Who Are You? [Birthday Post]

This exercise comes from the James Scott Bell’s plot book, but it hit me so hard I decided to treat it as something separate. Basically, Mr Bell takes the old adage, “Write what you know,” and makes it, “Write who you are.” It sounds almost Julia Camerom-esque. When you invest […]

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Plot & Structure Exercise 6: an Honest Look

How could I not? I read chapter 2 of Mr Bell’s Plot book through the lens of my last novel. Why? Because I wrote They Lived They Were with plot squarely in mind. At first I wrote freely, as I tend to do. But later, every editing decision, every scene […]

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Plot & Structure Exercise 3: Quick and Dirty

Today’s exercise calls for four lines, one for each of the LOCK element, on your next novel. Well, well! I do have a next novel idea, which I really (really) want to be plotty. Like I might as well get the thing down pat. Butterflies, remember? Gossamer wings. Plot of […]

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Plot & Structure Exercise 2: Lock and Load

This exercise builds off another idea from chapter one of Mr Bell’s simple and clean book on training your plot muscles. Essentially, the structure of our favorite books boils down to this acronym:   L.O.C.K.   In pieces, Lead, Objective, Confrontation, Knockout. Acronyms are sexy, we must admit, and choice […]

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Plot & Structure Exercise 1: Get Motivated

The first book in the semester of Plot will be James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure. With a name like that, how could you go wrong? Not his, although it does reminds me of one of my favorite professors in college, Susan Bell . . . nevertheless, just for bibliography’s […]

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A Semester of Plot: a preamble

Has it ever happened to you where you get the same message three different times, in three different ways? Your stomach growls, you’re hungry. But it’s better to save money, hold off until dinner. And then you see an ad on your computer for ice cream. No, you say. Then […]

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Commune Exercise Day 4: Explore your Purpose

Ms Suskin has already urged us to make meaning out of the little things, the big things. But what is the most important of all the meanings? Our own meaning.   In today’s episode, the poets gathered to explore their own purpose. People will always ask you why you do […]

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Commune Exercise Day 3: Find Your Inspiration

Today’s exercise asks us to utilize our senses when we write a poem. I’m here watching this video, smelling my sweat, greasy hair stuck to my brow, thinking, duh.   But, Ms J Suskin, let us honor the gods with our five senses! Below are my five and a bonus […]

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Commune Exercise Day 2: Purpose

These exercises feel easy and doable (during working hours! Opps). I am grateful for them. They really inspire. Especially with how I tell myself I should be training more. Be more of a champion. Practice daily, all the time, every moment I get, religiously.   Today’s exercise features purpose. In […]

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Commune Exercise Day 1: Your Awe

My mother is super into webinars, and in daily meditation, and daily practice. So, here I am, sharing in her delights. She sent me a series hosted by a longtime poet and motivator of words within us: Jacqueline Suskin. Now, when I read her name out loud (in my head, […]

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Sustenance, Sex, & Safety

It’s the morning, and I wake up with a terrible ache in my stomach, my wife gone, and darkness all around me. I don’t know the time, but surely she’s gotten up earlier to make coffee in the kitchen. I have to get there.   My eyes don’t work, however. […]

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The Guy in the Self-help Section

There once was a handsome man, with a big jaw and strong hands, a great job and many good years ahead of him. But, despite these blessings, there was one thing about him not so great, something odd and embarrassing. The minute he opened his mouth, he became aware of […]

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Esperándolo a Zama: una pequeña reseña del libro

Zama me parece una novela fabulosa. Primero, capta el ensueño de un funcionario de la corona española en Asunción de Paraguay a fines del siglo dieciocho, poco antes de las grandes revoluciones que barrerían el continente. Segundo, narra los acontecimientos y pensamientos del protagonista, con una prosa a la vez […]

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Empower

In an unlit break room, at the end of lunch, two coworkers chat. The first tries to comfort the second, because she has just had a miscarriage. The worst part, she admits, is that while she has accepted the loss, her body hasn’t, awaiting something that will not come.   […]

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Novel Summary, Excerpt, & Spotlight

Novel Excerpt: They Lived They Were at Brighton Beach by Ivan Brave This book launch gives me the chance to meet some of the most interesting personalities on the web. There are just too many cool people out there, doing good by us indie authors. Sharing posts, sharing announcements, and […]

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