The Magic of Deadlines

I have heard rumors in my travels of creative people who are entirely self-motivated. They get up early, awakened by an innate drive to create, go to their computers, ignore Facebook and Google, and complete their work in a timely manner with no exterior motivator. I am not one of those people. I’m not evenContinue reading “The Magic of Deadlines”

Base Camp

I hit a milestone today. This morning, while pounding out the novel I’m writing for National Novel Writing Month, my word count surpassed 15,700 words. In terms of writing 50,000 words in 30 days, I’m tracking way behind where I should be. But this point is an auspicious one for me. In four years ofContinue reading “Base Camp”

Speed and the Inverted Pyramid

My fingers are not happy with me. I’m racing against time and turkey to finish a week’s worth of freelance articles by Wednesday night. In pursuit of my goal, I’ve written four articles in the past two days — and I’m already working on the fifth. Normally, I wouldn’t rush a project, but with the holidayContinue reading “Speed and the Inverted Pyramid”

Envelopes and Anticipation

There was an undeniable sense of destiny as I slipped the envelope into the mailbox. Inside was a submission for a literary journal’s fiction contest. I’ve entered several contests and submitted to many journals over the past year, but for some reason, this one felt bigger. Why? Why was I so apprehensive? The reason, IContinue reading “Envelopes and Anticipation”

6 Stories in 6 Weeks

Some people give up sweets or Facebook for Lent. I like to issue myself a challenge. Some years, I force myself to exercise. Some years, I commit myself to learning new guitar chords. Some years, I just try to be a better person (with mixed results). This year, I realized that if I seriously wantContinue reading “6 Stories in 6 Weeks”

Fresh Snow, Fresh Creativity

I love days like today. Cold days when snow falls softly from the sky and leaves a hush over the earth. Wintery days without appointments or responsibilities when I can settle down in front of a window with a hot cup of tea and let my imagination fly off with the glistening flakes. Today isContinue reading “Fresh Snow, Fresh Creativity”

Risking Publication (Maybe)

It was cold and clear when I stepped out onto my deck around midnight last night. The stars were out and I could see my breath in the air. Mount Elden rose as a shadow in the distance; the traffic lights at Fourth Street cycled green-yellow-red green-yellow-red for no one. And somewhere, a Word documentContinue reading “Risking Publication (Maybe)”

Please Don’t Ask Me About My Novel

Motivation is hard to find around this time of November. For a month, I’ve been dabbling on a novel as part of my yearly NaNoWriMo challenge. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days…and I’m nearly 45,000 words behind. Needless to say, it’s been a rough year for noveling. I love the writing,Continue reading “Please Don’t Ask Me About My Novel”

Noveling Like I’ve Never Noveled Before

We are now nine days into this month of literary abandon called National Novel Writing Month and I’m behind on my word quota, just as I was last year and the year before. That’s no surprise. I’ve never finished a novel, even with all the pressure and bribes and good intentions. My problem is notContinue reading “Noveling Like I’ve Never Noveled Before”

Tea Is The Best Thing Ever

There is something romantic about brooding over your latest literary endeavor over a steaming hot cup of tea. It’s wonderfully grown-up, sipping tea and looking down on the lowly coffee drinkers. What’s truly great is the variety of tea that’s available. My favorites are black teas — robust breakfast tea, soothing chai, tangy earl greyContinue reading “Tea Is The Best Thing Ever”