I admitted before to my near-obsession with short stories. Now I just randomly happened upon this thread about stories that "blew you away" on the Poets & Writers Speakeasy (I think you have to sign in to read it). There are so many stories mentioned that I haven't even read! But this comment about children's … Continue reading More About Short Stories? Always
It's an especially auspicious start to your day at your office job when you run into a literary agent who rejected you on the elevator. When introduced, hope he does not recognize your name, smile, and say simply, "It's nice to meet you." Do not say, "Why didn't you give my novel a chance?" or … Continue reading Awkward Elevator Moments: Literary Agent Edition
In an hour of desperation, I caved and just wrote a new first paragraph. It is entirely different from the paragraph I lost. Unrecognizable! It takes the story in a whole other direction, opening up new worlds and possibilities, or at least sentences to have on page 1, which (this is just how I write) … Continue reading How Many Stories in One Story?
I wrote a long post about a certain branch on my tree of discontent, rambling on and on with house-size paragraphs and even a list of angsty, bulleted proportions, but I haven't published it. Maybe it's best to hold on to such things before exposing them to other people? So I am now sitting here … Continue reading Said and Unsaid, Remembered and Unremembered
I came home today to a check. THE check. The first half of my advance for my tween novel. Excerpt of running commentary inside my head: Seriously, they paid me? And I haven't written it all yet? Did the person cutting the check know that? Am I allowed to cash it now? Should I buy … Continue reading Payday
Lost: One Brilliant* Paragraph Black type. Times New Roman, 12 pt. Approximately 3/4 page in size. Last seen on the morning of a computer crash. If found, please call. * At least, in memory, I think the paragraph was brilliant. In reality it was probably more passable than brilliant. Probably it was just decent. But … Continue reading Have You Seen Me?
I'm back at my morning writing spot, the place where my laptop's hard-drive died, peeking at the table where it happened. I'm not being all doomsday, or even nostalgic—someone else is sitting in the table: a man charging his cell phone and drinking something out of a paper bag. So I can't sit there even … Continue reading Return to the Scene of the Crime, But Free!
The way out is hard to find. The exits shift and move, the doors stay locked. You might want to escape your present reality, but—haha!—you are boxed in on all sides by debts unmanageable, jobs unattainable, and questionable luck. (Also, you're such a klutz!) Escape might come in any number of forms: A win-for-life lotto … Continue reading Fantastical Escape Hatches
Jury Duty in Manhattan isn't all hardship. The courthouse I was in today was steps away from Chinatown, which to my mind means one thing and one thing only: vegetarian dim sum! (How could I not take advantage during lunch break and search out the place I always have trouble finding in order to have … Continue reading My Civic Duty and How It Involves Dim Sum
On the off chance that you were wondering, this was the week I... ...lost my whole hard drive, writing and pictures and passwords and letters and songs and mysteries galore... ...was delivered a countersigned contract for my novel with a message from my editor that it is now time for more cake!... ...waded through messes … Continue reading Off Chances, Lost Songs and Stories, Countersignatures, Strawberry Fluoride, and Me and Me and Me and Me