What’s Up

Hi! It seems to me like a good time for an update post, just to take stock of things, and get all the informational stuff out of my system. Kind of like Spring Blog Cleaning. Or not. I don’t know.

Well, as you might have noticed, I’ve been having a lot of “deep thoughts” to write about lately. It seems a lot of people have liked these posts, so I’m going to do more of them whenever I have something along those lines to talk about. What about the writing advice? Do you want to see more of that? (I get so few actual comments that no one has yet mentioned caring about my writing advice. Statistically speaking, how many readers to you need before you start getting actual comments? Probably several hundred at least, right? I’m not really at those numbers, sadly, so comments are rare, although “likes” abound. So thanks for that.)

The No-Recipe Life is now the permanent home for food and lifestyle posts, basically everything that doesn’t fit into the whole writing blog interface. Those of you who might have liked reading about my random adventures, life events, happenings, and various and sundry other topics (I know those mean the same thing), check it out. I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to work on the site so the navigation is more interesting, and it has some new features as well–such as monthly favorites.

I have been trying to clean/pretty up this blog as well. You may have noticed the “What I’m Reading” page, which I don’t expect will be extremely in-depth. Just a short account of the books in my life. I don’t know if I’ll actually include reviews. Maybe if anyone asks about a particular book.

I might be rewriting my “About” page, and adding a new picture. I like the one there, taken on the grounds at Bennington College in 2009, but it might be nice to have a more recent one as well. I’m not sure how much I like the text that’s there, so if I come up with a better bio, I will be replacing it.

Considering that my Helen of Troy novel is on hiatus, I am going to retire the “Helen” page. The chapters will still be available to read in the posts that I put up, however long ago that was–a year? Two? I know it was a while ago. Instead, I’m going to turn that page into a “featured story,” which will change as often as I have a new one ready to post. As soon as the first one is done, you’ll see that switch. I’m sure I will take a moment to announce it, so don’t worry about keeping close tabs on my tabs. Hehe.

For those of you who come for my microfiction, I am sorry to say I just haven’t had much inspiration lately for other lives or strange things, so my micro series are currently languishing, half-remembered, while I try to get things done like cleaning my room and trying every cafe in Boston. (And if you want to hear about those things, again, head over to the No-Recipe Life, linked above.) I’m really hoping for some flash ideas soon, but for now maybe you can just go read the old ones. Tell me which is your favorite!

Finally, I just want to briefly mention that I have created a twitter account. I’m the last one on that bandwagon, I know, just squeezing myself in where there’s room. It’s a pretty big wagon though. If you’re interested in following me, it’s @devawriting. If you’re on twitter, let me know and I can follow you!

Thanks for reading this essentially boring post. Stay tuned for something more interesting to read.

Help a Blogger Out, Will Ya?

Hi, Friends! Want to do me a favor? Well, are you willing to? It won’t take long, I promise…


If you’ve been keeping up with my world of words for a long time, you may have noticed that a little rating feature has appeared on each post, in the form of a row of stars (blue for posts, green for pages). I added this last week, and have since gotten one rating on one post. It was exciting at first, but now it just points glaringly to the lack of overall ratings.

Here is where the favor comes in: If you remember any posts that you liked, could you take a moment to locate and rate them? I’d particularly appreciate ratings on my fiction, but if you feel like rating more blog-type blog posts, I’d gladly accept them too.

If you’re newer to the blog, or don’t remember many posts you’ve read, I’d be so grateful if you would go read a few and rate them. Pick from Top Posts or the category cloud on the right side of the blog.

I believe all ratings are anonymous, but if you feel inclined to let me know you rated something, comment on this post or the one/s you rated.

I won’t go into any updates or excerpts right now, in an effort to keep it simple. So, thank you in advance for helping me out with this. And if you choose not to, that’s all right to, I still appreciate you reading.

Now That Helen Has Your Attention

I should tell you that I don’t mean to post the entire novel. It’s possible that I will, but doubtful. I like getting feedback, but a first draft can be fairly temperamental. It can be shy. I don’t want to force it out in the open if it seems to want some time to develop before it’s shown to the world. Particularly because I have no intention of editing until the whole first draft is done, and therefore it will not be the version that would appear in a published book, I’m not sure it makes sense to post the whole thing.

My current thoughts lean toward posting passages only, up to a few pages long, that especially speak to me – or that especially might speak to anyone else – and passages that didn’t quite turn out right, but I can’t figure out how to fix. Of course, the general lack of comments on my posts doesn’t indicate that this is the best forum to ask for that kind of help. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t ask at all – right?

Regarding other works, it’s come to my worried attention that posting pieces in a blog might make them ineligable for publication in certain literary journals to which I might submit them. The problem is that they all refuse to publish previously published works. Although it is not often specified, at least some of them consider blogged writing to be published. This is where the problem lies – does posting in a blog count as publishing? Should it? I happen to feel that only publishing by the discretion of someone else (I was going to say “professional,” but I guess it’s often true that the writer is not paid in those cases…) or self-publishing in order to sell should be the only types that count. Having put a short piece in my writing blog should not exclude it from being put into a literary journal. I think, because of this odd gray area, I will try to avoid posting works that I intend to submit to contests or journals. It’s a shame, though… it feels so limiting.

Helen Update

At last, a week later than desired, I feel like I’m starting to make actual progress on this story. I’m really digging in now. I’ve got it in my head. When I sit down at my computer I can write more than one sentence at a time. It feels good.

I forgot how much I dislike this “first draft” business. In some cases I do much preparation before writing, so that I won’t have to go back and edit in research and details. This time, I can tell that the story will be fleshed out quite a bit in the second draft stage. I suppose once I get used to the idea, I won’t think about it so much. For now it is a little distracting to think of how much will change later on. However, like many things I will push it out of my mind until I’m really truly focused on the writing alone.

If I keep up the current pace, I might finish Chapter 1 by the end of the weekend. I plan to post part or all of it, and I hope that I’ll get at least a few constructive comments… my biggest question for the chapter: do you get a sense of the character? (If you have to ask which character, you didn’t read very carefully.)

At the very least, I’m writing again, and enjoying it rather a lot.