Welcome to fellow Canadian and guest author Carolyn Clarke who finds chocolate an intrinsic aid to writing!

Carolyn Clarke is the founder and curator of HenLit Central, a blog focused on ‘life and lit’ for women over 40. And Then There’s Margaret is her first novel. She has been an ESL teacher for over sixteen years and has co-authored several articles and resources with Cambridge University Press, MacMillan Education and her award-winning blog ESL Made Easy. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her partner, Tony, her two daughters and of course her bulldog, Sophie.

Continue reading “Welcome to fellow Canadian and guest author Carolyn Clarke who finds chocolate an intrinsic aid to writing!”

On my blog today, I’m talking to fellow Regal House author Gary Eldon Peter, author of Oranges, a linked short story collection, and the novel The Complicated Calculus (and Cows) of Carl Paulsen (such an incredible title!)

 

Bio: Gary Eldon Peter is the author of two works of fiction: Oranges, a linked short story collection published by New Rivers Press, and the recently released novel The Complicated Calculus (and Cows) of Carl Paulsen, published by Fitzroy Books/Regal House and winner of the Acheven Book Prize for Young Adult Fiction. Oranges received the Gold Medal for LGBT+ fiction in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, the Midwest Book Award, and was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award and the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. His work has appeared in numerous literary journals and has been performed on the public radio program Selected Shorts. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and is a faculty member at the University of Minnesota. You can learn more about Gary and his work at garyeldonpeter.com Continue reading “On my blog today, I’m talking to fellow Regal House author Gary Eldon Peter, author of Oranges, a linked short story collection, and the novel The Complicated Calculus (and Cows) of Carl Paulsen (such an incredible title!)”

What does it take to become a successful writer?

I’ve been reviewing the journals I’ve kept over the years. At the time I wrote this one, back in 1979, I was still ambivalent about my calling as a writer. So I was eager to hear what published authors had to say.  In this case, I was fascinated with what I took away from a talk I attended by Robertson Davies, a Canadian writer. Continue reading “What does it take to become a successful writer?”

What’s the future for auto fiction?

When my reading group selected Rachel Cusk’s novel Transit as our next book, I recalled reading a review by Elaine Blair of Cusk’s novel Outline in the New Yorker. Blair claims “Cusk has written admiringly about Karl Ove Knausgaard, and her proposed cure for the trouble with fiction sounds like a gloss of his. ‘Autobiography is increasingly the only form in all the arts,’ she told the Guardian.” Blair goes on to say that some writers are hewing closer to the author’s subjective experiences, of effacing the difference between fiction and their own personal lives. Continue reading “What’s the future for auto fiction?”

How are writers shape shifters? Read on!

plant-426672_1920During a visit to Calgary, Canada, the city where I grew up, I had conducted a workshop at the event “When Words Collide.” It was entitled “The Origins of Fiction: A Personal Odyssey.” Preparing for the occasion had me thinking about narrative seeds, especially mine. What starts me on these explorations of others’ lives? Continue reading “How are writers shape shifters? Read on!”

What’s in a name?

clouds-2517648_1920I’ve been thinking about names and how they inform our lives. When we’re born, our parents select our name that starts us on a journey. It might have some mythical weight to it, like Adam or Naomi. In that case, we’re already embedded in an archetypal story. The Biblical Adam makes me think of a male archetype, one who is grounded in masculine stereotypes of responsibility and obedience. With Naomi, there is another Biblical connection. A woman whose life is filled with strife, she is fortified by Ruth, her daughter-in-law. Continue reading “What’s in a name?”

Meet the author Monday: On my blog today, I’m talking to the captivating Valerie Nieman, a novelist who has been a reporter, farmer, sailor, editor, teacher, and always a walker!

Valerie Nieman’s Bio:

Valerie Nieman has been a reporter, farmer, sailor, editor, teacher, and always a walker. She is the author of In the Lonely Backwater, called “not only a page-turning thriller but also a complex psychological portrait of a young woman dealing with guilt, betrayal, and secrecy,” four earlier novels, and books of short fiction and poetry. A graduate of West Virginia University and Queens University of Charlotte, she has held state and NEA fellowships. You can find her online sites at linktr.ee/ValNieman

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Memorial Day musings about creativity and not about war

I’m thinking today of timing—how important it is to success. Timing and perseverance: the two go together. I’m also noticing the seasonal aspect of creativity, how cyclic it is. That too is hard to grasp. I want it all the time. I’m afraid if it isn’t there, it won’t return. But I need to remember that if I pursue my creative impulses, and if they’re in accordance with my abilities, then there will be success. Maybe not financially, though that would be nice. But I’ll experience the satisfaction of achieving what I’m capable of. Continue reading “Memorial Day musings about creativity and not about war”

Writers as Magicians?

The word magic gets thrown around loosely and can have many different meanings, depending on the context. For a child, the world must seem forever magical as s/he explores and constantly makes new discoveries. Even for adults who have retained their childlike enthusiasm for life this state still exists. Seeing sunrises or sunsets that astound viewers with color variations is just one example, but so, too, is the miracle of tiny, dried-out seeds eventually producing plants that can nourish us. Those who have done a little gardening know how magical this process can be. Continue reading “Writers as Magicians?”

How is writing like giving birth?

cherry-blossom-3308735_1920I recently took a walk with a friend who writes but hasn’t committed herself fully to being a writer. There is a difference! Someone who writes doesn’t necessarily need to take on all of the responsibilities that being a writer requires, including publishing and marketing her work. Her response to all of the things I’m currently going through (finding Advanced Review Copy (ARC) reviewers; seeking interviews; setting up readings—and so much more) as I prepare for the release of a new book, was “I couldn’t do that!” Continue reading “How is writing like giving birth?”

Do writers write for love or for money?

coins-948603_1920“Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for the love of it, then you do it for a few friends, and finally you do it for money.”  —Moliere

Recently, I’ve been struggling with this idea of writing for money. Moliere suggests writers are prostituting themselves if they write for money. But what of doctors or lawyers? Doctors charge patients for treating them, and lawyers do the same for advocating, things they’re trained and skilled to do? I’m sure Moliere had complex reasons for thinking this way about selling one’s writing, many connected to his era, economics, and his philosophy on life.

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How are fiction writers and magicians similar?

Fiction writers have been called many things, but magician seems the best description. They dip into the black hat of their imagination and produce an endless variety of characters, situations, images, genres, events, and styles. The effect on readers is nothing less than magical, the reader also becoming a conjurer, assisting in making visible what wasn’t there before. Continue reading “How are fiction writers and magicians similar?”

On my blog today, Linda Rosen talks about how women reinvent themselves in her novels despite obstacles thrown their way!

Linda Rosen’s Bio

Linda Rosen’s books are set in the “not-too-distant past” and examine how women reinvent themselves despite obstacles thrown their way. A central theme is that blood is not all that makes a family– and they always feature a piece of jewelry! Her debut novel, The Disharmony of Silence, released in March 2020, and her sophomore novel, Sisters of the Vine, one year later from Black Rose Writing. Linda was a contributor to Women in the Literary Landscape: A WNBA Centennial Publication for the Women’s National Book Association and has had stories published in online magazines and print anthologies. She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and the Women’s National Book Association where she is Selections Coordinator of the Great Group Reads committee which curates a list, published annually, of novels and memoirs perfect for book clubs.

Linda lives with her husband in New Jersey, but when the leaves fall and she has to swap sandals for shoes and socks they move to their home in Florida. Continue reading “On my blog today, Linda Rosen talks about how women reinvent themselves in her novels despite obstacles thrown their way!”

How are writers garbage pickers?

white-male-2064827_1920When I arrived at the gym yesterday, I parked the car next to the Big 5 Sporting Goods store’s huge garbage containers, located in my gym’s parking area. I felt embarrassed for the man I saw lurking behind the bins. He wore a baseball cap and tried to appear invisible as he rummaged through the trash. The image of him prowling there stayed with me, and I couldn’t help but think of it as a metaphor for writers.

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