Do It Now: Advice from Doris Lessing and Junie B. Jones

The world lost two influential literary voices this week. Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing, best known for her novel The Golden Notebook,  passed away Sunday at age 94.  And Barbara Park, author of the beloved children’s books featuring her irascible character Junie B. Jones, died Friday after a long battle with ovarian cancer.  Park was 66. While it may…

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Feats of Greatness, Feet of Clay: Authors, Flaws, and the People Behind the Stories

(Orson Scott Card poses at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, in 2008. Wikimedia Commons/ Nihonjoe) “Just because someone’s a member of an ethnic minority doesn’t mean they’re not a nasty small-minded little jerk.” ~ Terry Pratchett, from Feet of Clay  There is a reason I frequently shy away from reading biographies:  people suck.  Even the best people suck.…

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RIP Chinua Achebe: 1931-2013

Breaking News:  Just announced that Nigerian author Chinua Achebe has passed away at a hospital in Boston. Achebe was eighty-two. Achebe rose to fame in 1958 with the publication of his first novel Things Fall Apart,  a work that met with both critical and popular success. Other international best-sellers include No Longer At Ease, A Man of…

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Stuff that Keeps Smart People Awake at Night

I don’t know about you, but when I go to bed at night, my brain goes into Super Worry Overdrive. I worry about my bills, my kids, my  first drafts (like Anne Lamott, I am afraid someone will find my unedited work and will assume I have committed suicide when I realized my talent was gone).…

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Writer’s Spaces, Places, and Advice About Writing

“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”  ~ Stephen King, On Writing Pictured above is Stephen King’s own attic writing space at…

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