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Stairways to Somewhere Else

Excellent photos & essay about staircases. Loved it.

Required Writing

Something disturbs me about an extra long flight of stairs, especially going down. Why would that be? Maybe because I’m a klutz and fear falling. Certainly the former is true! On a recent trip to New York, I snapped a couple of extra-creepy flights.

Manhattan subway escalator. Looking down a Manhattan subway escalator.

Perhaps long staircases disturb me because I fear my subconscious. The mystical psychologist Carl Jung talked about stairs that descend to the subconscious, as I was fascinated to recently learn. Well, okay, re-learn, because I was surprised to read it in (my own damn) novel, Was It A Rat I Sawwhich I wrote a couple decades ago. But I digress. Anyway, I don’t fear my subconscious, I’m fascinated by all the things it seems to know that I don’t – and there’s no question that I get my best ideas from it!

Entrance to Le Poisson Rouge, a club in Greenwich Village. Entrance to Le Poisson Rouge, a club in Greenwich Village.

I’m joking around…

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How To Write A Great Essay About Anything

Thought Catalog

Excerpted from How to Write a Great Essay (Bookhacker, 2013).

There is an assumption in the world that an essay is something literary you write for school about a topic that no one but your teacher will ever care about. At first glance, the dictionary does nothing to allay that sense. The very first definition is of “a short literary composition on a particular theme or subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or interpretative.”

The reality, if any of you have read a blog recently, is that essays can be much more than that. They can be anything really. And here, the dictionary comes to our aid. The second definition of an essay is “anything resembling such a composition.” So really, essays are written compositions about anything.

Unfortunately, they can also be annoying, tedious and obnoxious. Whether it’s a high school essay, a college research paper or even…

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Book Review: Let The Tornado Come by Rita Zoey Chin

Excellent review. Made me want to read Let the Tornado come by Rita Zoey Chin.

Morgtini & the big wide world

Book Review: Let The Tornado Come by Rita Zoey ChinI received this book free from NetGalley and Simon and Schuster as an advanced reader copy.

Let The Tornado Come is a beautifully written, thought provoking novel that anyone can relate to. Rita Zoey Chin delivers a raw look back at her own life that is simultaneously sad and triumphant and left me wanting more of her insight and wisdom. Her narrative voice spoke to me in a way that few authors have been able to, and I felt a kinship with her as she journeyed through her childhood on into adulthood, a solemn creature who knew the fragility and weight of joy. You feel the sweetness of her highs and the weight of her lows as Chin navigates between a sudden anxiety disorder and learning to ride the horse that soothes her fears. She recreates the soaring feeling of cantering with her words alone, and describes the one of a…

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Featured Author: Cynthia Ainsworthe

Great interview.

Lori's Song

Featured Author:

 Cynthia B. Ainsworthe


1.   Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

I’ve always have been interested in writing since childhood, around the age of eleven or twelve. A career in writing was not supported by my father. At that time, he gave me the choice of “suitable” life-paths for women.

2.    What made you decide to write (the genre of your book), were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events. 

Romance has always been my favorite genre with a suspense component. The dynamics of a relationship with feelings not verbally expressed which can prove chaotic to characters fascinates my imagination. Words not said that should have been revealed can lead to misunderstandings and gross assumptions.

All my plots are fiction. Characters are a composite of people I have known or observed…

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Perfecting Your Novel’s Opening Page: Advice from Novelist Emma Rea

Good ideas.

This Craft Called Writing

I’m very pleased to welcome Emma Rea, author of Top Dog, who has some really helpful advice on perfecting your novel’s opening page with the help of a little x-ray vision.

Last Minute X-Ray Vision

Top_DogThe importance of the first page can’t be over-emphasised. For the rest of the novel, you can just tell your story. On the first page, however, you not only have to get your story off to a roaring start, but you have ‘admin’ jobs to do, by which I mean establishing things like age, setting, character – and you have to slip these in so the reader has the information they need without feeling as if they’ve been clobbered over the head with it. I rewrote the first chapter of Top Dog countless times, feeling as if I was coming at it from different angles, chipping away until I found the clearest, simplest start…

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