Writers.stackexchange.com is the no-nonsense Writers' enthusiast Q&A built by users. Instead of wading through a lot of random discussion to get to the good stuff, the best answers are always voted to the top! I've been spending a lot of time at this site, and I think some of the Nose's regular readers might like … Continue reading Writers


Getting a Beginner Guitar

"I'd love to learn how to play guitar, too. How do I get one?" When playing out in public, this question isn't all that uncommon. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for an inexpensive starter guitar. (This article assumes you have little to no knowledge of guitars.) Why do you … Continue reading Getting a Beginner Guitar

Poems Flowing Like…Toothpaste?

Last week, I gave my students about twenty minutes to write a poem. Taking my own advice on finding a new place to write, I arranged for us to have class on the school's front lawn. The students were permitted to sit anywhere, as long as I could see them (although I had to tighten … Continue reading Poems Flowing Like…Toothpaste?

Personal Blogging

I've heard this over and over: "To make a blog work, you must have a niche. Something you can point to and say, 'my blog is about this exact thing.' " I went through my feedreader blog list and found a few bloggers that break that "rule" and get away with it. Blogging used to … Continue reading Personal Blogging


Ask Ceil is on hiatus today, and will return next week. Riding a bicycle with traffic is generally much safer than riding against it. When I was of grade-school age, I was taught that the cars have to see you to avoid you, and I should ride like I was a vehicle. Sadly, that school … Continue reading Traffic

Build an Inspiration Wall

Looking at that title, I realize that it doesn't feel like something I'd write. It sounds more like a suggestion out of a SARK book (e.g. "Take lots of naps", "Swing as high as you can on a swingset, by moonlight", et cetera). Fun, sure, but not really my thing since I've become a writing adult. … Continue reading Build an Inspiration Wall

“And Then What Happened?”

I always loved The Little Prince. My favorite part was when the author explains how adults always mistook his drawing of an elephant being swallowed by a boa constrictor for a drawing of a hat. I identified with adults not understanding me. And in the end, he finds someone who understands his drawing. Or Harry … Continue reading “And Then What Happened?”

Ask Ceil – Rabbit Aliens!

Dear Ceil, Is there life on other planets? Carl Sagan1 Dear Carl1, Yes. I know this for several reasons. First: One day, several years ago--a long, long time ago as a matter of fact--I was in New York. It was a crisp spring day and I was on my way to Pearl Paint. I'm crossing … Continue reading Ask Ceil – Rabbit Aliens!

Going Away Just to Come Back Again

A few weeks ago, when I completed my piece on when to abandon a writing project, my editor pointed out that for many people, "...giving up a novel is saying you were wrong to even start it." In order to address the folks who felt that way, I added the following to my post: The … Continue reading Going Away Just to Come Back Again

Grammar Moves on the Dance Floor

Suh-tee-bun! That's my name (스티븐) pronounced in Korean. Each consonant must be followed by a vowel sound, which means my two-syllable name has three syllables when spoken in Korean. Perhaps I'm a bad ESL teacher for not always correcting my students' pronunciation. "No," I could say, "Stee-ven," and I could tap my front teeth and … Continue reading Grammar Moves on the Dance Floor