The Poetry in Dreams

colorful-1868353_1920I’ve been thinking a good deal about dreams and the role they play in our lives, especially during the time I was writing my hybrid memoir, Dreaming Myself into Old Age: One Woman’s Search for Meaning (it will be published this summer). I’ve also been thinking about how dreams relate to poetry, a topic I discuss in my new book.

In an expository writing class I was teaching, many students admitted having trouble reading poetry. I discussed this difficulty with them. “Why,” I asked, “in a class of twenty literate, intelligent young men and women do only two or three read or write poetry—even occasionally?” Continue reading “The Poetry in Dreams”

A Reader’s Evolution: How Wonder Woman and Annie Oakley taught me to read

girl-flying-on-book-2970038_1920As a pre-TV child (television arrived in Calgary in the early 50s, about ten years after it appeared in the U.S.), radio dramas fed my imagination: Boston Blackie; Suspense Theatre; and The Green Hornet come immediately to mind. Though they provided the plot and dialogue, I was able to supply the images myself, far more dramatic than what any TV director could create. In my young mind, Boston Blackie was the white knight in spite of a name that implied otherwise. Evenings spent shivering in front of a radio, shivering from glorious fear and not cold. The room crackling with drama—suspense. And I was an important participant: the program needed my imagination to give it life. Continue reading “A Reader’s Evolution: How Wonder Woman and Annie Oakley taught me to read”

Welcome to international author Michael Barrington who spent ten tumultuous years in West Africa after joining a French order of Catholic missionary Priests, was a hermit for a year in Northern Ireland, taught in Madrid, and spent 4 years in Puerto Rico as director of an international student program. What rich material to write from!

Michael Barrington, an international author from Manchester, England, spent his teen age years at a boarding school in the Lake District. After joining a French Order of Catholic Missionary priests, he spent ten years in West Africa, several of them during a civil war when he was stood up to be shot. He lived for a year as a hermit in Northern Ireland. After teaching in Madrid, Spain, he spent four years in Puerto Rico as Director of an international student program for Latin America. He now lives near San Francisco, is completely fluent in several languages, is an avid golfer, and academically considers himself to be over-engineered with three Masters’ Degrees and a Ph.D. On his bucket list is to pilot a helicopter, become fluent in Arabic, and spend a week’s retreat at Tamanrasset in the Sahara-desert. Continue reading “Welcome to international author Michael Barrington who spent ten tumultuous years in West Africa after joining a French order of Catholic missionary Priests, was a hermit for a year in Northern Ireland, taught in Madrid, and spent 4 years in Puerto Rico as director of an international student program. What rich material to write from!”

Thanks to Suzanne Sherman for these FIVE TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITING!

All the best writers do it. They develop a piece as they write subsequent drafts, improving the writing every time.

Philip Roth says, “The book really comes to life in the rewriting.”  Joyce Carol Oates says most of her time writing is really rewriting. John Irving says, “Maybe as much as two-thirds of my life as a writer is rewriting.” Continue reading “Thanks to Suzanne Sherman for these FIVE TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITING!”

You won’t believe it: No sweat marketing! Take a look at Michael Barrington’s approach:

No Sweat Marketing

Marketing one’s books can at times appear to be a daunting task. Like most authors I have a well-developed plan which includes good use of social media, a solid website from which I also blog, make an occasional presentation and promote my books by writing articles for various magazines. But over the past two years I have developed an additional strategy – all due to my wife!

Continue reading “You won’t believe it: No sweat marketing! Take a look at Michael Barrington’s approach:”

Kerri Schlottman tells me what other authors influence her, why she writes, where her characters come from, and so much more! You’ll find Kerri’s comments on writing and publishing inspiring and insightful. Join us

On my blog today, I’m talking to the lovely Kerri Schlottman, whose novel Tell Me One Thing will be released by Regal House Publishing on January 31.

Kerri Schlottman is the author of Tell Me One Thing (Regal House Publishing, January 31, 2023). Her writing has placed second in the Dillydoun International Fiction Prize, been longlisted for the Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction, and was a 2021 University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize semifinalist. For the past 20 years, Kerri has worked to support artists, performers, and writers in creating new projects, most recently at Creative Capital where she helped fund projects by authors Paul Beatty, Maggie Nelson, Percival Everett, and Jesse Ball. Kerri is a Detroit native who has lived in the New York City area since 2005. Previously, she’s been a massage therapist, a factory worker, and taught art to incarcerated youth. She holds a Creative Master’s degree in English from Wayne State University in Detroit. Continue reading “Kerri Schlottman tells me what other authors influence her, why she writes, where her characters come from, and so much more! You’ll find Kerri’s comments on writing and publishing inspiring and insightful. Join us”

Henry James urges us to “Be someone on whom nothing is lost,” writers and readers! Good advice for this new year.

zucchini-1605792_1920Many writers try to live up to Henry James’ advice: “Be someone on whom nothing is lost.” We writers need to approach our internal and external realities in a mindful way, taking in as much as we can so that when we write description, create dialogue, and develop characters, we have plenty of material to work with. But being mindful also means we are more alert to our surroundings and, hopefully, more alive in each moment. Continue reading “Henry James urges us to “Be someone on whom nothing is lost,” writers and readers! Good advice for this new year.”

Great marketing advice from publicist Ann-Marie Nieves

For years, I’ve received emails from Writer Unboxed that promote “empowering, positive, and provocative ideas about the craft and business of fiction.” In a recent one, Ann-Marie Nieves of Get Red PR  gave excellent advice about marketing that she’s given me permission to share with you today on my blog. Read on! Continue reading “Great marketing advice from publicist Ann-Marie Nieves”

Do published writers need media kits & sell sheets? Read on!

social-media-1233873_1920Until a recently, I had no idea what a media kit or sell sheet was. They seemed like something only a publisher or publicist would need to create, not an author. In some cases, my assumption might be correct. But for those of us who are published by presses with limited marketing budgets, or if we are self-publishing, sell sheets and media kits are essential. Continue reading “Do published writers need media kits & sell sheets? Read on!”

Thinking of changing your WordPress theme? Think again!

Well, I certainly didn’t expect that setting up a new WordPress blog theme would take over my life, but it did. It started so innocently. I began browsing through my then free WordPress themes, searching for one that would give me a more professional online look as a published author. There were many to choose from, but none grabbed me. None said, “Hey, Lily, this look will enhance your author’s ‘brand.’”

Continue reading “Thinking of changing your WordPress theme? Think again!”

Meet the author Monday! Welcome to Michael Keith, a lover of micro-fiction. Join us

Michal C. Keith, is associate professor emeritus at Boston College. Known for his work in radio studies, he received several awards, among them the Lifetime Achievement Award in Scholarship from the Broadcast Education Association and the Frank Stanton Fellowship from the International Radio Television Association. Prior to entering academe he was a radio broadcaster. He has received critical praise for his memoir, The Next Better Place (Algonquin Books), and for his short story fiction. His work has been translated into many languages. www.michaelckeith.com

Continue reading “Meet the author Monday! Welcome to Michael Keith, a lover of micro-fiction. Join us”

Learn how Anne of Green Gables has changed my life!

Recently, I tried to get started on a children’s story of a girl sleeping in an elegant dollhouse, an image I had in a dream awhile back that has stayed with me. But I felt extremely critical of what I wrote. I had to stop and let it breathe. Let the criticalness soften—fall away.

A Canadian by birth, I’ve long been fascinated by the creator of Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery, also a Canadian. This morning I picked up the novel and began re-reading it. Hearing the narrator talk about Green Gables itself as well as Anne’s imaginativeness and pluck made me realize how important the imagination is to us all, how we need places like Green Gables to visit, not just an escape but an extension of everyday reality. In this context, Green Gables represents an innocent ideal that also exists in this world.

I have a great need to write such stories for others and myself. I must keep alive this possibility of going beyond the everyday. The potholes we get stuck in. The bumps in the road. Without the imagination, we’re nothing. I don’t think courage, will, or insight mean much without the imagination, by which I mean the capacity to dream of better worlds, to allow other worlds to enter us. To create out of our own imaginations something no one has seen before. New vistas. Unlimited possibilities.

I also was moved by Anne’s feistiness and the way she used her imagination to survive. This ability allowed her to endure awful circumstances as an orphan. And it’s what allows me to face the challenges of aging. We need that kind of spunk to survive.

Riding into the future with sharp shooter Curva Peligrosa

My novel Curva Peligrosa opens with a tornado that sweeps through the fictional town of Weed, Alberta, and drops a purple outhouse into its center. Drowsing and dreaming inside that structure is its owner, Curva Peligrosa—a curiosity and a marvel, a source of light and heat, a magnet. Adventurous, amorous, fecund, and over six feet tall, she possesses magical powers. She also has the greenest of thumbs, creating a tropical habitat in an arctic clime, and she possesses a wicked trigger finger.

Continue reading “Riding into the future with sharp shooter Curva Peligrosa”

Revelations while riding a stationary bike

I was pumping hard on the stationary bike at the gym while having a conversation with the fellow riding next to me. We had introduced ourselves and exchanged backgrounds. He had just learned that I’m a published writer and was intrigued by the idea, congratulating me on the recent release of my new novel The Ripening: A Canadian Girl Grows Up. I surprised myself by laughing dryly and calling writing an affliction.

Continue reading “Revelations while riding a stationary bike”