Point of View: Did You Choose the Right One?

There's a great SNL skit from a few years ago where Tina Fey plays a rather trashy woman speaking into the camera to someone she knows: "I saw you on House Hunters. You picked the wrong house, bitch!" Without the vitriol, I find myself thinking that sometimes while reading a novel about the author's choice of point …

Continue reading Point of View: Did You Choose the Right One?

Three Lessons I Learned While Writing a Novel First Draft

So the retreat to the Mojave Desert paid off, and I've now officially completed the first draft of my novel-in-progress. I started outlining the story this summer, and it has evolved significantly from first doodles to 110,000-word draft. As a published author and professional writer, I know the most important step is yet to come: …

Continue reading Three Lessons I Learned While Writing a Novel First Draft

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 …

Continue reading ICYMI: A Collection of Creativity Clips

No Writing Today, I’ve Gotta Watch Curling

I covered the sheet cake in white frosting. Squeeze tubes of red and blue icing were used to make the rings on both ends. Yellow and red gumdrops became stones, and some of my son's Lego men posed as the curlers. I don't recall now what we did to simulate their brooms. The cake was …

Continue reading No Writing Today, I’ve Gotta Watch Curling

What Drives Some Memoirists from Truth to Fiction?

I remain obsessed with "truthiness" in memoirs. I know I'm not alone; my March post on the subject generated 187 comments. I believe I have arrived at three key principles for writing a memoir that is worth reading without truthiness. It is as follows: 1. Believe in your story. 2. Rely on your writing to …

Continue reading What Drives Some Memoirists from Truth to Fiction?

A Pearl of Wisdom for Fiction Writers

Allow me to share with you a nugget for my readers who are fiction writers. This is from an essay on the great Victorian novelist George Eliot by Joseph Epstein, from his recently published essay collection Essays in Biography: One of the modern fiction workshop laws is that a writer should always show and never …

Continue reading A Pearl of Wisdom for Fiction Writers

5 Keys to Success for Aspiring Writers (Not) to Follow

Today's post is inspired by an award-winning fantasy and science fiction author I interviewed during my cross-country road trip, Michael Swanwick. For a time in the early 2000's he played a character online by the name of "Unca Mike," who took a different approach to writing advice: Most writing columns offer sound and useful advice …

Continue reading 5 Keys to Success for Aspiring Writers (Not) to Follow

What Would You Like to See on The Artist’s Road?

This is your chance, dear readers, to weigh in on the types of posts you'll see over the next year on The Artist's Road. I've arranged below a list of categories into which Artist's Road posts could most comfortably be fit. It's a bit of a challenge, because while this blog has a theme--living the …

Continue reading What Would You Like to See on The Artist’s Road?

Stop Super-Sizing the English Language!

Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, and I sit here in Alexandria, Virginia, once again marveling at our collective ability to over-hype. I don't mean to play down the impact of this storm, just because I never saw the high winds and tree losses the experts had predicted for my area; plenty of folks on …

Continue reading Stop Super-Sizing the English Language!

Wrestling with Art vs. the Market

We all know William Shakespeare appealed to the common man, with stories that touched on moral truths built upon jokes about sex and farting. He followed a path well paved by giants like Euripides, who in a tragedy about the slaughter and enslavement of a population slips in a fat joke. I can imagine a …

Continue reading Wrestling with Art vs. the Market