Facing The Handmaid’s Tale Today

I first read The Handmaid’s Tale when I was 12 years old in the late 1980s. I discovered it on my mother’s bookshelves, and I was fascinated by the story, not scared as much as I should have been but stilled by possibility, intrigued. I surely didn’t understand a lot about the book (much asContinue reading “Facing The Handmaid’s Tale Today”

To Write, to Do, to Be

This year was an external year. I was more public than ever before. I did so many things in front of people. I talked about my book in front of strangers more times than I can count. I spoke on stages, from podiums, in front of classrooms and bookstores and libraries, in circles of chairs.Continue reading “To Write, to Do, to Be”

The End of an Extraordinary, Wordless Year; Some New Hopes for 2016

At the end of every year, I have hope for the new year. Every year, I think of all the things I could make happen… all the things I want to try for, all the ways I might do better, do more… I am extremely ambitious, many times blindly and to my detriment, and it’s my ambitionsContinue reading “The End of an Extraordinary, Wordless Year; Some New Hopes for 2016”

When to Resurrect the Dead Manuscript Under Your Bed?

I’m struggling with something, an ongoing thing I’ve been struggling with for years. It’s about the novels that live under my bed. The two unpublished novels I wrote before I almost gave up writing, and then discovered ghostwriting, and, soon after, YA. Two novels totaling eight and a half years of my life. Two novelsContinue reading “When to Resurrect the Dead Manuscript Under Your Bed?”

Filling the Well

I hear this advice often—I think I read it first from Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, one of the books I borrowed from my mother’s bookshelf way back when. Artists need time to “fill the well,” or replenish our creative resources, especially after we’ve completed large, all-encompassing, energy-draining projects such as novels thatContinue reading “Filling the Well”

A Story a Day for Short Story Month

I’m in need of some untainted* inspiration… maybe you are, too? (*Untainted by industry noise and book worries and life stresses. Just something simple, and sweet, and able to get the blood pumping and the fingers moving on the keys.) One thing that does this for me is reading a good short story. I loveContinue reading “A Story a Day for Short Story Month”

The Calm Before the Who-Knows-What: 110 Days to Publication

I write this to you from a quiet moment in my publishing life. It is December 5, the year 2014, and I am in the room at the rear of the café at a table beside the outlet where I can safely sit with my back against a wall. I am all alone in aContinue reading “The Calm Before the Who-Knows-What: 110 Days to Publication”

Writing a Novel and Seeking the Magic Fix

I am writing what will be my fifth published novel. Five is a number I like, so you’d think this would be a glorious experience, but nothing is ever as easy as I’d hope it to be, most of all writing. This novel I’m writing was originally slated to come out Spring 2016, a yearContinue reading “Writing a Novel and Seeking the Magic Fix”

5 Things I Learned from Losing Another Hard-Drive

Part of my story as a novelist goes like this: It was the winter of 2008. At least I think it was 2008—my memory and sense of time passing has been going lately, so let’s just assume I know what year it was. It was the winter of 2008 (probably). I’d written a quick-and-dirty draftContinue reading “5 Things I Learned from Losing Another Hard-Drive”