Friday Round-Up


It’s Friday, yay! Throw your hands in the air–well, not if you’re at work. Here’s what you missed this week chez moi: Not a Night Mother | Role/Reboot I feel like I am confessing a great sin when I admit: I am not a good night mother. At the end of a work-at-home day as a mostly full-time writer and editor, and the constant tiny demands of the household, my patience and coping skills splinter apart at night. Night is the time when I need to pause the full-bore level of mommy performance, to loosen the tether between my son and me just a little, for his hands to stop their grasping, to turn down the talking, to enter the … Read More

JordanFriday Round-Up

Don’t Start Something New in 2014 (Finish Something Old)

JordanCraft, Fiction Writing, Writing. Practice.

I know the temptation of the New Year to clear the slate, push all those half-finished projects and goals of last year to the side and start fresh. The pressure of everyone slapping on new resolutions like fancy new outfits could make anyone feel like a slacker. Consider instead finishing something “old” or “in-process” at the New Year instead. Here’s why I suggest it. That half finished novel, the short story you intended to send to that contest, the stack of essays you think might make a memoir—they may only physically live on your desk or your desktop, but here’s what you may not realize: unfinished projects also live inside you, in all their impartial nature. They take up psychic … Read More

JordanDon’t Start Something New in 2014 (Finish Something Old)

Panic at the Artist’s Colony. Guest post by Ramona DeFelice Long

JordanWriting. Practice.

There’s a tradition at many artist colonies: When a residency ends, the artist leaves his/her signature behind in their studio. In February of 2012, on my first day of my first residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, I checked out the wooden plaque by the door. It was covered with names and dates. Some names were scrawled. Some were faded. Some were small but precise. Some were as brash and bold as a Sharpie could make. One of the neat, slightly faded signatures? Alice McDermott. Gulp. That I recognized some names was both thrilling and terrifying. As a newbie, mostly terrifying. I had been awarded a two week residency. I arrived with an idea for a novel, … Read More

JordanPanic at the Artist’s Colony. Guest post by Ramona DeFelice Long

Why Attend a Writer’s Retreat vs. Conference?

JordanClasses, Craft

Artists of all stripes, but writers especially, need scads of time to enter the silence where art is created. It’s hard to do in the bustle of family life, at work, and surrounded by friends. Visual artists often go on “residencies” but writers are generally pointed in the direction of conferences where you are exhorted to improve, refine, better your craft and hone your  path to publication.  This is, of course, a good thing–where else can you meet literary heroes and experts in a quick, intense setting? But having been to enough conferences as both participant and presenter, I can tell you that I often return home spent to my very last. There’s a driving energy at the conference scene … Read More

JordanWhy Attend a Writer’s Retreat vs. Conference?