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Stanzas 3: Wander

Stanzas 3: Wander

This is the third entry into Stanzas, a feature on the blog in which I share some of the poetry and lyrics I've written over the years, along with the stories of what inspired them. Wander "Oh, Francis, it's so good to see you," they said. "It's been such a long, long time. Come and sit with us here at the table And stay with us for a while."   Francis sat down and told of his travels, Describing these places…

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Stanzas 2: I Carry On

Stanzas 2: I Carry On

This is the second entry into a new addition to the blog, called Stanzas, in which I'll be sharing some of the poetry and lyrics I've written over the years, along with the stories of what inspired them.   I Carry On I drive these same roads Back and forth every single day. I could close my eyes And still be able to find my way. I know the scent of coming rain And how the currents sway So why…

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Stanzas 1: Armored

Stanzas 1: Armored

My first forays into creative writing were as an angsty teenager, when I discovered poetry and lyric writing as a valuable release for the pent up emotion, frustration and confusion that my fourteen-year-old self was muddling through. I’ve always been very private with the writing I did during those times, but recently reread some of those old pieces and thought they deserved to be shared. So I’ve decided to periodically post some here on the blog, under the Stanzas label,…

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What is a #bookie?

What is a #bookie?

The folks at Read Aloud West Virginia have taken to social media to spread the word about their important mission of creating a state full of readers. They do great things to encourage reading by and to school-age youth, like providing reading packets and books to schools and organizing volunteer reading programs.  Their latest venture to raise awareness about reading is to encourage people to share their favorite children's book with a #bookie – a spin on the ever-popular selfie,…

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Novel Writing Takes How Long?

Novel Writing Takes How Long?

“The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season.” – Stephen King, On Writing Nice advice from Mr. King there, huh? And probably an achievable task if writing is in fact your full-time job. For many of us, especially those of us whose career is still in its relative infancy, that just isn’t the case. Or maybe it’s just me. My first book took three years of on-and-off work…

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Top 10 Books of 2014

Top 10 Books of 2014

‘Tis the season for “Best of 2014” lists! From The Washington Post to Publishers Weekly, it’s easy to find groupings of the year’s best works scattered all across the Internet. Far be it from me not to join in the fun. So, in random order, here are my 10 favorite books I read this year. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: Nominated for the National Book Award in fiction and a fixture on several Best Of lists this year, this spellbinding…

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Loving My Library

Loving My Library

On Friday, I headed downtown during my lunch break to practice that most fundamental of rights: voting. There are plenty of hot-button issues on the table politically right now, and plenty of hotly contested races to fill many a smear campaign ad. While I certainly had my political leanings in tow when I drove to the early-voting site, there’s another issue – on the back of that ballot – for which I was very interested in exercising my right to…

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When Your Book Doesn’t Sell

When Your Book Doesn’t Sell

Listen up, aspiring writers. Here's something you may not know: Having an agent is no immediate guarantee that a manuscript will sell. It could find a publishing home in a matter of minutes or it could float around in submission purgatory for a year or two. A tough lesson to learn is that, should the latter be your book's fate, it isn't because you're a bad writer with a bad book and a bad agent. Well, I guess it could…

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Why I Stopped Writing

Why I Stopped Writing

a.k.a. The Summer of Doctor Who Okay, okay. Don’t panic. I was purposefully being a bit cheeky with that blog title. I haven’t stopped writing for good, but I figured if the folks at Empire News can go viral with a misleading headline about Betty White dying, I can say I stopped writing without technically meaning it! Actually, the fact is I did stop but only for a while. And the incident begs the question, when is it okay for…

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