Successful Failures

This morning, I went downstairs to the kitchen for a bowl of yogurt and granola. I dashed down the stairs and threw open the fridge. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but everything in my refrigerator frozen solid. I had a few choice words for the infernal device and had to settle forContinue reading “Successful Failures”

People Watching is Awesome

I’m sitting in the sole terminal of the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, about to fly to Minneapolis. With no one traveling with me, I am free to observe the people around me. Some people hate flying — I love it. Every interesting character from every novel I’ve ever read or wanted to write eventually wanders throughContinue reading “People Watching is Awesome”

The Mystery of -30-

A few years ago, at a small barbeque on a snowy April afternoon, some of the students and faculty advisers of The Lumberjack gathered to commemorate the death of our newspaper. For 97 years, The Lumberjack had printed in some form as an independent, student-run newspaper. In the Fall of 2010, The Lumberjack was goingContinue reading “The Mystery of -30-“

Bully Your Muse

There are beautiful times in the life of a writer — deeply spiritual times when you experience out-of-body creativity. You are removed from the process and your brain is merely a lightning rod, not the storm itself. You are the vessel to channel this bizarre, otherworldly force onto the page. Unfortunately, I am not havingContinue reading “Bully Your Muse”

In Praise of Moleskine Notebooks

It is not uncommon to see me pause in mid-conversation and pull out a dogeared black notebook and scribble notes to myself. My friends have learned that this is just one of my many quirks. My Moleskine is almost always with me, tucked into the back pocket of my jeans or the inside left pocketContinue reading “In Praise of Moleskine Notebooks”

Ten Ways to Not Write Your Novel

It is day eight of my novel adventure and the sheer weight of the task before me has just now hit me. Here are my Top 10 excuses for putting off writing: Catching up on The Walking Dead and Castle Constantly refreshing my Netflix Instant Streaming suggestions in search of a witty BBC series IContinue reading “Ten Ways to Not Write Your Novel”

Only Two Days Behind

There is something very liberating about setting a novel in a place you know very well. Today, I had the luxury of going to my local Safeway and counting the doors in the frozen dinners aisle for the purposes of accuracy in a scene I’m writing. As much as I would love to have anContinue reading “Only Two Days Behind”

NaNoWriMo Checklist

It is now just 36 hours from the start of NaNoWriMo, a 30 day novel-writing marathon. I have my outline ready, character sketches on standby, and a tingle on my fingertips that refuses to go away. However, writing a novel takes a lot more than a good idea. Last year, I fell flat just 18,000Continue reading “NaNoWriMo Checklist”

The Social Writer

Writing can be a very lonely process, as many have noted before me — hours spent in front of a computer screen, typing and talking to yourself. After a while, it either gets to you or you forget that there is such a thing as a world outside the one you’ve created. But does itContinue reading “The Social Writer”

The Obsession

The life of a writer is often quite lonely. Even in a writing group or a room full of people furiously weaving words together, the creation of a new world has a strange way of trapping its creator inside. Last night, I finished co-writing a script for a play and came back to my house,Continue reading “The Obsession”