Warning. This is not an inspirational post for the faint of heart.
I believe in the slush pile. It’s one of the purest forms of meritocracy left to us. You don’t get credit for effort. It doesn’t count that your work shows promise. It doesn’t matter that your teacher gave it an A or that you earned your MFA. The slush pile makes no apologies and accepts no excuses: if your manuscript isn’t good enough, it doesn’t get out of the pile.
The clear simplicity… Continue reading
No one prepared me for the day strangers would be unfriendly to me, and it happened when I most needed a smile. I was a young mom, haggard, sleep-deprived, and hauling my newborn in an awkward child-seat-carrier that looked like a piece of space-age armor. It happened in some innocuous, anonymous setting like a bank or a grocery store, when I needed to make some uneventful transaction. The person behind the counter was not especially rude—I’d certainly encountered bluntly rude people before and I knew what that… Continue reading
When you keep erasing as many pages as you write each day, and you keep going in wrong directions, don’t think that you’re not making progress, because you are. It’s just thinking progress, not pages progress, and when you eventually identify that you’ve put your main character in a position of power and influence where her problems are global rather than personal, then add in some guards and get someone arrested, preferably her.
You might think you would know by now the absolute basic rule of fiction: make things… Continue reading
This is a bit story about characters from the world of Birthmarked. I wrote this “new beginnings” story in honor of Eve’s Fan Garden, which is celebrating its one year anniversary this week. I’m also joining their live chat on Thursday, January 20, at 8:30 EST if you’d like to drop by. Happy Birthday, Eve’s Fan Garden!
As Emily braced her palm against the pottery wheel and started it spinning, her foot picked up the rhythm of pressure on the treadle to keep it going. … Continue reading
Librarians! Public and school librarians are invited to enter a giveaway of 55 novels by the Tenners, middle grade and young adult writers whose debuts were published in 2010. The contest is free and open until February 15, 2011. Details are on the Tenners site.
As one of the Tenners, I’m extremely grateful to librarians who have been so supportive of teen reading and new authors. Best of luck!
Books included in the giveaway are:
The Absolute Value of -1 by Steve Brezenoff
All Unquiet Things by… Continue reading
The Amelia Bloomer Project recommends feminist literature for readers from birth to age 18, and I’m particularly happy that Gaia’s story, where a girl is strong because of her midwifery and her… Continue reading