Did you catch my book review in last Sunday’s San Francsico Chronicle? It was on Art Inc. by Lisa Congdon. If you missed it, have no worries: READ IT HERE.
Hey! I’m going to be speaking at AWP 2015 in Minneapolis this April. My panel is called “Yes, Writing Is a Job: People Who Get Paid To Write.”
Marcia Simmons, Ken Walker and Nora Maynard will be joining me. We’ll be talking about the ups and downs of being full-time writers. Here’s the official event description.
Yes, Writing Is a Job: People Who Get Paid To Write
Believe it or not, it’s possible to make a living writing. Four working writers from diverse backgrounds will talk about how they make ends meet through article writing, blogging, nonfiction books, and other projects. We’ll discuss how we get work, the financial realities of the publishing world, and our struggle to balance writing for money with creative endeavors that are closer to our hearts (but harder on our pocketbooks).
SO! I hope you will come see me speak in April. Come say hi if you do.
Did you catch my latest article in Mental Floss? It’s called 10 Crazy Creations of “Plant Wizard” Luther Burbank. It’s about white blackberries, thornless cactus, pitless plums, and the russett potato.
Even if you haven’t heard of Luther Burbank, you probably tasted his work the last time you ate a french fry. In the early 20th century, Burbank created over 800 varieties of fruits, flowers, and vegetables. The “Plant Wizard,” as he was called, had a unique approach to horticulture that was part Darwinism, part Thomas Edison. And while his failures often sound like something out of a sci-fi novel, we’re still eating many of his creations—inventions?—today.
My most recent article for Mental Floss is 19 Rare Recordings of Famous Authors.
Click to hear recordings of Hemingway (he’s drunk!), F Scott Fitzgerald, Jack Kerouac, Flannery O’Connor, Virginia Woolf, and many more.
Did you check out my latest in Mental Floss? It’s called 10 Things You May Not Know About ‘Little Women.’
Here’s my favorite fact:
2. Little Women took only ten weeks to write.
Alcott began the book in May 1868. She worked on it day and night, becoming so consumed with it that she sometimes forgot to eat or sleep. On July 15, she sent all 402 pages to her editor. In September, a mere four months after starting the book, Little Women was published. It became an instant best seller and turned Alcott into a rich and famous woman.
And, unlike Robert Louis Stevenson, she didn’t even use cocaine!
My articles for Mental Floss this month were about birds! Check it out:
Writer’s Digest posted an article I wrote that originally appeared in the magazine: 5 Writing Lessons Inspired by Famous Writers. A sample:
I was 16 when I visited the cabin where Mark Twain wrote “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” the short story that launched his career. It left such an impression on me that I began seeking out other literary landmarks. By now, I’ve been to all the famous places, such as Thoreau’s Walden Pond and Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, as well as lesser-known gems, like Jack London’s ranch (pictured at right).
Every time I visit a site, I leave inspired to return to my own work. Somehow, seeing the typewriters these legends worked on, the beds they slept in and the views they gazed upon makes writing seem less mysterious, more tangible. At home, every famous writer was just another person who, like me, worked on his craft every day.
I have a new article with Mental Floss: 10 Surprising Facts About Archie Comics.
Remember that time Archie was a superhero called Captain Pureheart? Remember the Archie Andrews radio show? Remember that time Archie was used to piss off The Monkees? Remember Archie Christian comics?
You don’t? Read on.
I have a new article up at Mental Floss called 9 Controversial Experiments In Rewilding. Excerpt:
Strange as it is to imagine, at one point lions roamed Europe, horses galloped over Spain, and jaguars prowled parts of the United States. The reason these animals died out wasn’t climate change, but humans hunting or destroying their territory.
Rewilding is an effort to bring species back to their native habitats, even if they haven’t lived there for thousands of years. The idea isn’t just to preserve an ecosystem, but to go back in time.
Read about wolves in Yellowstone National Park, wild Mongolian horses, and Jaguars in Mexico HERE.
AdviceToWriters interviewed me about being a writer. How nice! Here’s a sample of the interview:
What’s your advice to new writers?
Learn to love discipline. Set up a schedule for yourself—a word count to hit, an amount of time at the keyboard each day—and make it a priority in your life.
What else did I say? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT!