Catching Lightning in a Bottle

 I had the good fortune to attend the Writer Unboxed Unconference in Salem, Massachusetts, last week.  WriterUnboxed.com is one of my favorite writing websites, and I think I’ve mentioned it here a time or two. WU offers daily posts on a variety of writing topics, and its 50+ contributors have a wealth of knowledge to... Continue Reading →

Trapped in the Doldrums

As a kid, I loved reading Treasure Island. I was in a fifth-grade reading group, and we worked through the novel together.  We learned a lot of cool terms, including the “doldrums.” Lately, I feel like I’m stuck in that belt of windless waters, just praying for a small breeze. As I noted in last... Continue Reading →

A Writer’s Self-Assessment

I think a lot of writers struggle to evaluate their work. We all have days when writing is hard. When that happens to me, I’m ready to take up cat herding or yak wrestling as a way to spend my time, rather than facing another blank page. At other times, the words flow onto the... Continue Reading →

Is This Mike On?

Howdy, all. Thanks for your patience while I took a little blogging break. It wasn’t a planned break; I just haven’t managed my time on Friday mornings as effectively as I’d have liked. I have a new addition to my recommendation roundup from a couple of weeks ago. I found recording artist Lizzo thanks to... Continue Reading →

Literacy and Storytelling

I’ve been thinking about how writing, storytelling, and literacy intersect (or not) in American culture. For a long time, humans believed we were superior to animals because we were smarter. Then we learned how to measure the intelligence of pigs and dolphins. We assumed a dividing line between humans and animals was the ability to... Continue Reading →

(Mis)Perceptions

About four weeks ago, I had my stylist give me some purple highlights in my hair. It’s the first time I’ve ever colored my hair (if we exclude those hairspray colors used for Halloween or on stage that wash out easily). And I’ve found myself amused and/or bemused by people’s reactions. Most people who commented... Continue Reading →

Embracing the Chaos

I’m not sure why, but I really struggle with titles. I know some writers who come up with the perfect title for their stories. Some use a key theme from the story, while others rely on some clever pun that they then work into their narrative. But I suck at titles. Even for something as... Continue Reading →

Keys to Creativity

I have a grandniece who says she’s interested in being a writer and editor someday. Because she’s young, I know it’s likely she’ll change her mind. Still, I’m trying to encourage her as much as I can. I write her letters and talk about my writing and reading activities. Just so she has a sense... Continue Reading →

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