Using Extended Metaphors in Your Writing – Part One

One element of creative writing that I struggled with in my MFA program was the use of metaphor, particularly ones extended across long passages. I bemoaned my struggle from one of my Vermont College of Fine Arts residencies. But as I progressed in my studies I came to realize I was too hard on myself, …

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ICYMI: A Collection of Creativity Clips

Looking for a little creativity recharge as 2014 winds to a close? Not looking to have to open that pocketbook one more time this holiday season? Please enjoy this collection of creativity and creative-craft posts I have written for others during my blog tour for Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road. Let's learn from creatives: Committed features …

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A Reading of Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road

I set up a personal video camera to record my first post-publication reading of Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road, one I did at The Writer's Center in Bethesda, Maryland. When I got home I realized I had forgotten to clear room on the memory card; it only recorded the first half. I've joked before …

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Creative Wisdom from COMMITTED Creatives

Long before Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road was published, I had been sharing wisdom on the creative process I learned from artists interviewed on my 2010 cross-country road trip here on this blog. Now I've distilled five of them for a guest post on The Loft Literary Center's Writer's Block blog. Those who have read Committed …

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Writing Nonfiction to Read Like Fiction

Memoirs are supposed to be languid reflections of a notable life lived, correct? So how would you describe Cheryl Strayed's runaway bestseller Wild, coming soon as a movie to a theater near you starring Reece Witherspoon? Strayed shares in her memoir insights on a failed marriage, grief over a lost mother, and pain stemming from a …

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When Great Inventors Encourage Future Innovators

I knew when attending the White House ceremony for the latest class of National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI) winners a week before Thanksgiving that I would have to blog on the experience. A logical narrative line to craft would have been the dramatic overlap in creative approaches pursued by NMTI awardees and the varied …

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Traveling the Artist’s Road: A Photo Collection

Who writes a travel memoir and doesn't include photos? Well, Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road is consistent with other literary memoirs in that the burden is on the author to place you in the scene solely via prose. But we all love pictures, right? That's why I was thrilled to be invited to participate …

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An Author Reveals His Secret in The New York Times

While it's not a subject I've written about much on this blog, a key narrative theme in my book Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road is my coming to terms with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The publication of the book essentially "outed" me, in a manner in which I had the most control; my own …

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Lessons on Writing Dialogue from a Memoirist

My blog tour following the publication of Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road continues with a writing craft post of mine on the award-winning blog by K.M. Weiland, Helping Writers Become Authors. K.M.'s readership largely comprises fiction writers, so I kept that in mind in writing a piece about crafting dialogue in your stories. In my …

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Do You Need an MFA to Write and Sell a Book?

That headline is, of course, absurd. The vast majority of published books are written by authors lacking MFAs, and I suspect that few works of literature we now rank as great were written during an MFA program. That said, Committed: A Memoir of the Artist's Road was my creative thesis in a low-residency MFA program …

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