Whenever I talk with someone who’s venturing into the weird and wonderful world of writing, I inevitably get this question: “Do you know of any books that would be good for me?” As a matter of fact, I do. The bookcase in my front hall houses dozens of such volumes. Some are essays about writing and creativity; some are about the writing life (such as Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life); some focus on craft; some are resources on specific topics I’ve written about or intend to (Deborah Blum’s The Poisoner’s Handbook is a gem for those writing about murder); some contain writing prompts or odd facts designed to stir up the muse (The Book of Useless Information, by Noel Botham and The Useless Information Society). Continue reading →
To say this morning did not start well is an understatement. Two days after the promised response time on a submission, I received an email informing me the story had been rejected.
But this wasn’t just any rejection. First, it was a group email, with everyone’s addresses showing. (Don’t even get me started about that. Words like tacky and insensitive come to mind.) Second, this rejection came from the same people who published my award-winning story last year. It seemed like a guaranteed acceptance. Instead, this was the literary equivalent of a high school senior not getting into her safety school. Continue reading →