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  1. 61. Make a List and Check It Twice

    In this season of giving and gratefulness, I have a confession to make: I am a big old pessimist. Any glass I see isn’t just half empty, it’s parched dryer than the Sahara and has a crack bigger than the San Andreas fault. Read more →

  2. 62. Highlights: New on Writers’ Resources

    These past weeks, I’ve added lots of links to my Writers’ Resources page. I’ve found some fantastic posts about submissions, craft, the literary marketplace, etc., so I thought I’d highlight a few. Read more →

  3. 63. A Change of Place

    Finding the time–and the place–to write can be a bitch. Read more →

  4. 64. Somewhere to Play

    When I first started writing fiction, my characters often walked around a blank landscape. Imagine two cartoon characters, say Calvin and Hobbes (my favorites), centered on a white page with nothing to play with, nothing to break or throw or kick or transform. Nothing to do but talk to each other. That’s where my characters used to live, in that boring, blank universe. And guess what? Nothing much happened. Read more →

  5. 65. Cirque Salon Fiction Reading

    Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of reading with Toni Ann Johnson and Désirée Zamorano at the first Cirque Salon Fiction Reading at Book Show in Highland Park. Read more →

  6. 66. Let’s Try That Again

    Sometimes it’s difficult to decide whose story to tell. You’ve got your conflict – a guy (let’s say he’s a photographer) leans over the guard rail of a bridge and may or may not be about to jump while a woman driving by thinks he needs saving and decides she’s the one to do it.

    Now you’ve got some choices to make about who gets to tell the story and how that character is going to tell it. Read more →

  7. 67. Bitch Slap Your Inner Control Freak

    Ms. CF (a/k/a the control freak who rules my life) has been in my head a lot lately, making it hard to write. She and the rational side of my brain (let’s call him Mr. R) are besties. They love to commiserate about how to get me away from this writing…thing…and into something more practical and monetarily satisfying. Something safe. Something controllable. Read more →

  8. 68. You’ll Never Guess What Happens Next

    To some writers–including me–plot can seem like the dirtiest, most despicable of four letter words. Read more →

  9. 69. Embrace

    For this exercise, you get to choose an image to pair with the writing prompt. Read more →

  10. 70. Let The Wheels Turn

    Here’s a writing exercise to do with your morning coffee, or over iced tea at lunch, or with a drink late at night.  Read more →

  11. 71. The Days of Cards and Candy

    One of the hardest parts about writing is getting started. That’s why I incorporate writing exercises–both in-class and take-home–into all my classes. Writing exercises are a way to get the creative side of your brain working without the judgmental side chiming in. They’re a way of generating ideas. They’re a way of getting unstuck. Which is why I’ve decided to start sharing writing prompts on this blog.  Read more →

  12. 72. Where Have All the Bookstores Gone?

    Bookstores and libraries have always been my safe havens. As a kid I spent long afternoons at our local library, where my mother would leave my sister and me while she ran errands. There, I browsed the shelves for new finds to borrow by the armful. Of course, there were certain books that I didn’t dare bring home–Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, Forever by Judy Bloom–for fear my parents would take them away, deeming them too mature for a grammar school kid. Those books I read right there, at the long wooden tables in the adult reading room, where the librarians let my sister and me linger since we’d proven ourselves to be polite kids who read quietly, passionately, voraciously.

    Read more →


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Photos (except blog): Bob Ohanesian & Stephanie Keith.

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