28Jun, 2019

What to Do When a Deadline Looms and You Are at a Loss What to Write About

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Get going on the road to writing (Empty road in Nevada, August 2011) Last Thursday, I was at a loss what to write for Friday's blog post. Uninspired, I thought, I'll just share a collection of phrases I found insightful from a craft book I recently read (Roger Rosenblatt's Unless It Moves the Human Heart). However, as soon as I [...]

21Jun, 2019

Why Hemingway Repeated Words, Why We Learn from Teachers We Don’t Like, and Other Insights on the Craft of Writing

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My writing studio in the attic of the Hemingway Birthplace Home, back when I was writer-in-residence. While I didn't particularly enjoy Roger Rosenblatt's Unless It Moves the Human Heart - The Craft and Art of Writing, he did teach me something about Hemingway's prose that I always wondered about: Why does Hemingway use simple words over and over? Here's an [...]

14Jun, 2019

The Chore of Writing Book Reviews: Is Having to Read a Book Worth it?

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I just clicked the Send button to submit my last book review. Until now I told myself that this would be my last. I don't want to have to read a book anymore. Mind you, as a writer I am unlikely to not have to read a book now and then. I teach writing, and so I have to read [...]

7Jun, 2019

The Best Thing ever for a Writer: When a Reader Shares Passages She Loved from your Book with You

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Jumping Over Shadows in Karlsruhe (photo by Barbara Jester) As a writer, there is nothing I like more than connecting with a reader. So I was thrilled when Ellen Amarnek tagged me in the following post: She had photographed a passage she particularly liked from my article "A Day on a Bench in Paris" in the Bella Grace Issue 19. [...]

31May, 2019

Sharing the Best Photos of our Once-in-a-Lifetime Trip to Petra, Jordan this past January (Part 3: Petra)

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When you arrive in Petra, you have a fairly long walk from the visitor center to the actual archaeological site. Along the way, however, you can already see multiple cave entrances, typical for this landscape that the ancient Nabataeans made good use of.Souvenir shops abound. Solar panels provide power.We were surprised that references to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade [...]

10May, 2019

Sharing the Best Photos of our Once-in-a-Lifetime Trip to Petra, Jordan this Past January (Part 2: Amman)

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If our first stop in Jordan, Jerash, was windswept and chilly, it was downright cold at the Amman Citadel. The Amman Citadel has been a site of fortresses dating back to ancient times, perched on the highest of the many steep hills that make up modern-day Amman. The weather on that late afternoon was also decidedly odd, the sky enveloped [...]

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