Writing Process

Victory Over Adobe!

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Uncategorized, Writing Process | 0 comments


One of the photos I very nearly paid $142 for.

I needed some good-quality images to use in a presentation, so naturally, Adobe Stock Photos was the place to go. I was irritated to find out that I had to sign up for a monthly membership in order to download ten or fifteen photos–this seems to be more and more of a trend these days, doesn’t it, companies trying to hook you into a long-term relationship when you just want a date? Er, I mean, a single commercial transaction? (I’m looking at you, Microsoft.) But the site said I could cancel at will, so I went ahead and signed up.

Of course, I forgot to cancel. As one does. A thirty-dollar charge showed up on my credit card. Rats. Oh well, lesson learned. I went to the site to cancel my membership.

Only to learn that I’d be charged $142 for cancelling before the end of the year.

Now, I may have missed some fine print, but I swear I didn’t know I was locking myself into a twelve-month membership with significant penalties for opting out. I stared at the screen in dismay. It’s nearly December and I’m a freelancer. December is an expensive month for most people, and even more so if you pay your own health insurance (HSA contribution!) and manage your own retirement funds (Roth IRA!) I’ve got a lot of use for $142. But I figured it was probably my fault. I’d made a mistake, I hadn’t read the information carefully enough, I’d suck it up and pay the fee.

Wait. No I wouldn’t.

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Hipple Collection of Young Adult Literature

Posted by on Nov 21, 2017 in Book: Deadly Flowers, Book: Deadly Wish, Educators & Librarians, Writing Process | 0 comments


A first draft pages from Deadly Wish. Am I the last writer alive to do first drafts longhand?

I was flattered and excited to be asked to donate signed copies and original manuscripts of Deadly Flowers and Deadly Wish to the Ted Hipple Collection of Young Adult Literature at the University of South Florida! My books will live on the shelves beside books by Judy Blume and S.E. Hinton, so you can see they’ll be in very good company.

I must confess I’m a little sad to give up the original first drafts, though. It’s funny–I save all my first drafts, although I don’t know why. I don’t look at them again. They just take up space. I don’t mind throwing away intermediate drafts, but those first, handwritten ones–they feel like part of me. I’m surprised by how much of a wrench it feels to send them away. Like sending a kid off to college, I imagine. You always hoped they’d get there, but they’re not all yours anymore. Time to see what they can offer the world!

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Twelve Truths I Learned From Life and Writing by Anne Lamott

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 in Inspiration, Writing Process | 0 comments

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.”

“Every writer you know writes really terrible first drafts, but they keep their butt in the chair.”

“Go outside. Look up. Secret of life.”

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A Glimpse Inside a Writer’s Closet

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Writing Process | 0 comments

IMG_8591If you peeked into my closet today, you’d see:

  • a stuffed cobra that can be posed with its head and neck pulled into striking position
  • a facsimile of a gravestone from 1893
  • a pirate hat
  • and of course unruly piles of books.

All of these are legitimate work-related objects. #writingisweird

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