Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Seashell Radio

Lovely, talented, independent band from Tucson. Plus the cellist writes deeply engaging stories--I'm lucky to have taken a course or two with Esmé Schwall at the U.

Seashell Radio... Take a listen to "Plans" or "Black Dress," or really any of them.

What I learned walking

After stressing over a query letter for hours last night to the point I couldn't sleep, couldn't write, couldn't eat  (and I promise, that's extremely unusual), I took a walk. Walking's good for stress, and once in a while, some nugget of truth or enlightenment descends.

Now, this isn't new or genius, but neither is a deep breath of warm, evening Tucson air--down, down into starved lungs.

What I learned? In my query letter... just be myself. Yes, be professional and witty and beautiful--if I can--but at bottom, my book came from inside me and so should my query. What a freeing realization! Yay for walking (and being able to eat).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Writers, we "need to get out of our heads and into the world..."

 "Sometimes I feel that writers intentionally make an effort to fail as business people." --ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors)

From an interesting article on marketing your writing: interview of Katharine Sands of Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Gluten, Kneading, and Writing

A few days ago I made sandwich bread from scratch under the careful, Nazi-like tutelage of my good friend and food buddy.

I learned a few things:

1. Bread takes a long time! Especially if you're no expert kneader, getting the gluten right so that it can pass the windowpane test (stretch the dough gently until it's translucent but unbreaking), is a monstrous task.
        --Well, I should add that it's most difficult for people who aren't "firm but gentle." Which brings me to my next point.
2. Bread takes a long time when you keep tearing the gluten. Rather than working the gluten, letting the mysterious world of chemistry have its way, I kneaded too hard and tore the stuff, which set me back more than a half hour.
3. This is because I'm rough with things!
       --When things don't work - or aren't working fast enough - I get rough... and I realized that this extends to my writing. I delete like crazy. Whole chunks, pages, chapters, stories, books. Write, delete, write, delete.

I wonder if I'm tearing the gluten....