Category Archives: #WriterWednesday

#Writer Wednesday: Yet More Books That Have Stayed With Me

Hi, all! The General of WW2 novels, Pam Jenoff, challenged me to name 10 books that have stayed with me. It’s always good to update this list–and always impossible for me to choose only 10.

Bookmark by (obviously) avid reader Michele Austin.
Bookmark by (obviously) avid reader Michele Austin.

Since I apparently can’t play by the rules, here are 10 books that I’ve read/ re-read–this past year.

Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
The Shining by Stephen King
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Darkness Visible by William Styron
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Heartburn by Nora Ephron
Goodbye, Columbus & Collected Stories by Phillip Roth

#WriterWednesday: To MFA Or Not To MFA, That Is The Question

“Can a serious, ambitious writer get by without an MFA?,” a fellow writer asked me this morning. My answer, as the proud recipient of an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University, may surprise you.

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HI! Your To MFA Or Not To MFA is a great question and I can’t answer it for you; it’s a decision you have to make for yourself. What I can do is give you my experience, tell you why I did it and what the pros were for me.

#WriterWednesday: How To Start A Novel

“Dear J: I’m trying to start a novel because I feel the time is right, but I have no idea how to do it. Can you please give me some advice? Thank you! ~Madame S.”

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Dearest Madame S:

Oh my goodness, I wish I knew. I am still trying to jumpstart two novels I have jostling in my head and they are elbowing each other trying to fit through the same small doorway (my brain), with a logjam result. If I had a magic novel-starting button I would certainly share it with you!

#WriterWednesday: Inside The Writer’s Studio

Last night I had the great pleasure of my first book club via Facebook chat! and at the end, the host played Inside The Actor’s Studio with me–except it was Inside The Writer’s Studio. The questions were so much fun, I thought I’d share them with you!

What is your favorite word?
That’s a good question. My most recent favorite word is “crenelation,” about the snow castles here in Boston. My first favorite word: “inchitate,” as in “Don’t inchoate me” (I meant irritate. I was 2 years old).

What is your least favorite word?
Congrats. If you want to wholeheartedly congratulate somebody, for goodness’ sake, take the time to spell the damned thing out!