Category Archives: writing

I though I knew what Busy was

Once upon a time I was a high school student with a full load of challenging classes and a job and family responsibilities and I thought I was busy. Once upon a time I was a college student with a full load of challenging classes and a job and no social life to speak of […]

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Eavesdropping — A Dialog-Writing Exercise

So yesterday in my Novel Writing class, I sent the kids into the commons for the last 20 ┬áminutes of class, which happens to correspond with the lunch they don’t have. The commons was full of teenage humans. I instructed mine to sit down somewhere and start eavesdropping. They were to write down random lines […]

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Revitalized

I went to the world’s best [*] writing conference this weekend. There were many, many reasons to be joyful. I got to be with writer friends. Some of these are my most precious people I see only once a year. Some of these are my very favorite people that I get to see now and […]

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Making the Time

I’ve been learning. Studying about creativity at the feet of those who make it their mission to permit the rest of us to drink at the wells of creation. It’s a seriously joyful experience. (Want to try it? Watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s remarkable TED talk, here. Listen to her “Big Magic” podcast. Immerse yourself in all […]

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SummerTime

It all begins now. It’s summer. School has ended once again. I got to give my “What every boy needs to know about being a man” speech. It wasn’t that kind of speech at all; I just love to appropriate great lines from “Secondhand Lions” whenever the opportunity presents itself. (The speech wasn’t deep. Basically, […]

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What They Say about Writing (and How They’re Probably Right)

Hey, writer people: If you want to write, you write, they say. Do it every day, they say. And you can’t want to write, they say, based on your craven need for external┬ávalidation. The writing, they say, has to be its own reward. I think this is true of every writing class I’ve ever given […]

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Dickensian

Once my dad read a manuscript I’d written, and he wondered if the plots weren’t a little too dramatic. Dickensian, he called it. Did I, he wondered, really mean to make such tragic, permanent things happen to my characters? This might surprise you if you read my books (and if you don’t, let’s just say […]

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Jefferson and Twitter and Cleverness

Today in eleventh grade English class, we studied the Declaration of Independence. Studied like READ it, aloud, analyzing sentence structure (and holy cow, our boy Thomas could structure a sentence). We took the “We hold these truths to be self evident” sentence (which goes on and on and on) and dissected it. (I think they […]

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