Judging a book by its cover

Novels are a collection of ideas and images and characters and philosophies and stories, all twisted up in a blender until all the bits come together into a coherent series of words that we recognize as a book.

These words then get wrapped up in their cover like a Christmas present, with shiny and colorful paper that includes the title and author.

Some books have fantastic covers, others… not so much.

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If you could only follow one blog…

Dear followers of my blog (and all others who find your way here), I’m curious to learn what people like to read online, and what they value from a blog. Are they looking for news? Humor? Family updates? Cat photos? Recipes? Celebrity gossip? Thought-provoking fiction or in-depth analysis of issues? With that in mind, I have a question. If you could follow only one blog, what blog would it be? (It can be hosted anywhere, and doesn’t have to even be a WordPress site.) Or, if that question is too hard, answer this: is there a blog for which you read every post as soon as you can? Then… tell me about that blog. What’s interesting about it? Why do you like it? Why would you recommend it to someone else? Please let me know about your favorite blog in the comments. (Also, no fair promoting your own blog, because I know you read that one!)  

When a writer becomes a novelist

Thanks to a colleague’s suggestion, this year I took the NaNoWriMo plunge. With less than a month to fashion the concept of a novel, I signed up, drank the koolaid, and jumped off the cliff. I’ve been writing fiction since grade school, but only in November 2013 did I really start to think of myself as a novelist. And that’s not because I “won” NaNo by writing over 50,000 words, though I did (71,664 to be exact). Nor is it because I “finished” a novel in 30 days, though I did that as well (see below for the synopsis). I think of myself as a novelist now becase I realize that the art of writing a book isn’t just about putting words down, creating fun characters, and entertaining yourself. It’s actually hard work that requires a great deal of commitment and focus, and many lessons learned along the way. NaNoWriMo offers writers the opportunity to plunge forth into the alchemical … Read more…

Writers’ Angst

In this short video clip, Ira Glass talks about the craft of writing and how all writers struggle early on with the creative process. He describes how we have great taste, so when what we write doesn’t measure up to what we like, we get frustrated. The mark of a true writer is the one who fights through the disappointment and discouragement and just keeps going, until one day the writing is good enough. The most important point is that all writers go through that angst. And as I wind up my NaNoWriMo novel this week (or sometime in the not too distant future!) it’s a point well taken.