Category: Writer’s Life

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Embracing Your Creative Nemesis

I'm not a devout follower of New Age thinking. I'm a cradle Catholic, but I have a hard time believing that God doesn't give us the tools to explore other ways of thinking. For example, my Ma always had Buddhist and pagan symbols in the house while insisting we go through baptism, first communion, and confirmation. She always said if one doesn't protect her, one of the other ones will. My friends growing up were practicing Wiccans at one point. I have crystals and practice meditation. I resolutely walk the fine line of spirituality though firmly grounded in my faith.…

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On Keeping a Private Journal

Writing has always been a therapeutic endeavor for me. I turned to poetry when I had no other voice. However, I quickly realized that my will to live was intertwined with the art of writing when I channeled my teenage rage and post-adolescent hangups on paper. I graduated from poetry eventually to major in English at the college level, writing short stories, creating modern-day fairy tales, participating in virtual television shows, scholarly essays, maintaining my blog, and the like. "The preservation of our scattered thoughts is to be considered an object but of minor importance."Henry David ThoreauTweet To preserve these…

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awp 2016

Slanted Suitcase: AWP 2016

AWP is an annual conference for writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers. AWP is an acronym for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs. I went to my very first one while in my grad program. It was a learning experience, to say the least. It was an onslaught of information and positive vibes. It was so inspiring, humbling, and cool to see people from all walks of life actually doin’ the damn thing and writing and publishing. The panels I attended all advised pretty much said the same thing: write, write, write, read promiscuously, and send your stuff out.…

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On White Male Authors Masquerading as Females

Book Riot's podcast episode #219 put me on to the fact that Riley Sager is a pen name for a fella named Todd Ritter. Jezebel broke the story. Every write-up that followed - including Book Riot - made the clipped observation that it's uncool for men to flip the script and create ambiguous-sounding pen names to sell female-led books to women. I agree. Full stop. It's not even up for discussion. Isn't it hard enough for a woman (or a woman of color with a decidedly ethnic name, like me) to get someone to pick up their book, much less…

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The Curse of the First Draft

The first draft used to be a horrible, mentally draining aspect of the writing process for me, before I decided I wanted to be a professional writer. I was so caught up in trying to be perfect from the moment I put words on the page that I never let myself relax enough to enjoy letting everything happen organically. I think that’s a holdover from my childhood. I had this overwhelming need to project this perfect image of who I should be. That wasn’t taught to me, it just sort of appeared over time. As I got older, I realized…

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vintage teal typewriter beside open book, notebook, and various writing instruments

The Art of Revision

Writing to me has been cathartic throughout my entire life. There has never been a time when I wasn’t writing. I would write a poem, short story, or similar and then hide it from the world because I was afraid of people seeing who I was. Or I would let my friends see my writing, but their biased opinions never helped me grow. As I got older, I realized that writing is more than therapy; I enjoyed it for the artistic process, and I loved entertaining people in my way. As such, a revision was never part of my process…

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person holding ballpoint pen writing on notebook photo

How to Build a Writing Bag of Writing

Being a creative person seems counterproductive in our go-go-go world. The recession did nobody any favors. COVID-19 tanked a lot of creative journeys. Worrying about the state of the world may have overloaded your emotional well-being. Maybe you were a college grad turned out right in the middle of the 2008 recession. That was me too. That was not a fun place to be financially, emotionally, or physically. I had a job through the brunt of it, but it came at great financial hardship. I had to drop out of school for a year until I could get back on…

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