Writing

The Crashing Tide

Manifest Mondays are where I chat exclusively about writing and the writing life. I got word last week that my thesis for my MFA was officially accepted. I would’ve been devastated if they didn’t take it, but I was informed by my program director that the letter is basically a formality. I don’t even care; it’s still nice to be acknowledged! My thesis was a story collection; some pieces were longer than traditional short fiction (my preferred weapon of war), but they all evened out. Actually, I almost struggled at the end to make it the correct length. I went sort of crazy during revision. I haven’t read my thesis since I submitted it. Out of sight, out of mind, I suppose. I went back and read it this weekend, and I got lost in the stories. I vividly remember frolicking like a child in these playgrounds that I created,…

Tabula rasa

Manifest Mondays are where I chat exclusively about writing and the writing life. I decided to give up social media this month. I’ve done it a couple of times before. The first time – and obviously, first impressions stick with you – was the month I wrote “An Idol Story,” which I subsequently used for my writing sample for my MFA application. So that story – and the whole idea of social media detox – holds a very special place in my heart. The second time felt insincere and though I did complete it, I didn’t feel like I got anything done that I wanted to. So with social media detoxes, you need to have goals and things to do to fill the time. I’m not surprised by how much time I spend on social media. I am trying to cultivate a brand, a particular tone, a voice. But sometimes,…

American Dreams and All That Jazz

I had the opportunity to attend the opening night festivities of American Dreams: A Festival, hosted by the UNLV’s Black Mountain Institute and their newly adopted literary magazine, the Believer. It was nice to get out of my head for a few hours. I love Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, a little slice of heaven twenty minutes from home. You could be on one side of the canyon and see cars on the Loop but never hear them. As soon as I’m able, I plan to get an annual pass. The readers were wonderful. I kind of wish they had more local talent. There was a pop-up reading I couldn’t attend the night before that did feature local writers so that worked out. The ones they had were amazing. It was a solid cross-section of male and female writers, and…

To outline, or not to outline, that is the question

Manifest Mondays are where I chat exclusively about writing and the writing life. Talk to a writer. Any writer at any point in their career: fledgling, published, J.K. Rowling. Each and every one of us will tell you a different thing about the writing process. One stickler that jumps out to me is to create an outline. I’m chewing on Dani Shapiro’s “Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life” and what stuck out to me is that she offers a solid argument against outlines. In her “Structure” mini-chapter, she says that: Outlines offer us an illusion that we are in control, that we know where we’re going. And while this may be comforting, it is also antithetical to the process of making work that lives and breathes. There are so many arguments FOR outlines that reading her advocating AGAINST them was refreshing. Other writers insist that any…

Covered in gold inside my head

Wayback Wednesdays are my weekly throwback series. Lead me to your water is the perfect companion piece to my entry from last Monday. Four years ago, I was floundering in my professional life. I was dying inside, wanting to tell stories and calling myself a writer but having no network to observe, no training to put me in the right mindset. I think around this time I was prepping An Idol Story and believing it could be viable to submit for my grad school application. I was also talking myself into and out of applying to my grad school program, to begin with. So I was waxing poetic about what being an author really means. Every story you write, you create a tiny world of flora, fauna, animals, vegetables, minerals, emotions, colors, feelings, and so on. It doesn’t matter if it’s placed in a fantastically magical world, or if it’s…

Navigate