By Kelly Ford
“Print or e-book?” the instructor asked the class.
The question looks like something you’d see on an e-Harmony quiz. Sunset or sunrise? Boxers or briefs? Once, I made the mistake of answering. I had barely uttered the word “e-book” before another writer unleashed a sweeping condemnation of my choice, including the lack of gorgeous binding, the arresting feel of paper against fingertip and the non-transferrable-to-children nature of those beastly contraptions. Read More →
By Belle Brett
For a few seasons, I watched “American Idol.” I marveled at the resilience of the young people who, in front of millions, listened to some pretty raw criticism—“That was horrible!” was a frequent Simon Cowell comment.
Of course, the ones I saw were the finalists; they’d already shown their mettle against hundreds of other candidates. But I wonder what happened when they were voted off. Did they cry? Say they’ll never sing again? Resolve to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and start all over again? Read More →
By Kelly Robertson
I am not a writer who yearns for a cabin in the woods for weeks at a time. Being away from my life for long periods does not fill me with creative joy. I wish it did. Just like I wish I could write late into the night, not realizing when night became morning, churning out pages by moonlight. I am just not one of those writers. The word retreat does not bring up images of golden meadows, long walks, and charming cabins. In fact, when I hear the word retreat, my mind goes to the first definition that comes up in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary: an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable; the process of receding from a position or state attained. This is a definition I could relate to. Read More →
By Emily Ross
I was sitting on a crowded beach the other day, when I overheard a 50-something guy say, “Did you know The Way Way Back was filmed in Onset?”
The man on the towel next to him replied, “I liked that movie, but I liked Perks of Being a Wallflower better. Did you read the book?”
Wow, I thought. Here are two middle-aged guys talking about, of all things, young adult literature on the beach. That’s amazing. Read More →
Zoe (standing) and Zephyr (lounging).
By Kelly Robertson
I got my first dog, Zoe, in 2012 at a time when I was trying to finish a draft of my novel in order to apply to the Incubator program. Zoe was a good dog and a very easy puppy. She got lots of attention from me as I relearned the fine art of walking. We’d covered miles of Cambridge streets together. She’d stop to sniff a blade of grass, and I’d think about my novel. Through observing her, I learned a great deal about the writing process – on focusing, learning something new, and watching the world around us. When the Incubator started, Zoe was a year old, trained well enough, and super fast. The only thing she wanted to do was run. I’d take her to the dog park, where she’d lure any dog there into a game of chase, but the game always ended quickly when the other dog realized there was no way in hell he or she could keep up. We were told whippets were better in multiples, and since Zoe needed another dog to run with, we decided to get another whippet. Her breeder was planning on puppies ready for joining new homes in spring 2014. Perfect timing! The Incubator would be over, and I’d have plenty of time for the new puppy.
As life goes, the next planned litter came into being several months sooner than expected with another litter not happening until 2015. Zoe needed a running buddy now. Besides, how hard could a second dog be? Read More →
By Lisa Birk
All my favorite books come from a “deep place of junior high trauma.”* From Harriet the Spy to The Outsiders, right on up through Rick Moody’s Purple America and Strout’s Olive Kitteridge. Picture Olive at eleven. She has huge feet. The mean kids chalk hopscotch squares too small for her shoes. She’s out before she started.
Teachers joke you teach the grade where you are emotionally stuck. If true, I’m a perpetual seventh grader, when kids are righteous and affectionate by turns. When my fellow parents complain about their kids, I first side with the children. I have to imagine myself into the parental view. Read More →
I can’t take credit. Credit: http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/119825-jesus-take-the-wheel
By Kelly Ford
My current novel revision ends in July. Full stop. Do not pass the revision mark again until the good lady (or lord, should it come to that) says so.
Am I pleased? I am pleased!
I know that revision doesn’t stop there. Revision doesn’t stop until the novel’s in print. And even then, in that magical unicorn future where my novel exists in a glue-bound form instead of stacks of 8.5 x 11” pages, I’m sure that I’ll revise in my nightmares. But for now, it’s out of my hands and off to be rejected or dismissed or lost in an agent’s spam folder. And you know what that means:
NEW NOVEL! [insert confetti cannons and glitter bombs]
I don’t have a hard time coming up with novel ideas. I do have a hard time nailing down which novel idea to pursue. My novel idea list is about as long as a Cheesecake Factory menu. Gah! Too many options. If I order the chicken, I’m gonna regret it and want your steak. That’s just the way it is.
With my menu options–and my novel–sometimes I just want an executive decision. Jesus! Take the wheel!
Read More →