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Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: Encouraging the Next Generation

During my day at Book Expo America a few weeks back, I was intrigued to discover the new “Not For Parents” series from the folks at Lonely Planet. The publisher describes these books as designed “for budding travel lovers 8 and up,” adding that the series “opens up the world to a whole new generation of adventurers – with intriguing stories and fascinating facts about people, places, history and culture from around the world. From hideous histories to funky food, they cover all the cool stuff to know and are jam-packed with photos, illustrations and cartoons.” I considered myself lucky to snag a complimentary copy of the New York City book for my niece, who turns nine this summer.

I am even more delighted to have convinced said niece, Rachel, to write a brief review for this blog. (This was an activity that helped us pass the time before we went to the movies last weekend.) Please note that Rachel is already a practicing reviewer, with other posts to her credit over on her mom’s site.

I haven’t changed anything here–and all opinions are Rachel’s! Continue reading ›

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The Wednesday Web Browser for Writers

  • As a short story writer who really has to stumble on some magical inspiration to begin (let alone finish) a novel, I am fascinated by Sarah Salway’s post, “How Do You Start a Novel?”, which features a range of voices.
  • Beth Kissileff provides sound “Writing Advice About Writing Advice.”
  • I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen Anne Trubek’s New York Times Book Review essay on “Why Authors Tweet” mentioned on Twitter. But in case you’ve missed it, here’s the link.
  • In her usual generous and practical manner, Kelly James-Enger reveals her 2011 freelance earnings. (If you’re a full-time freelancer, you can pay it forward by completing the survey linked within the post.)
  • Love Diane Lockward’s look back on her poetry-filled year (not to mention the hat tip to Lisa Romeo). (My thanks to Diane for including me in some of her outward-focused poetry activities.)
  • Huge thanks to David Abrams for hosting me over on his amazing blog, The Quivering Pen, where I’ve just contributde a fresh take to the “My First Time” series by confessing what it’s like to receive the first punch-in-the-gut review of one’s book. (By the way, David is looking for other guest-bloggers for that column: “The Quivering Pen blog is looking for published authors to guest blog for the weekly feature ‘My First Time.‘ Have an interesting story to tell about your first experience(s) in writing and/or publishing? Drop me a line at david dot abrams at gmail dot com. I’ll be glad to send more guidelines. Please feel free to re-share, Tweet or email to all your writer friends, too.”)
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    The Wednesday Web Browser for Writers

  • Advice for poets, courtesy of Robert Lee Brewer and Poetic Asides.
  • Kelly James-Enger shares the state of her freelancing income.
  • Speaking of freelancing income–check out these “7 Ways Freelance Writers Can Find Better Pay.”
  • Will fall find you teaching at night? Consider these strategies to stay energetic.
  • Can’t wait for the next issue of The Writer to arrive. The article on day jobs that is mentioned in Jeff Reich’s Editor’s Notes has piqued my interest!
  • So grateful to David Abrams for counting Quiet Americans among “the best books of the year (so far).”
  • And I’m grateful to Dory Adams for soliciting my guest post, “Mannheim in Pictures and Prose,” for her inspirational In This Light blog, which features “images and narrative.”
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    Friday Find: Ten Tips for a Writing Life

    If you’re a regular reader of Practicing Writing, you know that I frequently cite/link to author Midge Raymond and/or her blog. I’m delighted to be able to share with you today Midge’s guest post on “Ten Tips for a Writing Life.”

    Midge is the author of Forgetting English, an extraordinary collection that I reviewed for Fiction Writers Review when it was first published. Happily, Forgetting English has just been re-released–in an expanded edition–and there’s still just a bit of time left to enter a Goodreads giveaway (it ends today!) for a chance to win a copy.

    Enjoy the post, and the weekend, and I’ll see you all back here on Monday.

    Take it away, Midge!

    I love lists. I wouldn’t get a single thing done without them. (If I forget to take a list to the store, for example, I have to return home for it, or I just wander the aisles wondering what I need.)

    Lists are helpful in terms of getting things done—but I also find that they’re helpful in remembering how to best get things done. That is, I often have to remind myself of how important certain habits are for living a writer’s life. So I’ve come up with a “top ten” list, which I hope will be useful to all writers who are, like most of us, juggling such things as day jobs and families while still trying to get all that writing done. Continue reading ›

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    The Wednesday Web Browser for Writers

  • Mentioned this already on My Machberet, but it’s worth re-presenting: Last week, Cynthia Ozick was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jewish Book Council. Read Ozick’s reflections “on what it is to write as a Jew in America” here.
  • Virtual Book Tours 101, a guest post for Grub Street Daily, provides basics and background.
  • Nina Badzin adds a new post to her Twitter Tips series.
  • Former Alaskan David Abrams pays tribute to one of the state’s favorite sons, poet John Haines, who passed away earlier this month.
  • Since I have always found endings to be among the most challenging aspects of short-story writing, I really appreciated this post on the subject from Robin Black (for Beyond the Margins).
  • Speaking of short stories: Fiction Writers Review is launching a “Journal of the Week” giveaway feature, and the inaugural offerings are three free subscriptions from One Story.
  • Looking for some guest-blogging opportunities (and not concerned about getting paid)? Check out this call (for poet-bloggers) from Chloé Yelena Miller, and this one from First Person Plural, the blog of The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Md.
  • In the unlikely case that you haven’t heard yet about Téa Obreht and her debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife, this New York Times profile will clue you in. (I haven’t read the novel yet, but I did love this Obreht story in The Atlantic.)
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    Quotation of the Week: Beth Garland

    This week I’m proud to present not only a quotation, but rather an entire brief essay by my friend Beth Garland, who has recently returned from a trip to the War, Literature, and the Arts Conference in Colorado Springs. The theme of the 2010 conference was “the representation and reporting of America’s wars from 1990 to present.” Beth was invited to appear and read from one of her most impressive works of short fiction to date (and I’ve read many of them), “Departure,” a piece that focuses on one Army wife’s journey home after sending her husband off on a deployment to Iraq.

    Here’s a little bit about our guest blogger: Beth Garland, a former technical writer, earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. She has been “married to the military” for 10 years and has written articles on military marriage for examiner.com. She lives in Surf City, N.C., with her husband and two daughters and is expecting a third child next spring.

    In the week leading up to the War, Literature, and the Arts Conference in Colorado Springs, my emotions ran from one end of the spectrum to the other. Fear, pride, excitement, dread…wanting to go ahead with the trip as planned one day, ready to back out the next. I’d like to blame it all on the fact that I’m newly pregnant again and my hormones are going crazy, but in truth, I was just being me, a terribly anxious person who always expects the worst. I’m afraid to fly, so I could hardly believe that I needed to worry about how well the 15-minute reading of my story “Departure,” would go, since I wouldn’t survive the trip there, but if by some miracle I did, I would have to face my second biggest fear, public speaking. And then, if I were still breathing after all that, I’d have to get back on a plane and fly home. I began to refer to the ordeal as the Trifecta of Terror Continue reading ›

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