Category Archives: craft

Coming Out of Traction

First, a few announcements this first Friday in June: Summer writing classes at the Grotto are now open for enrollment.  I’m excited about teaching a weekend workshop in August, on using existing models to craft short fiction.  Check out all upcoming classes here. I’ve started planning on another new class, Developing the Memoir, at  UC Berkeley Extension this fall.  Watch for details. We’ve extended the deadline for the Summer Fiction Intensive at UC Berkeley Extension!  Get that writing sample out this weekend to make the 6/10 cut-off! (Yes, the online catalog says 6/3, but it’s really 6/10 .) What a … Continue reading

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Borne Back

I sat down this morning, a week late, to blog about deadlines and writing for money.  And then I opened my email in-box.  As the new messages tumbled in like dominoes down the left-hand side of my Mail window, one caught my eye.  “Gatsby Tops Knox.”  I grinned.  I didn’t have to open it to know what the subject header, from PW (Publishers’ Weekly) Daily, meant.  The classic American novel, published in 1925 and staple of every high-school American Lit class since, had topped the memoir by Amanda Knox, the American convicted in 2009 of murdering her roommate in Italy.  … Continue reading

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Heart Openers

My friend (and former student) Callie Feyen is teaching the writing portion of a writing-and-yoga class in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She shared with me the worksheets for the first class—Enter, Discover, Journey.  The yoga teacher, she added, will be teaching poses to “open the heart” to complement the writing portion. Sounds like the kind of thing we’d do here in California, and for a lot more than $100 for seven classes.  (Maybe the price is a typo…)  Seriously, though, I love heart openers—the yoga poses, I mean.  Here’s one of the simplest:  Take a block, place it length-wise on its side … Continue reading

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On Deadline

I’m on deadline. I’ve written that before, many times,  for the most part about a self-imposed deadline. Even this blog, which I try to keep posting to every-other-Friday, is a voluntary act.  As much as I hope that some of you enjoy reading what I write here, I’m under no delusions that anyone waits with baited breath to read these words.  Still, I do it, just as I sit down at the keyboard every weekday morning for a minimum of four hours to work on a novel that no one, as yet, clamors to publish. We need our discipline, our … Continue reading

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Only Connect

I’m in a scattershot mood this morning, so today’s post will be rather scattershot. First, I’d like to give a shout-out to three colleagues with recently published books: Lana Dalberg, BIRTHING GOD Judith Newton, TASTING HOME Monica Wesolowska, HOLDING SILVAN I’ve mentioned all three on Facebook, and Monica guest-blogged here a few months ago, but I must mention them again here.  If I can bring even one new reader to any of these books, which deserve many, I’ll be thrilled. ** About a month ago, my cell phone died.  I had an old model, a decidedly-not-smart least-expensive model on the … Continue reading

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