Permission to Write Something That Sucks

It’s been one month since I’ve looked at my novel draft. Despite setting myself a lofty goal of completing a first draft by the end of the year, I stalled out. As much as I would like (and have tried) to blame my characters or my word count goals or the ergonomics of my keyboard,Continue reading “Permission to Write Something That Sucks”

The Writer Does Math

I’ve spent most of my life trying to avoid it, those weird letters that are used for counting. I’m a writer, I don’t do numbers. They’re the antithesis of everything I stand for — mainly, letters arranged into patterns that form words, sentences and paragraphs. My brain has always been wired for language, as opposedContinue reading “The Writer Does Math”

My Solo Writing Retreat to the Island of Inspiration

It was a dark winter’s night when I drove onto the ferry from Point Defiance to Tahlequah. I was off to nearby Vashon Island for a day-and-a-half solo writing retreat to start my novel. On the short trip from Tacoma to Vashon, I tried not to think too much about the enormous task I wasContinue reading “My Solo Writing Retreat to the Island of Inspiration”

My Greatest Competition

  Almost a month ago, a set out to write 50,000 words as part of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It’s a daunting challenge and not just because I’ve failed to reach my goal four years in a row. I have never written such a long piece of fiction in such a short period ofContinue reading “My Greatest Competition”

Rewriting Hemingway

Last week, news broke of a new release of Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 debut novel The Sun Also Rises. The new edition “restores” the original first chapter of the novel, replacing the iconic opening scenes setting up the protagonist, Robert Cohn, with an introduction to the female lead, the fiery Brett Ashley. Hemingway fans are practically droolingContinue reading “Rewriting Hemingway”

I’ve Written Something, Now What?

“This is perfect,” I said to myself as I typed the final sentence of my story. My fingers were oozing genius. My characters were alive and provocative. My words sang with the poetry of the muses. My themes were universal, but my approach was entirely innovative. I was going to revolutionize the long short story/novellaContinue reading “I’ve Written Something, Now What?”

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”