When the muse drops by and you’re like, “I’m busy”

Most creative types know that a visit from the ever-elusive muse is a welcome and wonderful thing. You can’t always control when inspiration strikes. It comes and you take advantage of it because you don’t know when it will come again. Unless you’re busy. Then it might not be realistic to strike while the proverbial — Read More

Spotlight on: Donna Tartt

I fell in love with Donna Tartt’s writing when I read The Goldfinch. For some reason, it took me a year or so to get to The Secret History, her first book. The book she wrote between the two, The Little Friend, is next on my list. She writes the kind of books I dream of — Read More

Spotlight on: M.L. Stedman

If you haven’t read The Light Between Oceans yet, I highly recommend adding it to your Amazon cart. It came out in 2012, so I’m a bit late to this particular party. Shameful confession: I’m never that excited to read historical fiction. I tend to think the characters are going to talk in their old-timey way — Read More

Spotlight on: Maile Meloy

If you don’t know Maile Meloy yet, you’re missing out. For whatever reason, I didn’t discover her writing until last year. I’ve now read 3 of her works: Liars and Saints (novel), Half in Love (short story collection), and Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It (short story collection). There is something so — Read More

Spotlight on: Maggie O’Farrell

Maggie O’Farrell is the kind of writer I aspire to be. Her prose is poetic, but accessible. Her characters are complex (and the relationships between them are simply beautiful). Her stories read quickly, with an air of suspense. They are dramas, with hints of humor. I read my first Maggie O’Farrell book last year–The Hand — Read More

Spotlight on: Jeffrey Eugenides

Jeffrey Eugenides is one of those writers who leaves my jaw on the floor every time.  I consider him so far out of my league that envy isn’t even in the cards; just admiration and awe. Eugenides is a literary writer who is also popular–in other words, a rarity. He wrote The Virgin Suicides in 1993 (which — Read More

Spotlight on: Tom Perrotta

I haven’t met a Tom Perrotta book I didn’t like, and I’ve read a lot of them–Bad Haircut (short stories), The Wishbones, Joe College, Little Children, The Abstinence Teacher, The Leftovers. I still need to read Election. Perrotta is not-so-arguably one of the best contemporary authors today. Two of his books (Little Children and Election) — Read More

Spotlight on: Liane Moriarty

I’ve decided to do a little “Spotlight On” post about authors I really love and admire. I’ll scour the Internet for interviews they’ve done and essays they’ve written to gather up some interesting tidbits about their lives and writing process. Sound fun? I think so. First up: Liane Moriarty. I fell in love with Moriarty — Read More

On persistence

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about how we only get about 10% of any one person’s story. We see only the parts they are willing to share–the happy parts, mostly. We shield others from our heartaches. If we do share, we share a small sliver. For example: On Facebook, which I consider an exaggerated — Read More


Writers use “workshop” as a verb. As in, “Your book is coming along. You should workshop it.” I haven’t done a workshop in many years. But for a while there, workshopping was a huge part of my writing life. It basically defined my grad school program–and most grad school programs (which is important to note — Read More