No Experience Is Wasted

Crunch time in the marketing department. Only a week before the biggest trade show of the year and I was making sales literature for products that didn’t exist yet. Everyone else had gone home. The factory workers left hours ago. During yet another trip to the copier in the engineering department, I stopped on the catwalk and leaned against the cool metal rail, listening to the sigh and wheeze of the ventilation required even when the assembly lines sat idle. Then I saw the forklift. A colleague and I had a running joke. When the job broke us, who would be the first to commandeer a forklift and race it across the factory floor? I didn’t want to wait. I longed to climb into the cockpit and take the beast for a spin before crashing it through a plate glass wall.

And because of my secret identity as a writer, I didn’t have to wait. It went into the novel. Everything goes into the novels, eventually. Continue reading “No Experience Is Wasted”

The IU Crew

A classy posseWho is in your crew? Who’s in your corner? I’m about to share with you one of the most important things I have ever learned about writing. You need a gang. You need a crew. You need people you can bounce ideas off of. You need people you can vent to. You need to have a group of people who’ve got your six. Why? There are lots of reasons, but the biggest one is that riffing with creative people makes you more creative.

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What’s a writer for?

What’s a writer for? What good do we do? Do we just march forward, puking our subconscious clutter onto the page – molding it and trying to make it mean something? Some people read it. OK. I always wanted to be a writer. Now, that I am, I sometimes find myself wondering what I want to be now. What’s next?

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Does Your Novel Have an Expiration Date?

You loved that old TV show. You know the one. With the topical humor that once had you laughing your ass off and quoting the good lines to your friends at lunch the next day. Now you catch it in syndication and it looks a little…dated. The jokes fall flat, the hairstyles are embarrassing, and the whole thing kind of flops around like a dying halibut. You’d put a bullet in its brain if not for the gawking-at-a-car-accident vibe. Then there are other shows that may be even older, yet you can watch episodes over and over and the content still feels new.

The same goes for contemporary fiction. That dead fish, the curdled milk, the rancid orange juice could be your book. Sure, contemporary fiction is, in its essence, contemporary. So why do some novels hold up over time and some quickly get that “not-so-fresh-feeling?” How do you avoid stamping an expiration date on your work? Continue reading “Does Your Novel Have an Expiration Date?”