The other day my class had the honor of hosting for a visiting writer, Domingo Martinez. We had the pleasure of listening to him talk, give us advice, and answer any questions we could throw his way. I haven’t read all of his book yet but I have flown through a couple of chapters and let me tell you, this guys has lived quite the life.
Or, as he puts it, he’s taken the crooked path.
First off, I do suggest his books to anyone interested in memoirs. I can tell he’s spent years honing his voice and perfecting his craft, so now his novels have a unique tone and language. He’s worked hard over the years and never let his past or struggles stop him from being heard. Continue reading →
In order to continue discovering how other writers see our crazy writing world, I’ve talked with a long time writer peer of mine, Jack Kardiac.
This interview was another over email. I met Jack online (goodreads.com). We met when I posted a need for a beta reader for my short story collection, Perspectives, and he responded with a proposal: I’ll read yours if you read mine. Therefore, I read his second short story collection, Squint, to be available for purchase soon. We worked really well together and have continued to ever sense. I look forward to working with J more in the future. Below is a short biography about Jack and a blurb for his available book, Squint.Continue reading →
For some reason, it’s often seen as selfish or arrogant to be proud of yourself. If you say “I’m proud of this accomplishment” you run the risk of other’s thinking you’re conceited.
There is merit in modesty humility, though. It’s probably not a good idea to wear a shirt that says “I’m the best” everyday or force your friends to throw you a party every time you make an A or B on a test, but if an accomplishment is a large, unusual, and meaningful one, then it’s 100% okay to be proud of yourself. If you just made an A on your MCAT, then you should have a party. Yeah, modesty is a virtue but that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to voice your own excitement at your achievements. Continue reading →
First and Foremost I must give credit to the idea of “chain smoking” to Austin Kleon in his book Show Your Work. In the book he discusses the importance of chain smoking (in relation to writing) and gives examples of writers who practice it. Now that’s out of the way, I’m going to Steal Like an Artistand write like the idea were my own.
Chain smokers go through multiple packs of cigarettes a day. As of 2013, the average adult aged smoker went through almost 22 cigarettes each day. In order to continually be smoking without a break, they often will light one cigarette with the butt of another.
Can we, as writers, identify ourselves as chain smokers? Not in the (albeit unhealthy and honestly gross) habitual way of literally inhaling the smoke of cigarettes, but in how we write. Are we going through multiple pages a day? How many writing hours are we averaging a day? Do you light the beginning of one story with the end of another? I believe we should all strive to be chain smoking writers. I know I do. And In no way am I saying writers have to write 22 pages every day, but continuing forward without a writing hiatus is more beneficial than we may give it credit. Continue reading →
The first thing she ever said to me was a lie. Lying was her oxygen. It’s how she survived every day. It’s how she took breath and ate her food and walked down the street and drove her car. It’s the only thing that made her feel safe. Putting up a wall the rest of the world couldn’t climb. Pretending to be something she wasn’t. Lying. I understood, I guess. But I needed to know who she really was. I needed to get inside that head of hers. I needed to be a part of her life. But she didn’t have people in her life. She had passing faces and passing names that she probably won’t remember in two days time. But I needed to be there. So I came up with a plan. I wanted to know who she really was. I wanted to know what was the real face behind that mask. I wanted to know if she was even wearing a mask. I want to know why she was running and what or whom she was running from. Continue reading →
Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping, finals studying and jumping in piles of leaves. Also Alicia’s birthday month, but what a lot of writers know November as is something much different, and much more horrifying than anything Halloween brought that year.
Also known as National November Writing Month.
What is NaNoWriMo? Basically, it’s a non profit organization, a challenge, and a writers wonderful, terrifying party. Continue reading →
“Don’t worry, keep trying!” “You know Harry Potter was rejected eleven times before it was finally accepted!” “You’re a great writer.”
Rejection is the number one worry, fear and warning when someone desires to be a writer. The process of publication is a torturous, tiring and time consuming one. You’re work must be pristine, void of mistakes, sellable and original. A typo and you’re out. A cliche and NIX. Crappy cover letter? Don’t even bother submitting. Never been published? Sucks to suck!
The more you submit, the better chances of being accepted but also the more rejection letters you receive, and soon they start piling on themselves. Soon, the gracious rejection letter starts to sound like this: Continue reading →
As a writer, you have to create your own working environment. Setting aside the work you do to actually get paid, you still have to make time for your craft. And this work can’t be a second thought, or something you do in bed right before you go to sleep.
Your craft is so important. It is difficult and it is an art. We are so appreciative of it. Don’t let anyone tell you what you do is not important. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s easy or you’re not good enough or it will mean nothing. Because none of that is true. It means so much to us. Your work helps us get through hard times in our lives. It lets us know we are not alone. It entertains us and helps pass the time. It helps our imagination grow. It takes us to new worlds. It helps us see over the fence. It helps us fly and fight evil and live an epic romance or save the world. You put our thoughts on paper. You help us connect with people we may never meet. You make us smile, laugh, cry and yell. You build friendships and bring together families. You’re art is so important.