New DIY MFA Article on Love as a Literary Theme

DiyMFA

When I noticed my next DIY MFA post was scheduled for the week of Valentine’s Day, I decided it was time for a case study on an appropriate and timeless theme: Love.¬†If you think about it, though, love is one of the most frequently discussed and deeply profound themes in literature. Plus, the most compelling thematic explorations of love touch on romantic love as well as love of other forms (kindness, compassion) and in other types of relationships (friendship, family). This is the case with the two example novels in today’s Theme: A Story’s Soul post, and I hope you *love* the end result (or, at least find it informative). ūüėČ

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New DIY MFA Article: A Case Study on Legacy as a Literary Theme

DiyMFA

Remember how I said that I’m changing my posting schedule next week? That’s because I have two¬†posts for you this week, including my first DIY MFA article of 2018. ūüėČ

Today it’s a case study on legacy and immortality, themes that aren’t examined frequently in literature but can be insightful and profound when that examination is done well. So what makes¬†Station Eleven¬†by Emily St. John Mandel a brilliant example? By using a museum, historic plays, and two characters who represent different ways of building a legacy that can impact the next generation.

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The Creativity Corner: Autumn 2017 (Plus, I’m on Hiatus for the Holidays)

I guess I should start this post by wishing you a Happy Winter Solstice… But I’m not a fan of winter. ūüėČ Either way, it’s hard to believe that another season has passed, and what an inspiring and productive autumn it was, creatively speaking. The funny thing is, when I was writing the end-of-summer Creativity Corner, I was already looking ahead to fall… and I realized that October and early November would be the best time to get as much writing done as possible before Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What a fantastic decision that turned out to be – because I’m¬†stunned¬†at how much I accomplished since then!¬†I’ll get into all of that shortly. And as always, feel free to share what you’ve been reading and writing (or revising, editing, etc.) this past season in your comments.
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New DIY MFA Article on Identity as a Theme in YA Literature

DiyMFA

One theme I’ve wanted to cover for a while at my DIY MFA column is identity: who we are, what we want to be, and all of the joys and complications that comes with those explorations. This theme can be found in books across all genres, but it happens quite frequently in YA literature – frequently enough, in fact, that I opted to do something different than my usual case study. Thus, today’s post offers insights on how identity is addressed in YA lit, its importance to readers in this age group, and what to keep in mind if your YA manuscript covers this theme.

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Weekly Writer Wisdom: Ursula K. Le Guin’s National Book Award Acceptance Speech (November 28, 2017)

After learning that Ursula K. Le Guin, my all-time favorite author, had recently published a new book of essays, I was inspired to go back to her speech at the 2014 National Book Awards, where she was awarded the National Book¬†Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. It’s so well crafted and full of truth about writing and publishing that I thought readers would enjoy it as well. Plus, at just under 6 minutes, it’s fairly short. Enjoy!

(Look for this week’s #WeeklyWriterWisdom¬†questions after the jump.)

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New Post at Writers Helping Writers on Story Resolutions (Plus, No Post on Thursday)

Writers Helping Writers

Today at Writers Helping Writers, I’m focusing on the resolution, or the scenes following a story’s climax. But I’m not offering tips on how to write a resolution. Rather, I’m sharing insights on recognizing whether your story needs one at all. Because as useful as resolutions can be for resolving subplots, answering questions, and providing other closure before the final page, they might not always be necessary.

So what questions should we ask ourselves to determine whether a resolution might strengthen a story? And, which timeless is a fantastic example of a resolution-less novel? All of that is covered in my latest Resident Writing Coach post.

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Guest Post by S.J. Higbee: Five Books That Inspired Her Debut Novel “Running Out of Space”

Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in a blog tour for one of my writer friends, S.J. Higbee! She recently self-published her debut novel RUNNING OUT OF SPACE, the first installment of the Sunblinded Trilogy. I was one of S.J.’s beta-readers for this novel a couple years ago, and I remember being swept away by her futuristic universe of spaceships, interplanetary travel, and a young woman who can’t seem to keep herself out of trouble. Now she’s here to share five novels that inspired RUNNING OUT OF SPACE – and I think you’ll be surprised at the variety of her picks.¬†

Also, thanks to Lola‚Äôs Blog Tours for letting me be part of S.J.’s blog tour, which runs until October 31st. Check out the complete schedule¬†here.

Thank you so much, Sara, for inviting me to give my Top Five List of books that have influenced my writing and probably contributed towards the themes and ideas in Running Out of Space. I say “probably” because I am very much someone who gets an idea and then goes for it, so it is only during the layers of editing and rewriting that I get a chance to reflect on the books that have affected my storylines and themes.

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Thrilled to Be Part of a “Literary Tea Party” Cookbook!

I’ve been near-bursting for weeks to share this news with you. And now I can finally say that (*drum roll*)¬†I’ve written the introduction to a literary-themed cookbook!

A Literary Tea Party: Blends and Treats for Alice, Bilbo, Dorothy, Jo, and Book Lovers Everywhere¬†is written and compiled by Alison Walsh, the “chef” of the literary food blog Alison’s Wonderland Recipes. It will feature over¬†50 recipes of finger-food savories, breads and scones, desserts, and homemade beverages from tea blends to punches and hot cocoas – all of which can be served for afternoon tea or other festive gatherings. The best part is, all of the recipes are inspired by foods that appear in well-known novels such as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Louisa May Alcott’s¬†Little Women,¬†and (of course) Lewis Carroll’s¬†Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.¬†
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The Creativity Corner: Summer 2017

Summer ends tomorrow, and what a busy season it’s been. Traveling, sightseeing, getting a head cold (OK, that wasn’t fun, but it did happen), and through it all I managed to get a lot of writing and reading done. So despite the busyness, it was a productive and satisfying summer. ūüôā

Without further ado, let’s launch into the Creativity Corner for a recap of what I’ve been writing and reading, and other related happenings, since the end-of-spring edition in June.
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