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Tag Archives: writing

SQUISH! What Cows and Writing Competence Have in Common

In mid-December, with teeth aching from the sweetness of Hallmark movies and a half-crocheted afghan to complete for Christmas, I changed TV channels in search of a different kind of background noise. That’s how I stumbled across a treasure: the Emmy-award-winning biopic, Temple Grandin. I wasn’t familiar with Grandin and …

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Writing Advice, Ranked

Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody. With so much writing advice freely available, how do you know what advice to take? You could try lots of different …

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Writing a Genre That’s New to You

image by Tiles Unlimited The usual writing advice tells you that once you find your genre as an author, you should stick with it. Readers might not follow you to the new genre, they say. Readers want to know what to expect, they say. And writers say: But what if …

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Writing, Verbs and Time

image by Stereo Phonik Is there anything more precious to a writer than time? It’s the resource that makes all the difference. Time to think. Time to write. Time to edit. Time with readers. And we need time for all the other things in our lives, of course, which can …

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Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time in Winter 2019

Since my last contest roundup, I’m thrilled to share that one of my short stories has been included in the Best American Mystery Stories 2019. You can learn how attending a local writing conference made that happen. This contest submissions season covers deadlines from December 1, 2019 through February 29, …

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Overcome Fear to Unbox Your Best Writing

Few things in life fill me with as much fear as writing (and I’ve gone skydiving, held an alligator, and entrusted my heart to another human being, so that’s saying a lot!). Ironically, or maybe not, there are even fewer things that bring me as much joy. There are magical …

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Writing Boldly, Without Fear

At the moment, I’m wading through the deep end of revisions. Though revisions can feel drawn out and challenging, this is my favorite part of the writing process. I’ve been poring over my agent’s notes, and as I do, a series of little light bulbs have been clicking on, one …

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Avoid a Writing Cat-astrophe

Last year, events conspired to threaten the life of our geriatric cat. Now, I don’t like to see any creature suffer, but Needles is special. He manages to be independent without being aloof. He greets strangers with a tongue-bath and an intense stare that says, I see you. And he …

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Things I Forget to Remember: Writing Can Be Uncomfortable

My sixteen-year-old, 5’7″ 105-pound son has found his sport: Cross Country. And holy singlets and short-shorts, are XC meets ever fun! We parents stake out our viewing spots at the starting line, then at the crack of the gun, we hold our breath as the mob bursts forth. We cheer …

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Writing is a Labyrinth of Choices

Your phone rings. You check the screen. You don’t recognize the number. Do you answer it? The cars in front of you on the highway slow down, their brake lights glowing. The traffic is gridlocked up ahead, but there’s an exit just before. Do you take it? Life is full …

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