Tagged with fiction

THOSE kind of people.

This week I’m reading  Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and, of course, now I’m thinking about how I like quirky, distinct characters in writing. Also I’m wondering how best to create my own characters like Charlie, the book’s first-person narrator. If you haven’t read the book, it’s worth the read. Unless you hated Catcher … Continue reading

Why I heart my MFA Program

My last post was about my choice to pursue on MFA in creative writing. This one’s about which MFA program I chose and how I chose it. But first I’d like to echo the article Poets & Writers wrote on the topic this past fall and say that my decision to attend a program and … Continue reading

Why I Decided to Get an MFA

Two more months and I’ll have completed my first year in Pacific Lutheran University’s low-res MFA program in Creative Writing (fiction). Super excited. I often get asked about the program–What’s it like? Why’d you choose it? Why low-residency?–all the questions I asked when I was trying to decide 1.) if I should pursue an MFA, … Continue reading

Writing A Magical Story

This week I’ve been obsessively searching for the magical ingredients of successful story writing. Not like the obvious stuff that we always talk about–character, theme, plot, blah, blah. And please don’t suggest I go read Joseph Campbell. I’m talking about the magic! Secret somethings that pull you in and keep you reading (or watching or listening), … Continue reading

Extremely Incredibly Peculiar Child Narrators

As a rule I like kid narrators.  I read a lot of them. An embarrassingly high percentage of the books I read are YA and most young adult novels feature a first-person narrator between the ages of 14 and 17. This week, I met sixteen-year-old Jacob whom I accompanied on a quest to solve the mystery of … Continue reading

Feeding the Plot-Starved

On the heels of consuming several smarty pants books, I’m hungry for plot candy. Now feed me a story with action, imagination, and maybe a little sweet romance, please. Don’t get me wrong. I love good character-driven literary fiction, too. I mean, I just finished a marvelously lyrical memoir by Sonja Livingston called Ghostbread. Beautiful, award-winning … Continue reading

Who needs writing groups?!

I made the transition from working 40+ hours a week as an executive manager in a public agency to becoming a full-time writer and graduate student over a period of several years. At one point during this transition, I was participating in three separate writing groups. Now I am frequently asked, “Were all those writing … Continue reading