Archive for the 'Writers’ League of Texas' Category

NaNoWriMo & Some Unfortunate Advice From Lemony Snicket

Okay, so I hit only 25,000 words during National Novel Writing Month. But at least I’m further along than I was on Oct. 31! Here’s my post at the Writers’ League’s Scribe blog, featuring the distinctively unmotivational pep talk from one Lemony Snicket.

Among the highlights:

“Clearly, the future is moving us proudly and zippily away from the written word, so writing a novel is actually interfering with the natural progress of modern society. It is old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy, a relic of a time when people took artistic expression seriously and found solace in a good story told well….. It is like sitting in a gondola, listening to the water carry you across the water, while everyone else is zooming over you in jetpacks, belching smoke into the sky. Stop it, is what the jet-packers would say to you. Stop it this instant, you in that beautiful craft of intricately-carved wood that is giving you such a pleasant journey.”

There’s so much more!

Writers = the Lovelorn

I stumbled upon this inspirational piece for writers via the New York Times‘s “Paper Cuts” blog:
“Advice for the lovelorn…I mean writers,” by Marisa Silver. She starts out with a list of 10 tips for the lovelorn then translates those for writers. Among the highlights:

1. Your work will bother you. It will follow you around like an annoying little brother, pinching you every so often, even when you want to be doing other things with other people.

6. The only way to write fiction that will take someone else by surprise is to let your work take you by surprise too. Get lost. Be scared. Have no idea where you’re headed.

9. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.

10. Your work will often look horrible and embarrassing.

Read the whole piece here.

I’m going to print these out and post  them over my desk at home!

And interesting side discovery: The Elegant Variation” blog itself. Worth checking out!

This item is also posted on the Writers’ League of Texas “A Brief Word” blog.

Howling About All Things Texas at DogCanyon

The Armchair CoyoteMy pal Glenn Smith has just launched DogCanyon, a new web site about Texas culture, politics, mystique, et cetera et cetera. As the literary editor, I get to blogging about books, authors, writing, bookstores — basically, “Lone Star Lit 101” (my first post!). I’m hoping to post one longer piece a week, with some shorter tidbits in between.

Dr. Greg Jackson is also going to be writing about health care there too — we’re still trying to find a home for that book of his. His first piece is “How to Fix the Costs of Health Care? Let’s Do the Math.”

DogCanyon is also going to be an online media partner with the Writers’ League of Texas, so eventually other Leaguers will also be posting there.

Check out the Dog!

Back at It

Okay, I’ve been away from this here blog long enough. I haven’t come up with a clever post, so let’s try to ease back in. I’m still sad about losing ThunderDog, but Patsy Clementine is in fine form.

Right now, I’m getting ready to head to New York for Book Expo, right after the Writers’ League benefit with Roy Blount Jr. And I’m trying to get my hands on a copy of the June issue of Austin Monthlyit’s all about the Austin literary scene, and I’m IN IT! Now, there’s another first!

Oh yeah, and I need to write about the trip to Wimberley (what I can write for public consumption), Flight of the Conchords, James Otto, Carol’s visit, and the Big Man (as in Clarence Clemons)!

To be continued…

Greetings, Y’all!

2008-xmas-card-final-0012

What a roller-coaster ride 2008 was! First off, I turned 50 in January and started writing about it right here at my blog. Continue reading ‘Greetings, Y’all!’

The Long Road Home

Before starting the long road back to Austin, I met up with Steve and Arlene Griffis at Bread & Breakfast to talk about the upcoming Way Out West Texas Book Festival, which I regretfully had to pass on, because it’s the same weekend as Lydia’s wedding (Aug. 9). But we talked and talked and are cooking up a partnership for 2009 — I’m going to try to schedule the Summer Writing Academy to lead in to the WOW Festival, and that way we can share a bigger-name author or two! After breakfast, we went to Front Street Books, where I finally got to meet owner Jean Hardy, whom I immediately took a liking to! She had not known about the Writing Academy (yikes!) and said she would have been happy to host a reading by the instructor/authors! One more thing to work on for next year…

Then it was time to bid adios to Alpine and head back home. I went through Marathon this time, but didn’t stop. Steve and Arlene live there and have offered their guest house for me any time! Yay! I’ll definitely be ready to go back!

Fortunately, the looooong drive home coincided with the book I was listening to, The Last Girls, by Lee Smith — I started it shortly outside of Austin on the way up and it ended right around Dripping Springs on the return trip!

#14: My First Summer Writing Academy

The Writers’ League Summer Academy surpassed my expectations! I sat in on all four classes and was quite jazzed by them. Now I want to stick around longer, rather than head back on Tuesday!

After the orientation last night, I had dinner with instructors Karleen Koen, Clay Reynolds, Suzy Spencer, and Scott Wiggerman at my surprise find, Trattoria Cafe, next to the McDonald’s by the university. Food and conversation were all quite enjoyable.

The dorm, however … Note to self: For next year, make sure all instructors and visiting E.D.s are housed off-campus at a hotel! Oh, well, it’s so darn cheap, I can tough it out for two nights!

The students all seem to be into the classes, even on Day One. A good sign! The campus is just perfect for our Continue reading ‘#14: My First Summer Writing Academy’

#13: My First Trip to West Texas

Here I sit, on the porch of the Austin Street Café in Marfa, a soft easy breeze blowing napkins off tables, birds chirping, and the threesome at the next table expounding on the merits of Italian sportscars! The Presidio County Courthouse is spectacular, but I cannot find the fabled Marfa galleries and shops. Maybe it’s the Sunday sleepiness.

I fully expected to be more charmed by Marfa, but so far, Alpine scores higher on the charm scale. Nonetheless, I love being in West Texas; it’s so similar to New Mexico and even Sun Valley. The Austin Street Café’s veggie wrap with black-eyed peas and a superb tomato-basil soup –– well, those hit the mark and made the short drive worthwhile.

My whole excuse for being in West Texas is the Writers’ League’s Summer Writing Academy at Sul Ross State Continue reading ‘#13: My First Trip to West Texas’



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