My Year in Blogging: Happy Anniversary, Baby!

My return from a week-long blogging hiatus is filled with gratitude, so I’m going to jump the gun and celebrate this blog’s loose anniversary. Just as a warning, no matter how many times I’ve re-written this post, I sound like a self-congratulatory asshole. Apologies in advance. I started blogging a little less than a year ago. I was tentative, not sure what my plan was, only knowing that I needed to do something that would make me write out loud. I was very nervous, but I kept writing. Then a few “likes”… Read More

Longing for the Wind

We’ve had our first serious snowfall of the winter. I love the cold and the snow and shoveling our driveway, in a silence of the other world, where people sleep deeply and the outside sounds are muffled. I cannot hear the cars and trucks on the highway. There are no children crying, no machines running, no dogs barking – no sound but the occasional clump of snow falling off the trees. I am alone, in the presence of nature and it fills me with an indefinable longing. This week I’ve been thinking… Read More

Antisocial Media: #BiteMe and the “Forget This” Button

Over the last few months, as I’ve worked on a transition plan for a career in where-I-landed to one in writing, I’ve wrestled with the idea of social media. Here’s what I figured out: It is clutter that needs to be cleared from my mental landscape. I’m a technically savvy person. To a point. There must be tremendous gain in order for me to be motivated to untangle the snarl of tech apps and social media on offer out there. If it doesn’t make my life better, whether it be personal development,… Read More

Deflating the Ego

I have been writing for the last few hours. Poorly so, I might add. My ego is getting in the way. After going through the Freshly Pressed brouhaha, I’m back to just trying to write. People have been extremely generous in their comments, which makes me think that they like what I write, which makes me think that I have to write more things that people will like. Welcome to complete and utter paralysis. Part of this inability to find my authentic voice again is that I’ve been working my way through… Read More

I Need a Shower

My wrists ache and I have an eyelid twitch. My daughter thinks she lives in a single parent home and my employers wonder if I’ve relocated to a witness protection program. I have finally met the National Novel Writing Month challenge word count goal of 50,000 words. I’m sick of it. Let’s move on to something else. Like personal hygiene. And physical exercise. And possibly some flu-free living. November was a bit of a hell month, but not the same kind of hell month of those hit by Sandy or say the… Read More

Writing Spaz

The National Novel Writing Month deadline is around the corner, Essentially, I’m either screwed or writing like a maniac for the next four days. I’m going with maniac. It’s been a challenging month, mostly because because of the respiratory flu bug that has had its grip on me since the beginning of the month. I still haven’t shaken it, so here I sit at 5am, desperately trying to put more words to paper. My head has that floaty sensation of too much cold medicine, my knee is bouncing up and down relentlessly…. Read More

Nonfiction Books that Changed My Life

It’s hard to write about something so intricately woven into my psyche, that parsing it out seems like an autopsy. I was a shy, introverted child living in a home with a lot of challenges. I learned to read young and used to believe that books were my only friends. Teachers often wrote in my report cards, something to the effect of “Michelle needs to participate in class discussions”, never realizing that I was secretly reading a book tucked out of view on my lap. If location is everything, I had everything…. Read More

Empathy and the Dark Places

“I turned to the wilderness really, not to Mr. Kurtz, who, I was ready to admit, was as good as buried. And for a moment it seemed to me as if I also was buried in a vast grave full of unspeakable secrets. I felt an intolerable weight oppressing my breast, the smell of the damp earth, the unseen presence of victorious corruption, the darkness of an impenetrable night.”  Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness I’m getting to the heart of my novel now. Anguish is palpable. Bad things are happening. As I… Read More

The Making of a Serial Killer: Fictional Characterization

I’d like to kill them all – anchorless Meg, that milquetoast Mark, passive aggressive Sonya, hapless Hal. I want them dead and it’s legal. I’m on day 4 of the National Novel Writing Month challenge and I LOATHE the characters in my book, Phoenix Rock. I’ve started fantasizing about bizarre and grotesque ways to maim, injure and kill them. I should state categorically that my novel is contemporary fiction about a dysfunctional family and how they come to terms with the past. It’s not a murder mystery or forensic whodunit. It’s just… Read More

Purposeless Dialogue

I am spending an inordinate amount of time writing crap today for my first novel Phoenix Rock. I met the daily word count goal for National Novel Writing Month. That month is now in progress, so if you stick around long enough, I can bore you senseless with my writer’s angst and discussion of the “process” ad nauseum. On the other hand, it might be a nice break from my feminist chest-thumping (ow, ow) and the exploitation of my many maternal and human flaws. There are some things that I write well…. Read More