Archive for April, 2013

  • Finding Ways to be Kind to Myself

    It has recently come to my attention that I’m very good at projecting a version of myself that is intimidatingly confident. Which, in light of the stereoscopic version of Wren that I get in my brain, it is kind of hilarious.

    Yes, I revel in my weirdness at times. And yep, I definitely pretend at times that I am the most awesome person ever. Let me reassure you, this is to compensate for the giant sucking sound that is the black-hole of my actual self-esteem.

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  • In Which Wren Talks About Priorities and Choices

    Original photo by Tony Unruh

    There comes a time in everyone’s life when you realize you need to make priorities. This often comes with a certain amount if humiliation, because you generally have to admit that your priorities are all screwed up. At least that was true for me.

    I’ve mentioned the Year of No Habits and the Year of Shame before. I don’t think I’m quite ready to really talk about them in depth yet, but we’ll get there. We always do.

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  • Excerpts! Excerpts! Get Em While They’re Hot

    So I pulled out my editing chainsaw the other day. It’s not unusual for me to finish the beginning of a sci-fi story and then immediately edit it before going on with the rest. What can I say? I’m a believer in strong beginnings.

    Also, I promised excerpts. So I thought it’d be interesting to see my first two paragraphs of Draft 1 and Draft 1.1 side-by-side. I always find revisions and rewrites to be interesting beasts when the drafts belong to someone else. They give me a sense of who someone is and what their process looks like as a writer. Hopefully mine skews more towards ‘vaguely intelligent’ vs ‘complete and total idiot.’

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  • Burning Down the House

    original photo by Melinda Taber

    Everything I know about storytelling I learned from TV or from TV writers. That’s not really true, but it sounds good. That’s another lesson: lie your face off if it makes a good story.

    Thanks to Happy Days, we have the delightful “jumping the shark” in our lexicon. It’s a fun little phrase to break out when you want to sound cool. It’s also a prescription for what not to do with your story/franchise/reputation. I will note, however, that were I to ever encounter a real shark, I would jump that mofo without hesitation.

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  • What an Exhausting Week

    I am exhausted from the past week. Beyond the bombing news everyone has been following, my town flooded and I was head-butted in the face. Luckily I saw the latter coming and dodged out of the way, for the most part. Still got knocked in the chin pretty hard.

    The flood has been kind of a raw deal. My favorite local library was flooded out and will be closed until Tuesday. I’m glad my favorite places to write inside are all on the second floor. I feel like a jerk for being that concerned about the library considering everything that’s happened this week. I’m going to be selfish anyway.

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  • Taking Out The Editing Chainsaw

    original photo by juhansonin

    I’m working on a novella for self-publishing experimentation. My working title thus far is Three Days of Night. No, it’s not about vampires. Or the devil. It’s a science-fiction romp on a distant planet taken over by a cult. It’s about women and power and rebellion. It’s also a huge mess.

    The work naturally lends itself to be broken up into three parts. On Monday, I finished the first part. Well, the draft anyway. And I’ve started editing. Which a lot of people would call crazy.

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  • Why Daily Writing Goals Are Important

    Photo by Angie Torrest

    You’ve heard it before. I know you have. And if you haven’t? Get out from under that rock. All together now: The only way to be a writer is to write. Whew, got that out of the way.

    Sorry to be yet another echoey voice in the chamber, but there’s a reason that gets touted out so often. It’s the only piece of writing advice that is applicable to 100% of people who want to be or are presently writers. If you’re not writing then, sorry, but you’re not a writer. That goes for me, too.

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  • re: Boston

    Something terrible happened yesterday. And I’m sad and angry and other hard feelings about it. But I’m also blank. I’m almost afraid to say it, but I think I may actually be more angry/sad/scared about that blankness than I am the awful thing.

    This world is a violent one. I was fourteen on September 11, 2001, and the thing I remember most about that day was hoagies. In my school, a hoagie fundraiser was deemed more important than getting a grasp on what was happening and helping students process. Since then, a lot of Bad Things have happened. A lot of Bad Things happened before then, too.

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  • Why You Should Always Befriend Librarians

    look at all these books. look at them.

    It goes without saying: Librarians are awesome. Many of my best friends are current or former librarians, and I really enjoyed my stint working at a circulation desk in high school. You really get the opportunity to learn about books and reading habit when you work at a library.

    One of my closest friends is an awesome woman named Colleen. She’s a high school librarian who is passionate about getting books into the hands of teenagers who, well, hate books. And, as a writer, she is one of my most invaluable resources.

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  • Why I Stopped Listening to NPR in the Car and Will Never Go Back

    Confession time: I love NPR. A lot. I’ve been listening to their podcasts (Science Friday, what up!) with a devoted regularity for over five years. I look forward to Mondays because they mean new This American Life.

    Some people really hate NPR. I do not understand these people, and may secretly harbor pity for them. The reporting is sharp, the stories interesting, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to learn something new. It’s the holy grail of radio.

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