On Truth-Telling–in Writing and in Life

Truth-telling was passed down the family chain the moment I took my breath. I swear it must be part of my genetic code.

“Always tell the truth,” my mother told us even before we could speak. And so, I grew up telling the truth. It would be hard to find someone out there who does not think I am honest. I am often honest to a fault—volunteering information so it doesn’t eat at me from the inside.

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On Why We Must Write, Rupi Kaur and Sisyphus

Roll that Giant boulder—Sisyphus style

Believe it or not, there are days when I don’t feel like writing. There are days when I question why I spend so much time reading words nobody’s going to read. Words I’m only going to delete later. And I wonder why I’m choosing to be that clueless hamster running in the wheel—or Sisyphus rolling that damn boulder up the hill only to watch it crash back down to the bottom so he can start over again. My punishment is an endless paper ball and it weighs more than you’d think. That paper is drenched in the heft of my soul.

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Experiments with

On Experiments, Seinfeld and Literature

Experiments, Seinfeld and Literature are three of my big favourites in life.


Ask my mother—even as a young girl I loved to experiment. When my aunt and my mom went dancing, my cousin Mickey and I would take all of my mother’s baking supplies and half of what was in the fridge and play “Just Like Mom.” We did such a great job of cleaning up that she didn’t suspect a thing.

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On Generating Ideas for Writing

If you know me well, you’ve probably guessed that I rarely have trouble generating ideas for writing. I rarely get stuck, and I’ve never had writer’s block, but I do get in a “writing rut” at times. If I’m stuck, I know it’s time to put down the story for a while so my brain can work through the kinks at its own pace.

In this post, I’ve gathered generators of all sorts that I’ve used or plan to use in the future. Why not put them all in one place and share the wealth, right? Too bad the name generator wasn’t around in 1987 when I was planning out the names of the children Patrick Swayze and I would someday have…

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You are a Badass!

Jen Sincero is a Badass Superhero

Do you believe you’re a badass? Well, I do. I believe you are a badass, and I believe I am a badass. Even you, Mom. You are a badass too!

Ever started reading a book and think, “Man, does that ever sound like me!” As you might have guessed, I have found an echo of my voice in the book I am reading, and it’s cracking me up. Jen Sincero is using words I’m pretty sure I made up, and I’m finishing her sentences in my mind before I read them. I’m sure if Jen Sincero and I met, we’d be besties. She’s that awesome.

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Gift horse--from

Perspective and The Gift of Teeth

or Seeing the Unseeable

A week ago, I received a gift of teeth–and the gift of perspective. For the first time in my life,  I was able to see a part of myself I understood so little about.

My mother always insisted I had a big mouth. In fact, more than once she has noted I am lucky to have a big mouth and small teeth. I guess that’s my mother’s perspective on me and my mouth. (Maybe she was trying to say I talk a lot–but, as I’ve mentioned before, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.)

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My audience

Audience: Who Are You Writing For?

Good question—who is out there in my audience? Until last year I thought I was writing for myself. My writing teacher rolled her eyes (at least that’s what I imagine she did. She was on the other side of the screen, so I’ll never know). She said, “A writer does not write for oneself unless she is writing in her journal. Who do you want reading your stories?”

“I was stumped.  “I sort of want everyone to read my work, don’t I?”

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Books! Writing Tools

Write About What You Know—and What You Don’t Know

If I can give you advice on anything, I’d have to say write about what you know—and what you don’t know. It took me over forty years to realize that most people don’t analyze things as much as I do.

In April, a friend told me I was making him crazy with all of my questions. He paused, looked me in the eyes and said, “But you’re a writer. That’s what you do.” Another friend commented on how I’ve got every detail of our conversations memorized, and another on how I tend to beat a dead horse until I understand why it’s dead. I didn’t like the analogy, but I got the point.

These days, I call the beating of “dead horses” investigations. It cuts down on a lot of research time. Continue reading