A Call for Suggestions for This Year’s Blogoversary

Happy Blogoversary

Holy cow, this blog will be 8 years old on July 9th.

The big day may be two months away, but if I don’t start planning for it now, I’ll be scrambling to prepare something at the last minute. And do I ever dislike last-minute scrambling. So let’s avoid it entirely. 😉

Since blogoversaries are equally about thanking readers and celebrating this site’s achievements, I’d love to have your input again for what you’d like to see for this year’s “festivities.” Here are a few ideas I’ve thought of:

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New Post at Writers Helping Writers on Using Real-World Locations In Your Stories

Writers Helping Writers

Oh, am I EXCITED about my new Writers Helping Writers post. 😀

This week, as part of the site’s Resident Writing Coach Program, I share some insights about using real-world locations in our stories, either faithfully for historical or contemporary genres or as inspiration for fictional worlds. And since one of the reasons why I attended the Iceland Writers Retreat was to do hands-on research for my story’s setting, guess which country I used as an example? 😉 Continue reading

Poetry & Song: “Elegy” and Adele’s “Hometown Glory”

Do you listen to music while you write? Has a specific song or music artist ever influenced one of your stories, poems, etc.? This has happened with a number of my published poems. Thus, Poetry & Song is a limited-run series where I share one of my published poems and the song that “helped me write” it. I also offer insights into why I chose that particular piece of music, as well as any other inspirations for the poem.

Some of you might know that I’m a published poet, with several poems accepted for print and online publication between 2012 and 2014. While I’m focusing on novels now, from time to time I’ve entertained ideas about how to discuss poetry (either my own or the poets I admire) here at the blog. Then, during last month’s Iceland Writers Retreat, I took Nadifa Mohamed’s “Music and Literature” workshop, which explored how the music we listen to can influence our writing. It turned out to be my favorite workshop of the event – and it also sparked the idea for this series.

Today I’d like to kick off the Poetry & Song series with “Elegy,” which was published in Soul-Lit’s Summer 2013 issue. And had it not been for a certain piano ballad by one of the most incredibly voices and songwriters in current pop music, I’m not sure “Elegy” would be what it is today. That’s why it’s impossible to talk about the poem without the song, or how that poem changed my feelings toward the song forever.

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The Mystery Blogger Award

Goodness, this has been sitting in my Drafts box for a while…. (*blushes*)

So Jessica @ Elldimensional graciously nominated me for the Mystery Blogger Award back in January. It’s taken me a while, and for various reasons, but I’ve finally made time to accept and answer her questions. Thank you, Jessica! 🙂 And since I haven’t done an award or blog tag in some time, this should be a fun change of pace.

Some quick details about the Mystery Blogger Award, as described by its creator Okoto Enigma: “The Mystery Blogger Award is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.”

I’ll save the guidelines for the end of the post. Let’s get to the good stuff first. 😉

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A Double Dose of New DIY MFA Articles, Including One on the Iceland Writers Retreat

DiyMFA

Yup, that’s right! I have not one, but TWO new DIY MFA articles to share with you this week! 😉

First, My Experience with and Tips on “Honoring Your Reality”

For my regularly scheduled column, I’m taking a break from literary themes to talk about “honoring your reality.” It’s a term that DIY MFA founder Gabriela Pereira uses to describe the need for maintaining a balance between one’s writing life and real-life responsibilities. But as many writers know, achieving this balance is easier said than done. So this week, I’m sharing my experience with the challenges of honoring one’s reality, as well as some tips that both reinforce and expand on Gabriela’s teachings.

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