Editing Tip: On Receiving Feedback


I’ve been MIA! Apologies for the absence, but I finally MOVED last week, into an amazing duplex in Jersey City that feels positively palatial in comparison to the 375-square-foot apartment we left behind in Brooklyn Heights.

It’s been an insanely stressful month, but yesterday as I was sitting on my deck, coffee and book in hand, watching the sun rise higher in the sky, I knew it was all worth it. I couldn’t be happier with my new place, and being happy in your home is so important to your mental well-being.

Now to get my life back on track, starting with a writing tip, because it’s Monday. Today: tips on how to take feedback.

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Improve Your Writing: Protagonists


In writing class the other night we got into an interesting discussion. According to my teacher (an agented, traditionally-published writer), the biggest reason readers put down a book is…

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Friday Things

tumblr_n2fa25XqMI1rs8w78o1_500Four of the greatest words in the English language: this too shall pass.

I’m hoping for a less stressful weekend than the week I had, in which hopefully some dangling issues regarding our impending move will be resolved. Regardless I’m going to try and stay positive and remind myself that some things are just out of my control.

Here are three things that made my week:

1. This road trip to Maine sounds lovely and amazing and it’s now on my list of places to go.

2. Test your vocab. (I didn’t do as well as I thought I would.)

3. This Tumblr is making me laugh, and laughter is something we could all use more of.

Reading: Still this. But not at night. At night I embarked on a reread of this lovely novel, and actually decided to up my rating from four stars to five. I was confused as to why I only gave it four stars to begin with, then I remembered I read it directly after this amazing book, so I must have been comparing. Note to self: comparisons are no good.

Watching: The movie version of this book, which I adored, is now on Netflix. I plan to watch it tonight while cooking dinner.

Listening to: Gaslight Anthem, particularly this song.

Image found here

Learning from the Masters: Opening Lines


I’ve already done a list of the opening lines from all my favorite books, but now I’m going to do a list of some of my favorite opening lines. (There’s a difference, though some overlap.) I’m also going to avoid the classics, since those lists are already all over the internet already.

Opening lines are so important. They’re the first taste your reader gets of your story. They need to hook, and hook hard.

So here goes. See if you can guess!

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Wanderlusty Wednesday

Mediterranean II

Having an “anywhere but here” kind of week. Moving is stressful. Time is a rare commodity.

So I’ll just leave you with this photo, taken by me in Acre, Israel, in December 2005.

Improve Your Writing: On Consistent Point of View

tumblr_ns7anr3jQV1qbwmiyo1_500There are a lot of things that go into writing a novel. Today I’m going to focus on an important one–point of view.

One of the first decisions you need to make when starting a novel is: who is telling this story? 

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Friday Things


It’s nothing, sir, so long as there’s health and a clear conscience.

This quote, from Anna Karenina, is the attitude we should all have about our “problems”.

This week’s been filled with highs and lows. We signed a lease for our new apartment, which is so exciting! But are finding ourselves unexpectedly bittersweet about leaving Brooklyn, which we’ve called home for seven or more years. We’re also stressing out about finding someone to take over our lease (if you know anyone who wants a beautiful, light-filled Brooklyn Heights one-bedroom, please let me know!)

And then my own problems were put into sharp perspective when I received bad news about a friend. If you’re the praying type, please send prayers. If you’re not, please send good thoughts. Thanks.

Three things from this week you may find interesting:

1. This personality test is so spot-on it’s frightening. It’s like it knows me! (I’m an INFP. What are you?)

2. This chart of how many books writers have written before publishing is so important. People love to spout off about success stories, but rarely do we hear about the failures that brought them there.

3. Because laughing is good for you.

I’m not going to do a reading/watching/listening to, because I’m still reading the same thing as last week (it’s over 1000 pages!), I’m watching nothing because I’ve been too busy, and I’m listening to more angry punk music because it makes me feel better.

Image found here