A Few Thoughts on Flash Fiction and Nonfiction

I teach a flash fiction and nonfiction class for Story Circle Network. Right now I am teaching flash nonfiction.  Flash is usually a piece that is limited to around 1200 words maximum. Here are some thoughts on this type of writing. Flash fiction and flash nonfiction differ clearly in content, but many of the needs…

Repost: Lessons from John Steinbeck

I have just begun reading John Steinbeck’s Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters, a compilation of Steinbeck’s letters to his editor and friend, to whom he addressed a journal entry every day before writing his manuscript pages for his novel. East of Eden is one of the first books I read years…

On Staring Down A Blank Page

I am sitting with a student while she writes so I have a few minutes to write my blog. (She and I will edit her writing once she is finished.) That brings me to the question of what shall I write about tonight? Finding a topic for writing is one of the toughest parts of…

Day 2: Story Circle Network Writing Conference

Today I went to classes on poetry, marketing, the value of place in writing and developing a writing voice. There were so many great options that it was hard to decide which classes to pick. I was very pleased with my four choices: the presenters were excellent in each and I came away with information…

Online Essay Class: Why You Should Take It

Hello to my women friends, I am offering an online essay class that begins tomorrow through Story Circle Network, an organization that celebrates women’s writing. The price is right: $160 if you are a Story Circle Network member; $200 if you are not. This is for 5 weeks of lessons, with a chance to learn about…

A Great Essay by Phillip Lopate

This is a wonderful piece written by Phillip Lopate, who is one of the premier essayist in the United States. It is very informative to anyone who writes memoir because Lopate encourages the writer to not only include scenes which showcase the child’s perspective of the world (or the less mature perspective), but also to…

A Welcome Discovery Related to Writing

Today I worked on my novel. I have discovered an excellent way to get this done during the week when I often have trouble finding time for my writing. I have a writing friend – one of my former students who has since graduated from college with a writing degree – who comes every week…

Back to the Pure Fun of Writing a Novel

I am back to working on my novel, one scene at a time. This has been an off and on process for the past couple of years, but now I am regularly putting pen to paper (yes, handwritten) and am moving forward. I have determined that handwriting my first draft produces a deeper, slower look…

With a Little Help from “TED”

I watched a Ted Talk yesterday that my daughter Rachael recommended. I realized when I was watching it that though it was entitled, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” by Simon Sinek, the information could be applied to my approach to writing my novel. The gist of Sinek’s talk is that successful companies like Apple start…

Repost: A New Publication from Query Letter to Acceptance

Here was my query letter: Dear Editor, Below is an essay on the perils of self-doubt as a writer, the major writers who admit to this same doubt, and the resolve to keep going in spite of those nagging negative thoughts. I am a current Pushcart nominee for a flash fiction story published in the…