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  1. 73. Step Into Their World: Where Fiction Writing and Caretaking Converge

    I am a control freak, which makes it difficult to be a writer or a mother or a wife or a…well, you see my point.

    I’ve mostly learned to circumvent this particular quirk, at least when it comes to writing. It’s taken years, but I’m getting better at letting my characters figure out how to behave based on who they are and what they long for.

    Still, the control freak in me resists. Some days Ms. CF spends hours circling me, poking, prodding, jumping on my shoulder to whisper in her harsh, Gollum-y voice, “They’re nobodies. You’re the one writing. Make them do what you want. Make them!”

    Read more →

  2. 74. Let’s Talk About Lit Mags

    There are so many great literary magazines out there, from established favorites like New England Review, Iowa Review, and Ploughshares, to exciting newcomers like Midnight Breakfast, Ink & Coda, and Origins, a new journal accepting submissions for its first issue.

    I’m an avid journal reader and like to share my favorites, especially now, at the beginning of submission season, when journals are re-opening their doors for submissions and writers are revving up to seek homes for their work.

    Read more →

  3. 75. Submission Tips: Get Yourself on That Newsstand

    Submitting to literary magazines is always a hot topic in my workshops.

    Whether I’m introducing beginning writers to the lit mag world or I’m working with seasoned writers like those my Press Send Workshop, who revise a story, research submission markets, and then submit to their top four markets during the final class, I know that all my students are eager to discuss how to go about submitting their work to journals.

    And there is a method that gets results.   Read more →

  4. 76. Embracing Our Bodies

    Ever since I participated in the Love Your Body Now project, the brainchild of Shannon Bradley-Colleary, I’ve found myself acutely aware of the growing number of projects that are intent on expanding our definition of beauty and teaching women to view themselves and their bodies with more kindness and love. Read more →

  5. 77. All Kinds of Big Dogs: Blog Book Tour

    Recently, my paisan Eugenio Volpe tagged me in a Blog Book Tour meme where authors answer five questions about their writing process, post the answers on their blogs, and then tag three other authors to do the same.  Read more →

  6. 78. Bloggers, Bloggers Everywhere

    I have a confession: I am a recovering lawyer. These days, I try not to dwell on the past and to solely define myself professionally as a writer, teacher, and, now, blogger.

    But blogging has brought the lawyer in me roaring back to life.  Read more →

  7. 79. Love Your Body Now Project

    A while back, my friend Shannon Bradley-Colleary, a successful screenwriter and blogger, burst upon the media scene with a series of art nude photos of herself, the first set taken when she was twenty-six and the second when she was forty-six. Read more →

  8. 80. An Interview with UCLA Extension Writers’ Program

    I recently did an interview with UCLA Extension Writers’ Program rep, Katy Flaherty, which was an absolute pleasure. Read more →

  9. 81. Once Removed at The New Short Fiction Series

    This summer I was lucky enough to have excerpts from my short story collection, Once Removed and Other Stories, performed at The Federal Bar as part of The New Short Fiction Series, Los Angeles’ longest running spoken word series. Here are some extremely kind blurbs about my work from Junot Diaz (author of Drown, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and This is How You Lose Her), Bret Anthony Johnston (author of Corpus Christi and Remember Me Like This), Cristina Henriquez (author of Come Together, Fall Apart, The World In Half, and The Book of Unknown Americans), and Rebecca Johns (author of Icebergs and The Countess). Read more →

  10. 82. 2014 Writers’ Program Publication Party

    The UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Publication Party is one of my favorite yearly events. It features eighteen instructors who read from works they’ve published the previous year. Read more →

  11. 83. Greetings and Salutations!

    Greetings and salutations! And yes, I know, greetings are salutations. But sometimes the only way to express the proper degree of enthusiasm is through a bit of redundancy.

    For my first post, I want to thank the people who made this website possible.   Read more →


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