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How to Stop the Hecklers (of Your Own Mind): Wise Words from Women Writers

(Originally posted on Read Her Like an Open Book, July 23, 2015)

What is the most difficult part of writing? This question came up at a recent Q&A where I had the good fortune to be a featured writer. The other writers on the panel, all women, talked about the insecurity of a terrible first draft, the anxiety that comes from being lost in a plotline, or the frustration with never-ending revisions. For me, the most difficult part of writing is the internal battle with perfectionism and self-doubt. It’s hard to have faith in the process of writing when you’re being heckled by your own mind.

In some ways, all of us on the panel were saying the same thing, calling it by different names. It’s not uncommon to become discouraged. Frustration, insecurity, uncertainty and self-doubt are occupational hazards that have attacked some of the most talented writers I know, stopping them from writing altogether. For those of us not blessed with healthy egos (meaning, healthy, not big), it takes fortitude to persevere. Also, the subtle insanity of relentless hope. ...Read more here.


Lawrence Loves Somebody on Pratt Street

My short story, "Lawrence Loves Somebody on Pratt Street," is available on [PANK] as part of the blog series "Beautiful Ashes" curated by the award-winning novelist Jen Michalski. I'm super excited to be included. You can check it out here.


Halloween Don'ts

(Originally published in Baltimore Fishbowl, October 27, 2013)

Some of my scariest fashion faux pas have happened on Halloween night.

Dracula is standing on my neighbors’ front porch. He’s been there for the last few weeks staring past their Ravens flag, past their excitable Jack Russell terriers, past their chain link fence to some spot across the street. I imagine it’s the same spot where my dog stares, ever hopeful, waiting to catch a glimpse of the feral cats that live in a tool shed with a man named Danny behind my other neighbor’s house. Read more here.


More Words = More Reasons to Revise

(Originally posted on Little Patuxent Review's blog.)

Big news! Little Patuxent Review finally upped the limit for fiction submissions to 5000 words. We’ve been gradually heading in that direction over the past few years, but this opens up LPR to even more great stories by talented writers who’ve been unable to pare down their pieces to 3500 words. I can’t wait to see what comes in during our Summer 2013 Music issue submission period. It should make for terrific reading.

I don’t envy myself, though. [Read more here.]


How Michael Phelps and I are Nearly the Same

(Originally published in Baltimore Fishbowl in August 8, 2012)

Michael Phelps’s history-making races were exciting to watch, but all his success is taking a toll on my self-esteem. It’s dangerous when you are having a mid-life crisis to compare yourself to others, to Michael Phelps, for instance, or to Olympians in general. Read more here.