Mud

For the purposes of this post, stories are vases. Not all vases are the same, though.  One problem with soliciting advice for improving your story can be that the person you talk to wants a different vase altogether. “I wrote a heartwarming human-interest story!”   “It needs more action.” “Here’s my heartwarming human-interest story with […]

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The Importance of Cats

A catless writer is almost inconceivable. It’s a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys. ~Barbara Holland My cats are very […]

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Never Clear Your Schedule

Despite its never having worked, ever, I frequently do this: This works much better:   Punishing yourself doesn’t work.  Did you eat all your veggies when your parents made you stay at the table until you did?  Me neither.  I stayed up all night in a cold kitchen, and I actually like peas. It’s not […]

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How Not To Be A Writer

“I’ve got to be writing.  I have a few ways to make sure I can carve out time. Part One: Neglect everything else” -David Mitchell (quoted in The Atlantic.) Like most writers, I don’t write enough.  I have a goal to write one hour every day. I have met that goal two days out of […]

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Invisible Vases

“The whole point is you’re making this beautiful, invisible vase.”  –Kim Stanley Robinson at Clarion 2013. These words have stayed with me since I heard them last summer. The first draft of a story is rather like putting clay on the wheel. It’s… fast. You have this SHAPE now. You know it’s not done, yet, […]

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The Submission Process

Step One: Write a story Step Two: Submit story Step Three: A Magical Transformation Occurs the Moment the Mailbox Closes Step Four: Get Hopes Up ie, 8 weeks of ridiculous statistical analysis. Step Five: Receive Results 99% of the time:     1% of the time: Step Six: Return to Start   by

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