Come write on a train with me! You are cordially invited to the inaugural spring train write-in.Read More
The last few months have been busy. I closed down my legal business, opened my editing business, finished my copyediting program, edited a slew of stories, proudly watched a self-published book I edited rack up glowing reviews, and started revising an unfinished novel I wrote and set aside a year ago. I also found out that the pain in my hips comes from a skeletal deformity that will require surgery, went through a ton of physical therapy, traveled to San Francisco to see one side of my family, decided not to fly to New York to see more of my family, and ate a whole bunch of tasty food. Somewhere in there, sleep happened, too. I think.
I’ve written about many of those things, but I never quite managed to post them. Much of my recent writing deals with my struggle to come to terms with my disability–typing those two words still makes me feel like I’ve been punched in the gut–and the best pieces are also the darkest. Sometimes sharing my writing scares me, and part of the reason why is below. I know I need to get over that. One day, when I’m feeling brave, I’ll publish some of those dark pieces.
I’ve also written–and not posted–about editing. Back in November I promised to explain why I’m starting up an editing business, and the short answer is because I love editing stories of all sorts. The long answer stretches back ten years and involves an unpleasant incident that many writers may, unfortunately, recognize. Read More
As it turns out, I never wrote about The Good Ship Whimsy. I never got that tattoo, either. Shortly after my last post, I discovered that the two editing classes I’d signed up for were, in fact, quite serious classes. They came with quite serious workloads. I realized I had a choice: get serious or fall seriously behind.
My biggest writing problem is letting go of things and sending them out into the world. Ideas push their way into my head and bloom on paper, and then I shut them up in file cabinets and hard drives, where they languish for years. So, maybe it’s fitting that this story began from something floating free: a dandelion seed.
About a month ago I decided to get a tattoo. Read More
I’ve been sick for the last couple of weeks, and I’m very behind on all of my work–including my writing. This means I don’t have any writing to post here today. But, I did play with some photos earlier this week. It was nice to be able to create pretty things even when I felt crappy. Here are some of the results.
This also seemed like a good time to try out the WordPress galleries feature. You can click on the photos below to see the full pictures–some of them got a bit squished.
Last Sunday I participated in a fundraiser for a woman who just lost her husband to cancer and is now supporting their two children, both under the age of three, by herself. The main event was a silent auction, full of amazing services and goods donated by friends and businesses in Seattle. There were two full bars and plentiful delicious food. And there was also me, tucked away in a corner of the room, writing compliments for people in exchange for donations. Read More
My mother used to haul around a fat, cloth-covered binder called a “Day Minder.” It was scribbled over with notes, paper-clipped with lists on scraps of paper, and ridged with ugly tabs. Teenaged me would roll her eyes every time Mom pulled this brute out of her over-stuffed bag to write down a new appointment or remind the family of some forgotten chore. Sure, she was managing the schedule and tasks of five people, but did it have to look so cluttered? Did she really need that many lists?
Then Mom got her first Blackberry. Overnight, the size of her purse shrank in half. The reign of the ratty Day Minder was over. Other than occasionally teasing her about it, my siblings and I quickly forgot about the old beast. Read More
This is the second of a two-part post. In Part I, I analyzed a brave and powerful story by Lauren Fleshman and discussed how to find the monster–the thing that prevents a hero from accomplishing her goal–in a story. In Part II, I’m hunting one of my own inner monsters.
It’s not difficult to find things I’ve been avoiding in my life. As you may have guessed from this blog, I like taking pictures. But I haven’t posted any pictures of myself for the last year. Why? I’ve had a hole in my mouth.
It’s difficult to even type this, which means I’m off to a good start. Read More
I set out this morning to write a post about monsters. I make up weird creatures all the time as part of my writing, and I thought it would be fun to turn some of them loose here on my blog. Then a friend pointed me to this post, where Lauren Fleshman, a professional runner, tells the story of how she published unflattering photos of herself to give context to her “fantasy” pictures from a NY Fashion Week runway show. Her story made me think about fear and courage. It also made me think about how the real monsters in our lives aren’t always easy to spot.
There can be any number of villains in a story, but most good stories have one real monster. This monster is the primary entity that keeps the hero from getting to her goal. For me, one of the hardest parts about writing a story is figuring out whether I’m focusing on the correct monster. I’ll start detailing a man’s terrible hobby of encasing live frogs in melted glass only to realize that I’ve blamed the wrong bad guy; my protagonist is actually fighting against the ghost of her father. Read More