Feeling Like It

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(Magnet on the whiteboard over my desk)

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There are at least a dozen things I need to do today, but I’m writing this blog post instead.

Why?

Because I feel like it. Continue reading

The Lemon Meringue Pie Approach to Writing Fiction

For some writers, stories spring into being, fully-formed and populated with fascinating, well-rounded characters. The act of writing is little more than taking dictation from the Muse, with perhaps a bit of sprucing up here and there to ensure that the foreshadowing is properly balanced with the revelation and the metaphors sparkle.

We do not like these people. Continue reading

Lessons from Judging a Writing Contest


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Judging others is tricky business. Being viewed as judgmental is nearly always negative. Criticizing someone’s art or craft—even when that’s what you’re paid to do—can lead to some spicy battles. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns us, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matt. 7:1-2 NIV)

Which are some of the reasons I was a bit nervous when I agreed to serve as a judge in a short story contest (which we’ll call “The Contest”).

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I’ve been submitting stories to contests and publications for nearly four years. While I have had some small successes, the rejections far outnumber the acceptances. Continue reading