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Showing posts from May, 2014

#HowIWrite Blog Hop: Free-falling, being 50, and four fab authors you need to read this summer

Tagged by my author buddy Jen Singer for the #HowIWrite blog hop . I’m supposed to answer four questions and tag four author friends to do the same, which struck me as a fun summer chain letter sort of thing to do. Plus I do love any opportunity to tout the big talent of Roz Morris , Barbara Taylor Sissel , John A.A. Logan , and Linda Gillard . (Sharing a stellar summer reading recommendation from each.) First, the questions: What am I writing?  Well, at the moment, this blog post—one of several short pieces I owe right now. This past winter was pretty intense personally and professionally, and I fell wretchedly behind. (Amazing how clear one’s priorities become when one is in the crucible.) But in general, I’m not a great multitasker. Things tend to pile up while I’m writing a book. I go down the rabbit hole and forget about the real world until I’ve either exhausted myself or finished the thing. Right now, with the third (hopefully final) draft of my next novel fermenting in the wine

#howilibrary Mom and I discovered the world at the Tomah Public Library

Library Journal is encouraging us to share our library flashbacks and fetishes with the #howilibrary hashtag. The library was a huge part of my childhood, starting with the grand old Tomah Public Library on Superior Avenue in Tomah, Wisconsin. (It's probably not as enormous in reality as it is in my memory, but they have a nice website and seem to be going strong, which makes me happy.) Starting as early as I can recall, Mom and I stopped by the library almost every day after dropping off my older siblings at school. The summer before I started kindergarten, I was dying to participate in the summer reading program with the "big kids," so Mom took me to the librarian's desk and had me demonstrate that I could read. The librarian chose a book so she'd know I wasn't just reciting a book that had been read to me many times. (A challenge, because many, many books had been read to me many, many times.) I don't recall the book, but I remember the librarian being

Brainy gender bendation in dystopian sci fi warzone: Kameron Hurley's BRUTAL WOMEN

On the prowl for talented indie authors doing art they'd never get away with in the corporate publishing world? This excellent dystopian sci fi short story collection is recommended for HUNGER GAME fans, free-thinkers and adventurous readers of all persuasions. Well-rendered alien environs and the starkest possible circumstances are fertile ground for an experiment in gender reversal. Think "Apocalypse Now" if Brando and Sheen are on their periods.

I'm Baaaack -- Reflections on Three Years of Freelancing

I can't even remember when I last posted on here, and for that I am sorry.  In fact, some of you may not even remember me! I would give excuses, etc., but honestly, now that I am freelancing, I've just had to be super careful how I spend my time, and that includes my writing time.  That said, I have resolved to be more active on this blog, as this community has in the past been great supporters, and, well--I miss you all! The last time I was on here, I think I had decided to stop teaching and instead begin a freelance writing and writing coaching business.  I told myself that after a year of full-time freelancing, I'd evaluate the business and what it had taught me.  Well, the fact that one year turned to three sort of sums it up for me.  I can't believe it's been three years, but it has, and they've been the fastest, busiest, and yet most rewarding (by far) of my life. In that time, I've cultivated a list of long-term clients who are as devoted to me as

Muddling through my first Mothers Day without my mom

My mother, author/historian Lois Lonnquist, died six weeks ago, ending a long journey through the valley of Alzheimer's. So I was afraid I'd find all the opportunistic tenderness of Mother's Day marketing especially depressing this year. (Melodrama tends to chafe in the presence of real drama.) Instead, I find that the shell-shock is giving way to gratitude. Mom always said, "You've got to bloom where you're planted," and this year, I am planted in the reality of losing her, but I have the fertile ground of a happy childhood well hydrated with music, lovingkindness, and frequent trips to the library. Mom lived a creatively vibrant life of the mind, so Alzheimer's was a horrifically ironic way for her to die. She stubbornly refused to go easily and let us off the hook; in death as in life, she compelled the best from us, not because she bullied us but because she was so completely, tirelessly, respectfully present in all our lives. That kind of love is