Writing classes, or how to spend lots of money without really having to write

I'm guilty. I've been signing up for writing classes since I started writing way back when my youngest was 2 or so (He's in his late 20's). I've done college classes (excellent), online courses (variable).  Like Claudia Casper, I love literary festivals as well (SO fun and full of kindred spirits and one was in Iceland,…

Indecision…

"The problem," says Elizabeth Gilbert, "...is that we cannot choose everything simultaneously. So we live in danger of becoming paralyzed by indecision, terrified that every choice might be the wrong choice."   But then, Neil Gaiman (a person I gush over regularly, unlike Elizabeth Gilbert, who, though okay, is given to bromides) says: "Face your…

On being seen…

There's a lovely foolish Monty Python "military" training film on 'How Not To Be Seen.'  In the clip, people are hiding, NOT BEING SEEN, and then they are asked to stand up. Once they do so, they are either shot or blown to smithereens. I feel viewing this in my formative teens MAY have had…

“If we are not sometimes baffled and amazed and undone by the world around us, rendered speechless and stunned, perhaps we are not paying close enough attention.” Ben Marcus

"So You Want To Be a Writer" - excellent article by the Guardian. I love the Guardian. A voice of sanity in a baffling world.  

The post-conference slump

I am a terrible person. I go to these writing conferences  (Iceland.....) and come home, alight with the possibilities in writing, and then I find myself committing acts of extreme procrastination so I don't have to actually get down to it. And yet, the conference makes me feel like I NEED to be writing. Ergo: guilt…

Fuck-up Nights

Just read about this group of people who get together now and again and talk about their failures over a few drinks  - sharing where they've messed up, telling what they learned, if anything, sharing that's okay to make a complete mess of things.  Here's the article. I think this is a great idea. Ever…

Stardust

There are times, frequently, when I wonder if the world really needs another book, especially one written by my clumsy creative heart. After all, there are so very many BAD books out there, killing trees by the thousands. I really wonder about this, though, when I read something so marvellous, so heart-changing that I am…

On living a small life

When I was a kid, my parents told me I could be and do anything I wanted (as long as it required a college degree and wasn't embarrassing). As a graduating nursing student, my prof leaned into my ear and said, "I know you're going to set the world on fire!" I don't think she…

Am I ignorant? Dim? Or why can’t I enjoy prize-winning books?

I read. A lot. I have authors I love, I have ones I can't dig through. Colm Toibin is impenetrable. Jane Urquhart makes me want to weep, and not in a good way. Even Tom Hardy gets into the story faster than these two. I need a long time in the quiet of a soundproofed…

So impressed…

I had the very good fortune to meet Judy Penz Sheluk some years ago at the fabled  (and sadly, deceased) Bloody Words Mystery Writers Conference. We've kept in touch since and I always like to hear from her, but lately she has zoomed on, winning all sorts of awards for her second novel, and I…