This blog has moved!

Please go to to find the new and improved version of this blog. Thank you!

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Vlogging (for the first time ever)

I decided to try vlogging. I took a post I had already written for Samuel Richardson’s Pamela and turned it into a video for my book blog.

I’ve been a little afraid to try video blogging. For one thing, I’ve always thought that I seem a lot smarter and more interesting on paper than in person. Also, I tend to ramble and end up not making sense or saying things I don’t mean (or both). But I really like others’ video blogs–when they’re done well. So I decided to give it a shot.

Here’s why I decided to try vlogging (and why you should too, if you’re a blogger): Continue reading

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Remember how I said that it’s hard for me to get going on my writing? That I’ll start a certain idea and then drift off? That I’ll write a sentence and then delete it a moment later? 

I think I’ve found the cure. 

Yes, freewriting. 

I used to consider freewriting kind of an eye-roller–you know, it’s one of those exercises they make you do in the 5th grade and you can never see the point. It’s not like anything good comes of it. It’s not like you’ll ever actually take that page of scribbles and turn it into anything worth reading.  Continue reading

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Daily writing.

You know what the difference is between a person who is a writer and a person who isn’t one?

A writer writes.

Obvious, I know. But the truth is, sometimes I tell people I’m a writer–or I just tell myself that I’m a writer–when I haven’t written anything for days. Weeks, even.

I’m busy, of course. I have school. I have a husband. I have chores to do and dinners to make and errands to run. I have a life. But so does everyone. Writers are not hermits. (Usually.) They have hectic lives, too–perhaps much more hectic than mine–yet still they write.

Over the past few years, I’ve heard the advice countless times: Write daily. It’s good advice, of course, but it’s frustrating. I don’t always feel like writing, dangit.

But I’ve tried. I’ve tried to make writing so much of a habit that it doesn’t feel like pulling teeth just to get myself to sit down with a computer or a notebook and pen. I’ve tried committing to a certain number of hours per week. I’ve tried committing to a certain amount of time per day. I’ve tried scheduling a time. Writing in a certain space. Writing on certain days of the week. Waking up earlier to write in the morning. Writing during boring classes.

But every time, it still feels like pulling teeth.

Don’t get me wrong–once I get going, I really enjoy myself. But some days, I never get going. I keep starting ideas and then idly letting them die to start a new one, and nothing ever gets done. Sometimes all I do is sit and stare at the computer screen, occasionally writing a sentence and then deleting it a moment later.

I still haven’t hit on what exactly works for me to establish a writing habit. But I think I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that, for me at least, there is no exact formula. I’m not going to wake up one day and realize that writing daily is a cinch. It’s going to take a lot of figurative teeth-pulling, a lot of hair torn out in frustration, and a bit of madness.

The question is not whether writing is easy for me. The question is not whether I can somehow overcome the madness.

The question is whether I can take the madness and frustration and still write.

I guess there’s no way to know whether I can, but I’m sure going to try.

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Pretending to be a poet. And failing.

Maybe it’s the fact that I took so long to actually appreciate poetry that accounts for my inability to write it. Okay, I shouldn’t say inability. I should say fear. Or dread. Or apprehension. 

I have to write five hundred poems for my class. Okay, I only have to write six, to my knowledge. But when it comes to poems, six is the equivalent of five hundred in my mind.

It’s one thing to write a poem in my journal on a rainy day, or even to share it on here if I feel like it and admit it has seen no revision whatsoever. It’s a totally different thing to write poetry under pressure, to have to read it aloud to other people, to try to model it after the poetry of the greats. To stand face to face with my woefully inadequate vocabulary and my inability to paint pictures with words. To try to describe something that is simply not describable–at least, not if the poet has a woefully inadequate vocabulary and cannot rightfully call herself a poet.  Continue reading

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Short Fiction: Twenty-Five Years (Part IV)

Whoops–I totally dropped the ball on this one! Here’s the final part to my story “Twenty-Five Years.” (Here are the links to Part I, Part II, and Part III.) Comments are always appreciated. I hope you enjoy it! 

Finally, Lucy’s chatter died away. Lucy flipped through magazines idly and ordered several drinks. Catherine sipped ginger ale. An hour passed.

“We are friends, aren’t we, Katie?” Lucy finally said.

Catherine didn’t look at Lucy. “Are we?”

“Well, I think we should be. My goodness, we both dated Kent, didn’t we?”

Catherine paused. “I suppose so.”

A voice crackled over the speakers. They would be landing in a few minutes. Lucy looked over her face in the mirror of a compact. “It doesn’t really matter which one of us ended up with him, does it?”

Catherine leaned back in her seat. “I suppose it doesn’t. He broke up with me before he ever dated you, anyway.”

Lucy snapped the compact shut. “Well, not exactly.”

Catherine looked at her. “What do you mean, not exactly?”

Lucy waved her hand. “Oh, it was nothing, really. It’s just–”

“Just what?”

“Oh, didn’t he ever tell you why he broke up with you?” Continue reading

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Short Fiction: Twenty-Five Years (Part III)

Here’s Part III of the short fiction piece I wrote for my class. (Here are the links to Part I and Part II.) Comments, reactions, questions, and criticism are welcome (I have one more chance to turn in a revision, and it’s always good to keep revising, right?) The final part will be posted tomorrow. Hope you enjoy it! 

“Oh, what are you reading?” Lucy leaned over to see.

Catherine opened the book to the middle, making no move to show Lucy the cover. “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.”

“Wow. It looks hard.”

Catherine’s eyes moved across the page silently.

“So, how many kids do you have?”


“How sweet! Well, now you have to tell me all about them!”

“There’s really not much to say.”

“Nonsense! Every mama likes to brag about her kids!” Continue reading

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