Writers, Tired of Rejections? Try Penning a Hermit Crab Essay

A few months ago I started writing a series of rejection letters to myself. Just for fun, to take the edge off my depression over the extensive number of rejection letters from literary publications that arrive in my inbox, most around the beginning of the month. The common wisdom is that you have to submitContinue reading “Writers, Tired of Rejections? Try Penning a Hermit Crab Essay”

What Sunflowers Can Teach Us About Writing

Earlier this week I posted a photograph on social media of one of our sunflowers that had lost its head, literally.  One of our recent thunderstorms with high winds must have snapped off the bud.  However, this particular sunflower refused to give up. Seeking another opportunity to bloom, it managed to create several tiny sunflowerContinue reading “What Sunflowers Can Teach Us About Writing”

The Chautauqua Experience

A summer camp for adults is how I described where I was going to anyone who asked, because I wasn’t sure if I said to Chautauqua, there’d be instant recognition.  How do you explain to someone who has never been to Chautauqua what it exactly is?  The word itself originated with the Iroquois Indians whoContinue reading “The Chautauqua Experience”

What are the Best Kinds of Endings?

It’s difficult to finish things. Jobs. Relationships. Home improvement projects. A manuscript. A writer gets a fabulous idea for a story or a character and then they just don’t know whether they’ve said enough or too much.  You work and work at something with fervor, and sometimes energy and enterprise fade out. You start askingContinue reading “What are the Best Kinds of Endings?”

Trading Places as a Literary Device on a Freaky Friday

See the world, if only for a few moments through someone else’s eyes, and you gain both empathy and knowledge.

With a Little Help From My Friends

This past weekend, I entered a piece of my writing in a contest. Generally, I’m not a fan of writing contests but sometimes to get my adrenaline going, I need a deadline. Writing contests have deadlines. To participate, you are charged a substantial fee—$15-$40.  Thus, a commitment to sending in only what you feel isContinue reading “With a Little Help From My Friends”

Rejections and Acceptances: Challenging Myself to Do Better in 2022.

As  2022 begins, I  goad myself to come up with a list of New Year’s resolutions. So much is out of my control—the coronavirus, the political divisiveness, our warming planet—I  remind myself it is still possible to initiate positive change. I can share in my writing what I witness. Each day I have the opportunityContinue reading “Rejections and Acceptances: Challenging Myself to Do Better in 2022.”

The Creature in the Basement and Other Secrets

Everyone loves a mystery.  Whether it is locating something hidden or unveiling the true villain, when we read something, book or blog, we want to be entertained. I’ve always found animals to be very entertaining. I love to watch them and I love to interact with them. Animals, any sort of animal, can be aContinue reading “The Creature in the Basement and Other Secrets”

Onion Soup, Recipes, Writing and the Five Senses

We’re cleaning out the garden. Stripping out the last of the tomatoes before the frost arrives and I’m thinking up ways I can use up some of the many onions in the large net sack on the bottom shelf.  It’s soup weather and already I made chicken soup with the bones of a roaster lastContinue reading “Onion Soup, Recipes, Writing and the Five Senses”

Four of My Favorite Books to Help you Become a Better Writer

I’m always challenging myself to try different approaches and learn from other writers.

Modern Love Rejections and Lessons

Love comes in many shapes and forms and it is at the root of everything we writers are passionate about.

Writers, Writing, and a Road Trip with Stephen King and Billy Summers

Road Trip. The night before we begin a long drive, stretching five hours or more; my husband and I select a book. I listen to books all the time, when I’m sorting laundry, putting away dishes, filing papers, and my tastes are varied and far-ranging. I read to learn and to expose myself to alternateContinue reading “Writers, Writing, and a Road Trip with Stephen King and Billy Summers”

Delta Blues Summer

How was your summer?  A friend asks a seemingly innocuous question and then it hits me, summer is over. Fall—as soon as the air in Maryland begins to turn crisp—is about to commence. And how was my summer? I ask myself. Sort of okay, nothing bad, but disappointing, I think. The build up towards theContinue reading “Delta Blues Summer”

Writing About Unlikeable Characters: Household Words by Joan Silber

In the quest to find novels that focus on families, loss, and conflict by female Jewish authors, I recently discovered Joan Silber.  In May,  her novel,  Secrets of Happiness,  was reviewed by Joshua Ferris in the New York Times. Ferris refers Silber’s signature style as “the relay narrative” and this intrigued me because I likeContinue reading “Writing About Unlikeable Characters: Household Words by Joan Silber”

Poetry, Writing, and Mother’s Day

Crammed between art catalogues and magazines on the bookcase in our living room sat a battered clothbound book during my childhood. Titled, The Combined Louis Untermeyer edition of Modern British and Modern American poetry, it belonged to my mother. Her scribbled notes in faint pencil decorated the margins and each time she’d pull it outContinue reading “Poetry, Writing, and Mother’s Day”