While I was at BlogHer doing the Path to Publishing workshop-- in the MIDDLE of Path to Publishing, actually-- it came to my attention that neither I nor my co-leader knew how to write a query for memoir. I thought it was nonfiction and therefore out of my area, so I hadn't even looked it … Continue reading Writing Wednesday: How to Write a Query for a Memoir
Dear Ally, a Story My daughter is a fairly prolific writer for an 8 year old. Here's the first chapter of a book she wrote last fall, called Dear Ally. ( Ally is supposed to be read as "allie.") It's about a girl named Emily who moves to Arizona and writes to her friend from … Continue reading Dear Ally, a Story. Chapter 1
Forgotten Samurai Women by Margaret Dilloway One day, my dad told me, “You know your mother was from a samurai family, right?” Um, no, didn’t know that. That kind of information is good to know!My mom had said only that her family had been the royal seal-bearers (which I guess, though it doesn’t sound as … Continue reading Forgotten Samurai Women
It's November 1st. Time for my recurring nightmare that I've missed Christmas, woken up the day of, and had no gifts for anyone. It also reminds me of Piers Anthony. He was my favorite author for many years, beginning in 6th grade. For my birthday, my brother Jason gave me the book, A Spell for … Continue reading Happy November, or No-Remember
A long time ago, somebody told me that if you write regularly, you can call yourself a writer when people ask what you do. However, I always felt vaguely dishonest about that. A writer, I thought, meant you were Published, for money. Once I sold my debut novel, it seemed like I should be able … Continue reading Who Do You Think You Are, Calling Yourself a Novelist?
In the spring, Tobias Wolff (This Boy’s Life) came to Grossmont College, a local community college, to speak and lead workshops for the students as part of their annual Literary Festival. I went to his open lecture and bought a copy of Old School (on which the Will Ferrell was based. Not.) Wolff was as … Continue reading Every Hidden Thing: Writing
As regular blog readers know, 20 years ago, I attended the California State Summer School for the Arts at CalArts in Valencia for creative writing. I count this as the single most transformative educational experience of my young student life, a month when I got to hang out with other artists and concentrate solely on … Continue reading Spark: A Creative Anthology
I just finished the editing/rewriting of my next book. Now it has to go to my agent, who will undoubtedly see items that slipped by me. Anyway, I worked a LOT this week to finish it, because the kids get out of school on Tuesday, and it's really hard to work when they are at … Continue reading The Day the Earth Stood Still: A Man and a Craft Store
"Nobody would believe you if you wrote this in a book," my mother-in-law said by way of greeting. We had come to visit her daughter, Deb, who was recovering from surgery in the hospital. I sat down to hear the story. I fully believed that the story would be an interesting, albeit frustrating, one. While … Continue reading Stranger than Fiction?
The video production went really well! David and Kathryn Seay showed up at the stroke of one on Friday and got right to work rearranging the furniture and plugging in enormous lights. Luckily, the gardeners had just gone, but of course the house next door, which is getting overhauled, had lots of saws going. Every … Continue reading Writing Wednesday: Book Trailer Filming Recap