Boston Breaks for Writer’s Block: Finding Your Voice at the Museum of Fine Arts

Rembrandt_The_Artist_in_his_studioBy Hesse Philips

I identify with Rembrandt in his early self-portrait, The Artist in His Studio. This is pre-socialite Rembrandt, not the velvet-robed, amply mustachioed burgher of his middle period, or the fading ghost with the watery expression of his late self-portraits. In The Artist in His Studio, young Rembrandt portrays himself as a button-eyed doll, dwarfed by the ominous eruption of a canvas and easel in the foreground—one that, though it faces away from us, throbs with untapped potential: a blank, white glow.

When I go to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, I always make a point to visit young Rembrandt in his dingy attic. Although the expression on his face is barely sketched in, to me it is unmistakable. It’s the look of an artist facing a blank page, so overwhelmed by the monumental task at hand that he is all but invisible to himself, just a pair of eyes as empty and black as the canvas is clear and white. What the hell do I do now? he’s asking himself. It’s a classic case of what I know as writer’s block. Read More →

Happy Indie Story, Part One:
The Road to Publishing A Boy Like Me

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A Boy Like Me cover design by Sarah Pruski

By Jennie Wood

(In this new monthly series for Dead Darlings, I’ll document the step-by-step process of publishing A Boy Like Me. Here in part one, I discuss why I chose to go with an independent publisher for this novel.)

As 2013 drew to close, I had to face the fact that, despite the efforts of an extremely supportive agent, a year had passed without a publishing date for A Boy Like Me. Even worse, the realization hit that if a traditional publisher picked it up in early 2014, it would probably be 2015 or 2016 before it saw the light of day. That was unacceptable.

In 2013, while my agent submitted A Boy Like Me to major publishers, artist Jeff McComsey and I finished the graphic novel Flutter, Volume One: Hell Can Wait and submitted it to indie publisher 215 Ink. A month later, just a month after we’d finished it, the book was published. Read More →

My Marathons

finishline
By Michele Ferrari

On April 15th 2013, I was on my couch with an icepack against my face recovering from dental surgery. Having run the Boston Marathon in 2009 and 2010, I had scheduled the surgery that day so that I wouldn’t be thinking about the race. Once you’ve run Boston, on Patriot’s Day you can’t help but wish to be one of the runners.

Then the bombs went off at the finish line, and I decided, in my painkiller haze, that I would run Boston again. Read More →

An Interview With Jaime Clarke,
author of VERNON DOWNS

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By Marc Foster

Jaime Clarke’s new novel, “Vernon Downs,” follows protagonist Charlie Martens from Phoenix to New York City in a quest to reunite with his lost love Olivia. Along the way, Charlie’s obsessive acts of impersonation draw him further into the world of Olivia’s favorite author, the book’s namesake Vernon Downs. A co-owner of Newtonville Books, and founding editor of Post Road, Jaime took time out to speak with Dead Darlings about his new project.
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Best Coffee Cluster in the Greater Boston Area

coffee14
By Carol D. Gray

Back in February I promised to spill the beans on my favorite coffee clusters and where to find them. But if you’ve forgotten what the heck a coffee cluster is, refresh your memory with the Top Ten Reasons Coffee Clusters are a Writer’s Best Friend.

Ready for the big reveal? First place in the Greater Boston coffee cluster competition goes to . . . Davis Square, Somerville. Five writer friendly cafes all within one or two blocks of each other make this area the mother of all coffee clusters. It’s easily accessible by T – Red line to the Davis Square stop – and there are several public parking lots with 3 hour meters that take credit cards so you’re never stuck searching for quarters. Check out this map for parking locations. Read More →

Spring Fever: Writer’s Edition

spring
Go Figure: Musings from the Mind of Rob Wilstein

Spring is here,
Let’s give a cheer.
- From the archives of my third grade poetry class.

Thus began my poetry career, in Mrs. Kerber’s third grade class, to be continued in fourth, fifth, and sixth grades with the exact same spring poem. You will be relieved to know that my career ended there, my poetic license revoked. If there was more to the poem, I don’t remember it. Each year, when the assignment was given to write a poem about spring I would panic, but this sweet couplet saved me. Read More →

Best author reading series of all time!

By Stephanie Gayle cod

God, I hope that worked. And that you’re now waiting for me to reveal the world’s best reading series. Wait no longer! It’s called Craft on Draft. And its first event is on April 8th at Trident Booksellers and Café. We have a terrific author lineup: Lisa Borders, Henriette Lazaridis Power, and someone who looks a lot like me.

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A Just Cause

By Kelly Ford

Most of our writers are currently unavailable for blogging due to black holes of revision, wedding planning or last-minute Craft on Draft prep. So, I’ll be pinch-hitting for the next couple of weeks. Things might get random, y’all. Let’s start with a tic that I have mentioned in the past couple of posts I’ve written.

What is my deal with the word “just”? Did I eat a brain tumor for breakfast?

In the latest version of my novel in progress, I found 243 instances of “just.” How did this happen? Maybe, like Charles Dickens, I dreamt it all and the word manifested itself into my novel.

dickens

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April Fools’ Day: Writer’s Edition

lmphoto_tom1By Stephanie Gayle

Whether you love April Fools’ Day (pranks!) or loathe it (ugh-pranks), it’s hard to escape, especially in our age of social media. I’ve decided to celebrate this year by recognizing those literary pranks I most admire. So without further ado, I present the April Fools’ Day Awards in Literary Achievement.

Best trick to obtain free labor

Winner: Tom Sawyer

When tasked with whitewashing a fence, Tom discovers a great secret: “in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.” Read More →

Not Just a Joke

V2
By Jack Ferris

Like virtually every novelist, I am happy to complain about the difficulties besetting me with regard to my *~Unpublished Masterpiece~* of a novel. I am confused by whether agents consider it young adult and grumpy about their desire to change the setting to modern times.  I work full time and I’m trying to plan a wedding.  I fell and might have broken my wrist (the doctors keep telling me to come back and write “maybe broken” on the forms, it’s like some kind of hilarious Shrodinger’s bone).  I have video games to play and those are more fun. Read More →