Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Mission Accomplished (Sort Of)

You’ll all be supremely relieved to know that I did complete that little personal essay that I mentioned last week. (Equally good news: I managed to navigate the new website/submission system.) The only little glitch remaining is that the photo I sent isn’t quite right, spec-wise. So that’s a task that remains.

In the Mix

themix_logoMotivated by this interview on the Beyond Your Blog site, I recently re-submitted an application to write for Hearst’s “The Mix.” (Yes, I applied once before–and was not accepted.)

But this week brought good news: admission to the freelancer pool. So now I’m receiving the daily prompts/assignments. Nothing has quite clicked for me yet–nothing has sparked any writing, let alone led to a byline. But, it’s early yet. We’ll see.

At the Day Job

Yesterday was a big day for all of us at Fig Tree Books: the official publication date for Ben Nadler’s The Sea Beach Line. Check out my celebratory post for the day over on the Fig Tree blog, if you please. We’ll all appreciate it!

What’s new with all of you?

Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer


Contest Results

Remember when I told you about those limericks I composed recently for a contest? Well, the winners were announced last week. None of my limericks made the cut (alas!), but I thought I’d share the ones that did.

Newsletters Galore

This has been a busy newsletter week for me. The October issue of The Practicing Writer will be going out to subscribers at some point today (Wednesday). Meantime, a few days ago we sent out the latest newsletter from Fig Tree Books.

Fee-Based Litmag Submissions

Ah, the perennially popular minefield. A few days ago, I ran across a post on this topic that I liked a lot–I agreed with much of what the writer had to say. NB: I’m not interested in a big “debate” here that essentially regurgitates what we all shared the last time this topic came up on this blog. I simply want to share a new (to me) voice on the subject.

Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Stuart Miles/FreeDigital Photos.Net
Stuart Miles/FreeDigital Photos.Net

Good News (Which Shall Remain Mysterious, for Now)

By far the best writing-related news I’ve heard this week has nothing to do with my own work. I am currently sworn to secrecy, but I promise that I will share this news and all of its happy sequelae as soon as I am able to do so. Let’s just say that I feel like raising a big virtual glass of champagne right now.

Seriously, as far as I’m concerned, this is the highlight of my week. Maybe my month. Maybe longer. (more…)

Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

I won’t lie. It hasn’t been the brightest week.

Alan Cheuse, 1940-2015

Alan Cheuse
Alan Cheuse

Last Friday afternoon came the sad news of Alan Cheuse’s passing. Very shortly thereafter, I went to work on a statement for the Fig Tree Books website. You can read it here. But I’ll point you also to a couple of online appreciations and tributes I’ve found especially memorable: Bethanne Patrick for Lit Hub and Susan Stamberg for NPR.

Most of all, though—and turning to happier thoughts—I’ll point you to one of Alan’s essays about his own writing life and to his recent interview with Michael Silverblatt of KCRW (I loved this conversation when I listened in at the time), so you can figuratively and literally hear Alan’s voice. (more…)

Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Quick summary this week:

  • Busy times over at the day job. For a summary of some of what I’ve been monitoring, check the latest Fig Tree Books blog post.
  • Working away on revising poems and sending out submissions. Hope to actually draft a couple of new pieces in the near future, too.
  • Saw Inside Out last weekend. Feeling surprisingly “meh” about it. (Similar to how I sometimes feel about a mega-hyped book that I’ve finally gotten around to reading.)

    What’s new with you?