How to Find (or Build) a Writing Community – Part Two

This is the second in a three-part series on finding and building a writing community. The first post focused on online resources, both free and paid. This post will discuss local resources, both free and paid, and the third will expand to include traveling to workshops, retreats, and conferences. There are certain places that writers […]

American Authors as Activists

The controversial and historic election of reality star and billionaire businessman Donald Trump to the American presidency has inspired an ongoing wave of activism and resistance throughout the country, on everything from immigration and the environment to women’s rights and higher education. In response, readers are gobbling up relevant former bestsellers such as George Orwell’s […]

Tom Wolfe and the Power of Language

This past December, during the frenzied buildup to Christmas, I was shopping for gifts for my brother when I decided to duck into a bookstore and look around there. He likes a good thought-provoking book and I like hearing about what he learns through them, so I figured this would be a good place to […]

Genres…and More

So many choices, where to begin? For years, newspapers have been dividing bestsellers into Fiction and Non-fiction. Yet if one digs deeper into these two genres, a stream of sub-genres emerges. FICTION: Fantasy explores alternate worlds, timelines, and universes, often taking individuals from reality into an entirely imagined realm. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings may […]

A Writer’s Words: Fact or Fiction

Literary critics spend countless hours dissecting written texts in an effort to establish a connection between the author and their words. While it has long been known that writers interject certain elements of their personal lives into their fiction, we as readers need to learn when to disengage from the writer’s life and delve more […]

Plain Text by Nancy Mairs

Nancy Mairs

I had never heard of the writer Nancy Mairs when I happened to see her name on a list of writers speaking at a conference I was attending in Tucson more than two decades ago. Mairs was the last speaker of the day, and I debated whether to stay to hear her read, or begin […]

Madelyn Pugh Davis on set with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

Madelyn Pugh Davis: Girl Writer for “I Love Lucy” – Part 2

Last we left off, it was the late 1940s and Madelyn Pugh Davis and her scriptwriting partner Bob Carroll Jr. had just set their sights to write for the coast-to-coast CBS radio show My Favorite Husband starring Lucille Ball. At the time, Davis and Carroll were writing in California for a Pacific network show starring […]

The Way People Write About Home

In her collection I Feel Bad About My Neck, Nora Ephron includes the essay “Moving On,” about falling in love with her apartment and reaffirming her love for New York City. Ephron writes that after ten years in her apartment, she began to have recurring dreams about accidentally moving out and being unable to regain […]

Our Story Begins edited by Elissa Brent Weissman

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time… Four little words that, from childhood on, signal the start of a story. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, though, they start a writer’s story too. Once upon a time there was a boy or a girl who…fell in love with letters and the sounds of words or heart-grabbing stories or pens and […]

The Threat From Above

Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow is an exceptionally long and well-regarded novel, tackling the question of modernity and overwhelming technological change. In it, Slothrop, an American serviceman deployed in London at the end of World War Two with an uncanny ability to sense where rockets will strike the city, is subject to the machinations of shadowy […]