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Entries in Genres (2)


Spring Break. Because "MTV's Vernal Equinox" sounds funny

It’s Spring Break and I feel like an embedded journalist in a free-fire zone. In fact I think I just heard someone yell, “Safeties off! Let’s light ‘em up!!”

That’s what it’s like in a house full of teenagers. I’m the Warden of the North and the White Walkers have breached the wall, people—run for your very lives!

In all honesty, they’re wonderful young adults and they bring me such joy, but a worrisome (and prescient) part of my brain is looking toward the coming months and wondering if the shed in my backyard might not become my summer office.

I heard that Piers Anthony likes to write at a desk set amid a pasture behind his house. He must have kids.

Speaking of writing, I’m trying to figure out the next project.


I’m torn between:


A historical/multi-cultural/romantic tragedy set in Hollywood in the 30s. I pitched this one to my agent and she likes it. This is the one I’ve been researching for a while.


A young adult book (possible series) that’s been on the backburner. I wrote 150 pages two summers ago, in-between HOTEL and WHISPERS. I’d be starting with page 1 again, but that’s okay.


A fantasy novel set in a reimagined Chinatown. I’ve spent weeks world-building this one. It’s haunting me…


If only I had the minions of James Patterson to write the bloody things for me.


The literary country club

2006 Sewanee Writers' Conference attendees are welcomed to the club.
Conference season is upon us. I see folks blogging about the Backspace Writers’ Conference, Sleuthfest, Bouchercon et al, and I was wondering—what about those other writers’ conferences? The ones where you apply to attend, submitting manuscripts and paying reading fees. Like rushing a frat or sorority, minus the togas and keg-stands.

The ones that come to mind are the Sewanee Writers' Conference, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Squaw Valley Writers' Conference with Amy Tan. Heck, even Orson Scott Card’s Literary Boot Camp requires approval of work before you get beyond the velvet rope. (The first page of a short story).

The question is, have you applied to one of the aforementioned? Would you? If not, why? The cost is an obvious barrier I’m sure— ranging from $725-$1500. Not including travel expenses, meals, bottles of Courvoisier, ascot dry-cleaning, Botox injections, hookers, bail bonds, etc.

I’ve taken come-as-you-are screenwriting classes and it’s always been a mixed bag. Enthusiasm and wide-eyed wonder abound, but the peeps tend to be a stewpot of twitchy upstarts, bored dreamers, bitter hacks, and the venerated, talented few, of which I aspire to become. So is the bar truly that much higher at Squaw Valley? I hope so. Or is it like that Woody Allen quote? You know the one.