“To the New Owners of My Childhood Home,” an Excerpt from Weave Magazine

I live in a pink and green house in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Our living room is orange. Our kitchen ceiling is pink plaid. Every surface in my mother’s bedroom is purple: the rug, the bedding, the walls; she even painted her antique wood furniture lavender. It wasn’t the first house I lived in, butContinue reading ““To the New Owners of My Childhood Home,” an Excerpt from Weave Magazine”

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Books Set in NYC: Tried and True, or Tired and Trite?

Have you ever noticed the sheer number of books that are set in New York City? The Princess Diaries series, the Insatiable series, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Rules of Civility, P. S. I Love You, Sex and the City, The Nanny Diaries, FromContinue reading “Books Set in NYC: Tried and True, or Tired and Trite?”

Does Your Writing Reek Enough to Pass the Five Senses Test?

I’ve been reworking a short fiction story for the past two weeks and though I really liked the idea, and was growing increasingly fond of many of the sentences and some of the full-length scenes, I could tell the story wasn’t really popping off the page. If I were being honest with myself, I knewContinue reading “Does Your Writing Reek Enough to Pass the Five Senses Test?”

How Winning a Writing Contest Can Improve a Writer’s Self-Esteem

Wonderful news, folks! You are officially reading the blog of the winner of Honorable Mention in the 2011 Writer’s Digest Young Adult Fiction Competition!* According to their congratulatory email, “competition was fierce,” so I’m super proud! While first and second place comes with fame (publication of their entry in Writer’s Digest) and fortune (they wonContinue reading “How Winning a Writing Contest Can Improve a Writer’s Self-Esteem”

The Pros and Cons to NaNoWriMo

During the month of November, I pretty much secluded myself away from the writing world.  I didn’t read any blogs and I didn’t submit any new stories.  I was so busy trying to bust out my NaNo word count every day that I actually forgot I was waiting to hear back from several publications.  TheContinue reading “The Pros and Cons to NaNoWriMo”

The Moral of the Story: What I Learned from NaNoWriMo

Even though there was a rehearsal dinner, a wedding, a weekend spent upstate visiting my beloved roommate, Thanksgiving, and, at the very end, a very nasty head cold, I survived and WON NaNoWriMo this year!  Hurray! I now have a very crappy, embarrassingly awful, but decently plotted 56,000+ word novel (I only wrote 50,000 wordsContinue reading “The Moral of the Story: What I Learned from NaNoWriMo”

What 1,100 Words Looks Like: Gearing Up for NaNoWriMo 2011

I’m currently plowing through the book No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty, the creator of NaNoWriMo, as I prepare for the incredibly unplanned month of writing ahead of me.  (Being that I’ve gotten SNOWED IN  the weekend before Halloween–strange and unacceptable–I have time to start and finish an entire book.) Reading it is actuallyContinue reading “What 1,100 Words Looks Like: Gearing Up for NaNoWriMo 2011”

The Cure to Writer’s Block: Tell the Story Behind PostSecrets

Two weeks ago I attended the PostSecret event at Rutgers University, Camden campus with my younger sister.  For those of you who don’t know, PostSecret is a community art project started by Frank Warren a handful of years ago where people send in anonymous postcards inscribed with a secret they’ve never shared before and FrankContinue reading “The Cure to Writer’s Block: Tell the Story Behind PostSecrets”

Get Writing Inspiration from Your Family’s Dirty Secrets

Secret:  I am totally obsessed with family research on ancestry.com.  I love picking family members’ brains for memories, dates, and the vaguely remembered names of cousins.  I love sifting through the scanned census records, copying out tiny details–like that my great-grandfather (a different branch, not in this photograph) worked at a cigar factory in BerksContinue reading “Get Writing Inspiration from Your Family’s Dirty Secrets”

The 4 Rules of Polite Simultaneous Submissions

I’ve read blog posts before where people claim that it’s “rude” or, at the very least, makes them extremely uncomfortable to simultaneously submit their writing to multiple journals or to multiple literary agents.  This is ridiculous!  Think about it.  If you have submitted your manuscript to a single literary agent, the wait time is, perhaps,Continue reading “The 4 Rules of Polite Simultaneous Submissions”