imagine that!

How good is your imagination? Did you ever imagine riding a moose in a river or lake? Why not? I mean, come on, Teddy Roosevelt actually did it (not photoshopped according to and Life Magazine) and you didn’t imagine it? Me neither! But then, I would have gone to the hospital if someone shot me.Continue reading “imagine that!”

Do You Read As A Writer Or A Reader?

Two disparate events this week – we put up Lee Stoops‘ annotation of Volt, Alan Heathcock‘s short story collection, on Annotation Nation. Then, Wild, the memoir by my friend and mentor Cheryl Strayed was chose by Oprah to relaunch her book club into Oprah 2.0. Wow. I feel remarkably luck to have had Cheryl asContinue reading “Do You Read As A Writer Or A Reader?”

3 Keys to Vanquishing Envy – UPDATED

A friend of mine just got a book deal. Am I jealous? Honestly, no. Well, why not?? Because I don’t believe in fixed-pie thinking. Success isn’t some giant pie with only 8, 12 or 16 pieces. There’s enough to go around, which isn’t the same thing as saying everyone will be successful in the wayContinue reading “3 Keys to Vanquishing Envy – UPDATED”


When I was in grad school, we had project period contracts, approved by our mentors. I found that it helped a lot to focus in on what I really wanted to accomplish. After, some of us continued, but missed most of last year, so I started this year with a new one. How to doContinue reading “2012”

how to be a better writer

Take a look at Dylan Landis’ dissection of linked stories, what makes the best collections work and why. She’s not afraid to go back to her book and look at why she didn’t feel it was as good as it could have been. If you want to teach students how to read more deeply, ifContinue reading “how to be a better writer”

7 reasons annotating will improve your writing – UPDATED

The novel I just finished writing is a dark comedy about a group of siblings prematurely vying for their inheritance. I read a  number of comic novels that dealt with crazy families, estates and wills, fights over money, etc. All of the authors taught me something useful and I found the process of annotating (nudge, nudge,Continue reading “7 reasons annotating will improve your writing – UPDATED”

3 ways your hometown can help your novel

News! The Rumpus just put up my piece on their series The Last Book I Loved – Nice Work by David Lodge, if you’re wondering. Lodge is a wonderful comic writer introduced to me by the brilliant Rob Roberge. I learned a lot (and was inspired by) reading and annotating comic novels by Lodge as well as RichardContinue reading “3 ways your hometown can help your novel”


My friend and mentor, Rob Roberge has a new piece up at THE NERVOUS BREAKDOWN on the ups and downs of publishing, including his experience with having his book cancelled. And yet there’s reason for hope. Go read it, especially for the reality check on how long it takes to get a book out. Also, pleaseContinue reading “publishing”