Nov 27, 2015

Selling Books by My Friends

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday and I'll be heading to Asheville, NC to celebrate at the esteemed indy bookstore, Malaprop's. These folks are nothing short of miraculous--with their hearts and their art in all the right places. I've been on hand with dozens of other regional authors for three years in a row now, celebrating Small Business Saturday by signing books and--most fun of all--selling books by my friends that Malaprop's has asked each author to hand-pick. This year, I've asked Malaprop's to stock The Geography of Water by Mary Emerick. I'll be talking it up from 11am-12noon on Saturday--come join me!

Mary and I met in Wallow County in 2011 and shared hikes, pints, stories, and even a retreat down at Imnaha. She was also known to counsel me through a weak moment or two on my road-weary three-year adventures. Her novel writing is breathtakingly poetic, elevating the landscape to what it should be--a place of both refuge and wildness, of hope and fear. If you love adventure, if you love personal revelation, and if you love independent female characters, you will love The Geography of Water. (Bonus: You'll also come away feeling like you've just been to Alaska.)

Author-friends whose work I have gotten to sell in the past via the Malaprop's Small Business Saturday celebration include: Man Alive! by Mary Kay Zuravleff, The Long Walk by Brian Castner, and Temple of Air by Patrcia Ann McNair. I recommend all of these books as holiday gifts or simply as a little treat for yourself to read on the plane during any upcoming travels to see family. Soak it up!

Nov 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Reader

Today's post comes via blogger Seth Godin, a master of efficient, effective business-thinking geared toward honesty, progressive thought, and meaningful community. He offers The Thanksgiving Reader. Here's his wonderful message:

"I’m hoping that this year, you and your family will help us start a new holiday tradition. The idea is simple: At your Thanksgiving celebration (and yes, it’s okay to use it outside the US), consider going around the table and having each person read a section aloud. Before the meal starts, all you need to do is put one page on each person’s chair and follow the simple steps. During the ten or fifteen minutes your family spends reading together, millions of people will all be reading the same words, thinking about the same issues, connecting with each other over the essence of what we celebrate. After all the travel and the cooking and the hassle, for these few minutes, perhaps we can all breathe the same air and think hard about what we’re thankful for."
Download The Thanksgiving Reader here, and please know that if you're reading The Writing Life blog, you're among those who I'll be thankful for, in particular, as we head into this holiday season.

Nov 20, 2015

2016 Classes & Public Readings

It's been a busy fall and I'm looking forward to a New Year full of offerings via distance, as well as in person. I've been able to firm up enough of my 2016 offerings to post them online (view the left sidebar of this site) and registration will open for most of these very soon. Upcoming highlights include:

  • Teaching Interlochen College of Creative Arts' first-ever online class!
  • Visiting Virginia Military Institute and meeting more cadets (here's what meeting USAF cadets was like earlier this fall: part 1, part 2)
  • Hosting a conversation with a few hundred artists about the anatomy of story for the Society of North American Goldsmiths' annual conference.
I'm also enrolling right now for my Writer @ Large services begining in January. If you're interested in Monthly Critiques (my most popular program), please email me to reserve a spot. I have two openings remaining. Pricing info is here.

If you're interested in a Manuscript Critique--everything from line-level revision, to developmental editing, to a once-over reader response--book your slot now and get a deadline set for yourself. This is an exciting and enriching offering, often crucial for those of you writing longer bodies of work that you're eager to receive an "outside perspective" about. Email me directly for an estimate, or request a certain amount of time based on your budget.

Not sure? Check out these testimonials by clicking the link and scrolling down.

Nov 17, 2015

Creative Flow: Outside the Box

I continue to sketch and freewrite each day, as well as keep my eyes and ears open to current thinking on creative flow exercises that assist writers (in particular) in thinking outside the box. I thought I’d take a moment to list a few resources I’ve enjoyed most recently:

Creative Block: Advice & Projects from 50 Successful Artists by Danielle Krysa (The Jealous Curator): This book is worth every penny and while I’m only 2/3 of the way through my copy, it is already marked up with tons of Post-It tabs. Each featured artists answers a series of questions about creative practice, creative blocks (and un-blocks), inner critiques, and inspiring individuals. The full-color, full-page images of each artists work likewise inspires and for those who want more, the book includes numerous of URLs and book titles for further reference and exploration.

A weekly e-newsletter from artist and author Austin Kleon: Let me begin by saying I subscribe to very few e-newsletters. Delightful mixed-media artist and writer Suzi Banks Baum introduced me to this man’s work and, while I’ve only subscribed for a few months, I’ve rarely missed reading through what he sends out. His newsletter is simple: A list of ten things that are interesting to him at the time, from music to interviews to art books to things he discovered or experienced on his current book tour. This week, I most especially loved this 30-minute YouTube video of a talk he gave in a bookstore. If you’re pressed for time, just watch the second half, which has great images of famous artists’ and inventors’ journals.

Last but never least, one of my favorite books to turn to every winter, Wilderness by Rockwell Kent (with a foreword by Doug Capra). A truly inspiring series of journal entries are paired with the utterly breathtaking woodblock prints of this artist, all set in one of my favorite places on earth—Alaska, dead of winter.