Author

Really? I’m an author?

October 13, 2017
Ella at desk

With a contract for RECLAIMING JOY, I can now legitimately call myself an author with a forthcoming book. Those words have very specific meaning in the publishing world, and I have to pinch myself to make sure I haven’t dreamed it. After having an unfinished manuscript hanging over my head for more than three years, I am not quite sure what I do next. I …

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Return From Neverland

August 17, 2017
Lest We Forget

Like Wendy Darling in Peter Pan, I realize I cannot remain forever on my personal Neverland island of Nantucket. For two months I didn’t turn on television. I paid scant attention to the headlines of the newspapers for sale in the pharmacy. America seemed very remote. With decidedly mixed feelings, I packed my bags and returned home to the real world last week. Those first …

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God Is a No-No

April 27, 2017
Writer's Bookshelf

…and 18 Other Lessons Learned in Writing a Book I am a reporter by trade, a writer in the short form. I can churn out 1,000 words in my sleep. How naïve I was when I decided to write a book. I had never written in the long form. I did almost everything wrong, and those 60,000 words took three years to produce. In fact, …

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Pitching in the Elevator

October 20, 2015

I finally have my elevator pitch! Ever since I started writing 17 months ago, I have stammered when asked to describe my book. After I finished the fourth draft of the first chapter last winter, my independent editor told me it was time to get a website and start blogging, in preparation for writing my book proposal and finding a literary agent. As I began to …

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Defying Stereotype, Mixing Genre

August 2, 2015

As I scanned the crowd in the Wylie Theatre lobby, looking for a place where I could eat my box lunch, an attractive blonde on a nearby bench made eye contact and gestured that I could squeeze in beside her. I’m not good at striking up conversations with strangers, but we were both attending the DFW Writers Conference, so there were natural conversation starters. While …

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The Value of a Writers’ Conference

June 10, 2015

Writers’ conferences are on all the “to do” lists for aspiring authors, along with branding, blog, social media presence and the like. Finding community is two-pronged: Authors need to build community with both potential readers and with other authors, agents and publishers. I found the Moravian Writers’ Conference through Beth Kephart, whose book I liked: Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir. She was …

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Writing in the Long Form

April 29, 2015
writers bookshelf

One year ago, I sat down at my old desk in the bedroom—not the one where I do all my “Lev work”—and I started to write a book. Being an “author” was never my ambition. While I have been putting words on paper most of my life (and since 1982, on the computer screen), I never considered writing in the long form. I am a …

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