What Lightning in a Bottle Music Festival Taught Me About Writing Great Characters

A music festival might not seem the ideal place to spend a lot of time thinking about writing, but that’s pretty much all I thought about while I was at Lightning in a Bottle, an electronic music festival at Lake San Antonio, California. Lightning in a Bottle is no ordinary music festival. It’s not like Sasquatch or…

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A Meditation on Lunch, or, Why You Should Eat Alone Sometimes

I work at home. My partner works at a winery in the area, so except for the rare occasion once a month or so when he comes home midday, I eat lunch alone every day. Lunch is an opportunity to break up the day’s tasks. Usually I try to get a certain amount of editing…

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Why it’s Totally Okay if You Haven’t Read My Books (and Why it’s Almost Always Okay to Not Read Someone’s Book)

Sometimes when I run into acquaintances or old friends, people I’ve stayed in touch with via social media, one of the first things I hear is “I’m sorry I haven’t read your books yet!” My response is usually something like, “Why are you sorry? It’s not your job to read my books.” I’m constantly surprised…

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The Case For Decomposing Into Nutrient-Dense Compost Now That the Republican Tax Bill Might Actually Become Law

On Friday, the Republican-controlled Senate passed their tax overhaul plan, which, when reconciled with the House bill, will most likely shrivel the U.S. economy like that bag of wilting spinach in the back of your refrigerator. Even though nonpartisan organizations across the country have agreed that this will take away health insurance for up to 13…

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Introducing LITERARY LIBATIONS: The Video Series

What’s the perfect pairing for Alexandre Dumas’ THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO? What on Earth is one to drink while reading an out-of-this-world story like Heinlein’s A STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND? And how are you to pick the perfect drink to go with a novel by that consummate alcoholic, Ernest Hemingway?

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A Minimalist’s Guide to Content Creation

When was the last time someone told you to “do more with less”? How about “think less, live more”? Or, “reduce, reuse, recycle”? When was the last time you saw an article about the tiny home trend? Minimalist design? Or a DIY Pinterest post about reducing consumption via, well, doing it yourself? Minimalism as a trend…

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Book Review: THE SNOW LEOPARD by Peter Matthiessen, and THE GLASS BEAD GAME by Herman Hesse

It must have been an act of supreme universal goodness that delivered each of these books into my hands at differently similar times when I needed them for differently similar reasons. The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen I half-borrowed, half-stole from my sister almost two years ago when I was re-embarking on a journey I began almost…

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On Fantasy

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away… Just kidding, it was only twenty years and three thousand miles away. Hang on…that’s a suspiciously long way from my current location in the space-time continuum. Let’s try this again. Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a young girl named Amira…

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Book Review: The California Wife by Kristen Harnisch

In August of 2015 I had the pleasure of meeting novelist Kristen Harnisch at the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City. I was introduced to her first novel, The Vintner’s Daughter, a historical fiction novel about a young French woman, Sara Thibault, who grows up making wine with her father, a winemaker in the Loire Valley.…

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Writer Wednesday: Author Interview with Tarah Benner

Back in 2014, I started doing a series of author interviews called #WriterWednesday, in which I brought new and innovative authors onto my website in an attempt to connect my readership with the wealth of diverse indie authors out there in the world. Although the interview series fell off, I am pleased to revive it…

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