Monthly Archives: January 2011

Making Metaphor

First of all, very glad to even be able to type the word “metaphor” today. On Saturday, I poured a very full glass of water directly into the keyboard of my shiny new laptop. It was mostly fine, but not all of the keys recovered. I had to spend the next 24 hours using the […]

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Shifting the Discussion

So, yes, there is a post missing from this blog. If you’ve been here recently, you know what I’m talking about: I read a story online that seemed very similar to one of my own, and expressed my feelings about the experience. I did not think (and still don’t) that I was out of line […]

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Writers’ Block and Self-Hypnosis

Because I live in the shadow of the eternal fear that I have nothing original to say, I did a quick Google search for “writing and self-hypnosis” before I wrote this post. I was surprised to find many, many web-sites hocking books and audio tapes and CDs, etc., all designed to help you use self-hypnosis […]

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A Fiction Writer’s Guide to Poetry

I consider myself to be primarily a prose writer, but I have dabbled a bit in poetry. It’s fun. It’s short. And publishers can fit more of it on the same number of pages, so I’ve found it to be easier to market (not “easy,” just “easier”). Plus, it’s good to be versatile: Sometimes something […]

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Why Duotrope’s Digest is Ruining My Life

I mentioned this before, but I think it deserves a more thorough discussion. At first, I used Duotrope’s Digest as an easy way to find new markets for stories and the odd poem. (Just between us, I also used it for non-fiction. Shhhhh.) This was back in 2006 or so, when you could run a […]

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Dzanc Day! Dzig it!

I’m very happy to be co-leading a workshop for this year’s Dzanc Day, a day when writers, editors and teachers donate their time and talents to raise money for some of Dzanc Books‘ more charitable endeavors. These include the Dzanc Prize, which recognizes one writer annually for literary excellence and service to his or her […]

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Things I Like Around the Interwebs (plus, a new story)

My partner tells me there’s a better, more standard way to do this. He’s very interested in the OFFICIAL INTERNET. My learning curve is hurting his insides. HTML Giant. I already miss Mean Week. The PANK blog. When my students are clueless about where to send their work, I tell them to read the PANK […]

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George Saunders Makes Me Brave

I read Saunders’ new story, “Escape from Spiderhead,” in The New Yorker over holiday break. I don’t subscribe to TNY, not because of the allegations of misogyny, but because I don’t always enjoy the fiction they choose. I also never get the cartoons. I don’t care what anyone says, they just aren’t funny. Luckily, you […]

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How to Avoid Avoiding Plot

I wrote the brief craft essay below, about common traps that keep writers from writing well-plotted flash fiction, for Flash Fiction Chronicles. I’m currently teaching a flash fiction course and my students and I have spent a fair amount of class time discussing the borderlands between flash fiction and prose poetry. While I agree that there’s […]

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