One Thing at a Time

JordanFiction Writing, General, Musings, Writing. Practice.

I often read two books at a time: one on my kindle, one in hard copy—their different tones competing for space in my head. I almost always work on more than one freelance project in a given week, and really, most of the time, I’m gnawing on multiple pieces of my own fiction. To be really honest, I often have my phone, my kindle and my laptop all spread out on the couch before me in the wee hours before my son wakes.  And  how many times do I find myself toting a child who is really too old to be carried anymore, a shopping bag, my purse, and a sweaty brow? Imagine what our lives would be like if we did only one thing … Read More

JordanOne Thing at a Time

Call Me Coach

JordanBusiness of Writing, Classes, Fiction Writing, General, Writing Coaching

Despite the bad rap that comes with the title, as a kid I always wanted to be teacher’s pet. Not just for the praise; it seemed that to get more time with one’s teacher was to be closer to the source of learning itself—and I was a Hungry Learner. It’s from this standpoint that I approach writing coaching. I’ve been doing it for years now, but calling it something else (editing). Fact is, the hungry learner inside me has an alter-ego known as the Eager Teacher. Each year that I edit more writers’ manuscripts I learn more about how hungry writers are, too, to write the best material they can write, to imbibe and learn the craft on a level … Read More

JordanCall Me Coach

Turn Inward: Make Your Own Noise

JordanCraft, Fiction Writing, General, Writing. Practice.

It’s been awhile since I’ve presented my Reasons To Write series…mostly because I have been writing and working and a lot of other things, so it’s good. But lately I’ve been feeling the strain of information again upon me—the strangely addictive cycle of spending lots of time on Facebook, reading my tweetstream, getting most of my news, and lots of interesting articles on the arts, even reading books online or on my SmartPhone. After too much of this, I begin to feel like Gulliver attacked on all sides by Lilliputians, pulling on me, tugging me down and in so many directions that even when I’m really doing nothing, I feel tired. I can feel my synapses beginning to hold up … Read More

JordanTurn Inward: Make Your Own Noise

To Thine Own Self…

JordanFiction Writing, General, Musings, Writing for Joy, Writing. Practice.

I had the great fortune to be a presenter this past weekend at the Central Coast Writer’s Conference in Morro Bay. It’s a funny thing to be a presenter in the years since my book Make a Scene was published. I’ve been an attendee plenty of times, and like many of you I am still on the hard scrabble journey to publish my fiction, even though I’ve published two non-fiction books, short stories, and articles. There’s this invisible line that exists in the minds of the non-published…they are on one side of it, and you the published people, on the other, more hallowed side of it, and thus are somehow “better.” I’ve never liked these kinds of lines, and when … Read More

JordanTo Thine Own Self…

What Slug-Bug Can Teach You About Writing

JordanCraft, General, Writing. Practice.

Have you ever played the game “slug-bug”?  You know, on a long road trip with a sibling or a friend, every time you see a Volkswagon Bug (or whatever your vehicle of choice), you have to punch your friend on the shoulder? And how, after awhile, your arm all tensed up waiting for the sting of that fist on your shoulder-meat, it seems like all you see on the road are VW bugs? Okay, so maybe your car pasttimes were more civilized, but here’s where I’m going to make this about writing… Being a writing coach, I hear a lot from my clients on their bad days…how far from done they feel, how much they think they have to learn, how … Read More

JordanWhat Slug-Bug Can Teach You About Writing

Soft Landing

JordanGeneral, Musings

I think of the old adage: “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” As a writer, I know how untrue this is. Words are at best, beauty, and at worst, weapons. We often wield them clumsily. When fueled by emotion they are often the most painful sort of cudgels and knives, driving into the soft spots inside us, opening up our wounds. And yet, no matter how many times my words have failed me, or been turned against me, or others’ words have come splintering out of the silence in sharp and unexpected shards, I still turn back to them time and time again. Those of us driven to understand use words as our … Read More

JordanSoft Landing

The Thousand Things

JordanGeneral, Mothers and Writing

On the phone with a writing client today I say, “It’s a crazy week,” and he laughs knowingly. “It’s always a crazy week,” he says. I can’t read his tone. Is he chastising me?  It does seem that I say this to him each week during our standing appointment. Is this his impression of the person he’s hired to “coach” him through seeing his manuscript through to publication? “It’s always crazy, for everyone,” he amends, but somehow I still feel guilty. The day spins out like a yo-yo flung too far and gone slack. I’ve finished several critiques and a book review on time and suddenly it’s time for the one truly luxurious part of this day, of the month: a trip to get … Read More

JordanThe Thousand Things

A Year of Spaciousness

JordanGeneral, Musings

 I will not begin the New Year with an apology for my lack of posting. Instead I will begin it with a sense of gratitude that my life is so full, and yes, occasionally overly-full such that I can’t even take the time to post a blog. My writing partner and friend, Becca Lawton, and I are declaring 2011 the Year of Spaciousness. I suppose this might conjure running along vast open spaces like beaches or wild meadows–and it certainly can. But to us it means setting up our lives to be able to include all the important things, without pushing those things to the wayside, or letting stress and overwhelm rule the day. We want our lives to be … Read More

JordanA Year of Spaciousness

Milk & Ink Anthology Benefit

JordanBusiness of Writing, General, Mothers and Writing

Milk and Ink is here now, if you didn’t know already! This anthology of stories, essays and poems by writing mothers celebrates the intensity of being both mother and writer. It also will inspire all to recognize the power of living true to your passions and life purpose. Milk & Ink focuses on the experience of motherhood, but it also speaks to everyone: fathers, daughters, and sons. This anthology, not only in its stories, but in its creation and promotion, seeks to acknowledge the need we have for one another. Most important, though, proceeds of the project will be donated to Mama Hope, which supports women and children in Africa in a variety of projects. To purchase copies you may … Read More

JordanMilk & Ink Anthology Benefit

JordanFiction Writing, General, Musings

It’s the season of writing demons for me. The season in which I question the purpose and necessity of writing. The season in which I look at whatever I have produced in the year and wonder what it is all for. No matter how successful I have been, how much praise or validation I’ve received, come October, when many cultures believe the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest, death starts to crowd the edges of my certainty, and my writing rises up around me like paper ghosts, moaning their unknowable fates.