POSTS

Do you have a writing plan for the holidays?

The holiday season is a whirlwind and it’s really easy to get off track with your writing. As we count down to the end of the year, many writers beat themselves up because they haven’t written in a couple of weeks, they didn’t meet their word count goals, or they haven’t accomplished everything they wanted to in the course of the year. January starts, and they’re full of doubt over whether they’re good enough—not inspired to set writing intentions to succeed in the year ahead.

I don’t want that to happen this year to any of you, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite ways to stay connected to my writing when I’m super busy.

Read More
Top 7 Mistakes Writers Make When Pitching Literary Agents

I’ve been fortunate to meet agents at writers’ conferences and through workshops. I’ve also been through the query trenches, from cold querying agents to participating in Twitter contests and responding to manuscript requests. I’m still in the query trenches, but I’ve learned a few things along the way.

Here are the top mistakes I’ve seen writers make when pitching literary agents. These are either things I’ve witnessed myself in conferences, heard agents complain about, or heard writers admit in online forums.

Read More
How to Cope With the Stress of Being in the Closet

In a couple years I’ll be in college and out from under my parents’ thumb. Can’t I wait until then to let my rainbow freak flag fly?

My character’s words came to mind when I received a lesbian dating advice question from an Indian college student who felt trapped between a friend’s suspicion of her sexuality and her deep desire to remain in the closet through the rest of college. This woman was 20, and desperate to keep her secret hidden; I assumed this was because homosexuality is still criminalized in India and out gays and lesbians face widespread discrimination.

Read More
My Favorite Podcasts for Writers

Living in the country, I don’t get many chances to attend readings, mingle with other writers, or take part in a writer’s group …. all things I took for granted when I lived in Boston. Fortunately, the explosion in podcasts has brought a ton of great audio content that lets me learn about craft, find books to read, and cultivate a connection to the writer’s community.

Listening to writing podcasts has helped me better understand the publishing industry, feel less alone in my journey, and get a new perspective on aspects of the writing craft and process.

Read More
Writing Tip: Fix That Boring Scene With the Sandbox Technique

Having my opening pages critiqued by a literary agent showed me where my work was landing flat. In particular, the agent thought one area needed work – the dialogue I’d written wasn’t punchy enough to make my main character stand out in all her rainbow freak flag glory.

Since that critique I’ve been working through conversations, one line at a time, looking for ways to make my dialogue snappy rather than flat. Last weekend, I learned a new technique to reboot a boring scene.

Read More
Pride Guide: Here's How You Be an LGBTQ+ Ally for Pride

The night before my wife and I headed off to celebrate Pride weekend (because it’s always Pride weekend somewhere in June) we attended a “what does pride mean to you?” panel at our local LGBT center. After hearing from intergenerational, multicultural LGBTQ individuals was interesting, we headed home to get ready for our trip — only to get a text from a friend that she wouldn’t be joining us at Pride because her ex didn’t think it was appropriate for their child.

No apology.

No acknowledgement that it was a slap in the face remark from someone we’d invited to weddings, parties, and other events for years.

Read More
We'll Never Be Able to Pee in Peace. Thanks Trump

“Trump Appears Set to Reverse Protections for Transgender Students” the New York Times warns, specifically legislation put in place to allow school kids to pee in the bathroom that meets their gender identities. Hours later, he did just that claiming the legal argument for the protections needed more study (and of course, states rights to discriminate against whoever they want).

Read More
Lessons Learned at the Women's March: Compassion is a Tool in the Resistance

On the way back from the Women’s March, my wife and I listened to a TED Radio Hour episode that got me thinking about the experience we’d just had marching in DC and the best way to take that momentum forward and make change.

The TED talk that stuck with me was about emotional correctness vs. political correctness —or why liberals are pricks, how that intersected with progressive messaging, and what we can learn from conservatives.

Read More