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November 16, 2017

Dear Architectural Digest,

I am a big fan of your magazine. I’ve been reading it carefully for several years now, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the celebrity homes, the vacation places, and the adorable country estates in foreign countries. As I turned the last page of yo...

November 16, 2017

I've been thinking a lot about beginnings: what makes them work? where are the key turning points? how do they relate to the rest of the story? Earlier this month, I realized that one piece of writing advice that we all hear over and over at every conference, lecture,...

November 16, 2017

I've wanted to write novels for as long as I can remember, but I've always had a hard time getting to The End. It's daunting, isn't it? You have this great idea, a character you love, or something that compels your forward and yet.....there are so many words to write d...

November 16, 2017

I'm in a bathroom in a small town in Mexico. It's the same as at home...but different. You can't drink the water, toilet paper is not a given, and you check the water before you put soap on your hands because functioning faucets are not a given either....but the people...

November 16, 2017

It's the first weekend that feels nearly fall-like here, in North Carolina, and I have that urge to make lists, clean the closets, and reflect on summer.

As I was combing through some photos from the summer, I thought about whimsy, and how important it is for my creativ...

November 16, 2017

If I say "social medial" and you think "I have nothing to say," your paradigm is about to be totally up-ended.

I had the pleasure of hearing President and Founder of The Social institute Laura Tierney's thoughts this week (she's on twitter @soLaur) and I'm going to shar...

November 16, 2017

I've been thinking about time, lately, and the opening scene of I Don't Know How She Does It (Allison Pearson) comes to mind. The main character, a working mother, is madly "distressing" a store-bought pie at 10 PM after work in an effort to make it look more homemade...

November 12, 2017

I've always been somewhere in the middle of the plotter-to-pantser spectrum, but no more. At least not for now.

I've done a deep, painful, belly-smacking dive into the pool of plotting and I'm pretty sure that's where I'll stay.

It hurt.

There were tears.

Notebooks were da...

November 12, 2017

Two years ago, I was poking around in an antique shop in Lenoir, North Carolina, a little furniture factory town in the mountains on the western side of the state, and I came across this book of postcards. 

Flipping through the soft, faded images, I felt like the univer...

November 11, 2017

I’ve been doing a bunch of reading about magic – not the fantasy kind, the stage performance kind – and have concluded we can learn from magicians. 

As writers, we pull our readers into a world of our shared invention. We can’t make a good story without someone to read...

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