Literary Appropriation of Real Events: Celebrity at a Paris Café

Quai des Grands Augustins teems with people on this cool but sunny May day in 2004. Often, you can’t get to the end of this Quai without bumping shoulders with other giddy tourists. This stretch on the left bank has … Continued

Writing As Art: Apt Word Choice

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Do you think of writing as art? Or a task with a set of rules you must follow? Many writers believe both are true and allow both approaches to guide their writing. Both have their uses but a bias for … Continued

The Fun of Researching a Book

Inside, the terminal was bouncing. That was the only way Leilani could describe it. Greeters jumped and shrieked their welcome at arrivals they had not seen in a while. Children squealed as they played, running through throngs of people. She … Continued

Want to Go Viral? Target a mouthy audience

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Want to go viral? Take a cue from a former teacher of creative writing. He came out with a rant about his students and the craft of writing. The piece riled quite a few people. Mostly writers, for sure. Enough … Continued

Zen of Writing?

The Zen of Writing? An oxymoron, I’d say. At least, that’s my first reaction. In my mind, the act—but more specially the art—of writing requires you to be active and engaged. Bent over a ream of paper on a desk, … Continued

Writer and Slave: Get Used To It

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You are a writer. Therefore, you’re a slave. To reviews, to courting a readership, to spending hours on tasks not related to writing. Writer and slave: You’re helpless against that bondage. Most writers now are resigned to the fact that … Continued

Why Writers Are Researchers, Too

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Writers are researchers, too. In fact, writers have to be Jacquelines (or Jacks) of many trades. Wordsmiths, grammarians, artists of a certain sort, interviewers, investigators/researchers.  Even counselors. Of these, I’m most comfortable being a researcher. I did  research for graduate … Continued

Writing Is Unrewarding. Why Do It?

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Why write fiction? Writing is unrewarding. Not an item you would often find in a bucket list (things you hope to do in your life)—if we mean writing a novel, an essay, or a short story. But it probably makes … Continued

Aimless? In A Rut? Haiku yourself out of it.

When you find yourself in a rut or you’re just bored. Haiku yourself out of it. Haikuing is fun and it only needs 17 syllables, give or take. I have haikued in the past, but I’ve nearly forgotten doing it … Continued

Tedium in writing—Paying Attention To P’s And Q’s

There is necessary tedium in writing. My third novel (Hello, Agnieszka!) is in the proofreading stage by another pair of eyes. That makes four scrutinizing pairs, so far. Writing is a solitary undertaking but the author is always too close … Continued

Live Inside Your Head: Romance in writing

If you live inside your head, people are likely to think you’re crazy. But doing so can actually be comforting. Productive, even. As I grew older, reality trounced my dreams one by one. I found myself retreating a little more … Continued

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