remains empty, waiting. The table is next to a bookcase. The books there are dusty, but not forgotten. They have earned their dust. The ghosts would agree. The ghosts often sit in the empty chair, listening. Nodding sympathetically when they’re not nodding off. They understand the dust. Sometimes they draw their names in it. “It’s…

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The Worst Book Ever. Or Not. ?>

The Worst Book Ever. Or Not.

“Coldplay sucks!” I had my car window open (as required between blizzards by Colorado law). Mylo Xyloto was playing on a recently-purchased stereo that had doubled* the value of my 2000 Jetta. I didn’t see who shouted it. Probably not the elderly woman on the sidewalk who was attached by a taut pink leash to a matching taut pink poodle. And surely not the five-year-old doing donuts on his Big Wheel in the driveway across the street. It’s a pretty safe bet…

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