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A Survivor’s Guide to #AWP15

It’s one of the largest annual gatherings of creative writers, publishers, and educators in the United States–usually well in excess of 10,000 attendees–and the largest such event for literary writers. Once again I’ll be attending the AWP Conference & Bookfair, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ annual extravaganza. This year the hordes will be […]

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Road Stories: Why We Like to be Taken for a Ride

I’m pleased to host novelist and writing guru PJ Reece, a global traveler who offers us some great insight on how the call of the journey connects us to the story. His latest writing craft book, Story Structure Expedition: Journey to the Heart of a Story, is now available.   “One’s destination is never a […]

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How To Put Your Whole Brain to Work

That’s the mission of the creativity workshop I’m conducting on Saturday, March 21st, at the Florida Creativity Weekend in Sarasota, Florida. “Putting Your Whole Brain to Work” will be an 90-minute interactive session with games, storytelling, and of course a whiteboard. Here’s the teaser on the conference’s website: Does your creative process involve your right and […]

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Using Extended Metaphors in Your Writing — Part Three

Welcome to my final post on crafting an extended metaphor that runs the length of your creative writing. These lessons apply for fiction as well as nonfiction, but for the purposes of this series I’ve focused on examples from my recently published memoir, Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road. In Part One of this series […]

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Using Extended Metaphors in Your Writing — Part Two

Extended metaphors in prose resonate with the reader, even if she isn’t sure what it is the author has done to trigger that resonance. In Part One of this series I explained that making use of a recurring metaphor advances both plot and character development. We looked at how to identify a key theme that needs […]

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An Author Interview on Creative Inspiration and the Writing Craft

I’m honored to have been interviewed by memoir author Kathleen Pooler on her excellent website/blog, Memoir Writer’s Journey. I guess I got a bit carried away in my answers to her questions, because she’s having to break up the interview into two parts. The first–a discussion of creative insights and inspirations, largely–is now live. The […]

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Using Extended Metaphors in Your Writing – Part One

One element of creative writing that I struggled with in my MFA program was the use of metaphor, particularly ones extended across long passages. I bemoaned my struggle from one of my Vermont College of Fine Arts residencies. But as I progressed in my studies I came to realize I was too hard on myself, […]

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A Reading of Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road

I set up a personal video camera to record my first post-publication reading of Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road, one I did at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. When I got home I realized I had forgotten to clear room on the memory card; it only recorded the first half. I’ve joked before […]

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Guest Post: Reliving Trauma through the Creative Process

Let me begin with a teaser for next week: I’m working on a post about creativity lessons we can learn from the newest winners of the President’s National Medal of Technology and Innovation. I had the good fortune of attending the recent White House ceremony, and I’ll bring you a taste of that as well […]

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An Author Reveals His Secret in The New York Times

While it’s not a subject I’ve written about much on this blog, a key narrative theme in my book Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road is my coming to terms with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The publication of the book essentially “outed” me, in a manner in which I had the most control; my own […]

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