Cupertino Poet Laureate – 2018-2019

  It’s official! I’ve been named the 2018-2019 Poet Laureate for the City of Cupertino! I’m excited and honored to serve in this position for the next two years, and I look forward to the opportunities this will bring to meet community members and explore the power of poetry together. Advertisements

Pondering Poetry: A questioning exercise (that may result in a poem!)

I like using the tag line “pondering poetry” because pondering is often how a poem forms: I sit (or walk or swim or run), asking myself questions about something or another (or sometimes both something and another). When I answer the question, I try to think my answers in images. In other words, if I as…

From the Bookshelf: Habits of the Creative Mind

Habits of the Creative Mind (HCM) is written to be used as a college textbook, however it is not a typical college-level writing textbook by any stretch of the imagination and can (and should) be used by a wider audience. This new book (published in 2016) is based on five core principles: (1) writing is…

When the World Ends: Or, I Need a New Computer

The Death of My Dell (To skip to the “best laptops for writers” information, scroll to the end.) It was the 2015-2016 academic year. I was finishing my MFA program (no biggie), launching a platform, winning NaNoWriMo, writing my thesis, planning and organizing a remodel/addition project in the SF Bay Area (from Maryland), dealing with…

Fueling the Fires

When your work involves being creative, it can be hard to come up with new ideas day after day, hour after hour. To maintain a creative life, you need to feed your creativity. Visit new places, look at new works of art, eavesdrop on new conversations, read new books/articles/posts, try your hand at a new…

An Exercise in Perspective

One of the best things about being writers is that we get to play with reality. When we craft fiction, poetry, and even creative nonfiction, we can bend and twist the boundaries of our identity, the identities of our speakers and characters, and even the world around us. Of course, there are varying degrees of…

Looking for a literary agent?

I’m not currently looking for an agent, but merely thinking about the process makes me break out in a cold sweat. Finding a good match, writing a stellar query, knowing how to spot a fake… Never mind actually having a polished manuscript to submit! Fortunately, there are many great resources to help writers along. Websites galore, how-to…

NaNoWriMo: Creating a book cover

I was on the fence (again) this year about joining NaNoWriMo, but the idea of writing during the month of November with my amazing Platformed Challenged friends has convinced me. I’m in! Still… I worry. This year, November for me means not only all of the usual busyness of Thanksgiving, family, and work because in…

Want to visit Heaven (with a quick side trip to Hell)?

Fiction Review: Fall from Grace Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My review is very detailed, so if you want the bottom line scroll to the end of the post!  Heaven. Whether or not you are of the religious variety, the word “Heaven” is synonymous with a place…

The Writing Life: Lions and Tiger and Titles – Oh My!

If you’re anything like me, you start writing because a character (or an interesting situation) comes to visit your brain. And you write and write and write and begin to bring to life the story. You start to get excited about your wonderful writing so you share bits and pieces of the project with your…

Top Seven Takeaways from Writing Conferences (Part 7): Enjoy the Ride

My final takeaway after attending myriad writing conferences for a year is to sit back, relax, and enjoy yourself. I know it can be stressful to network, have your work critiqued, or pitch to an agent. But it’s important to remember that writing conferences are not put on to induce stress. They are there to…

Top Seven Takeaways from Writing Conferences (Part 6): Bang for Your Buck

The cost of attending writing conferences can range from my all-time favorite, FREE, to hundreds (and hundreds) of dollars. Additionally, a writing conference can last one day or multiple days, which, unless you live relatively close to the venue means a hotel room and meals out. How do you know which conference to attend in…