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Ask Ceil – How’s the Writing Going?

Dear Ceil: If someone asks me how the writing’s going, are they being passive aggressive? Or just mocking me, outright? Hansen from The Heartland Dear Hansen, They’re not being passive-aggressive, nor are they mocking you. They are aggressively mocking you. If there are two things everyone knows about writers, it’s: 1. We procrastinate. We procrastinate…

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Tater Tots and My Ulcer

I don’t want to examine the emotions underneath my stomach issues. I know that emotions are at least partly involved. I’ve been more deeply affected by the stress of waiting than I have been by anything else in a long, long time. Pregnancy was intense. And grief. But waiting for agents to respond to queries…

mic

To Kill a Banned Book Reading

For Banned Books Week, in an inspiring tribute to literature, a local library hosted a 4-1/2 hour reading series, featuring local writers, artists, teachers, and others. A dear friend and fellow writer would be reading from Brave New World by Aldous Huxley that evening. I brought my 10-year-old son along. I’d been working late a…

sun

An ode to a silent boy

For my brother. You haven’t spoken a word Not once these twenty odd years Although we’ve learned to read you Like a book without a spine It’s still a hit or miss affair When we were but children Vague emotions do I remember Of times when we would play We never really did get along,…

onions

Professionalism

Writing. Something everyone can do, but something very few excel in. Now, before I get into the swing of things, there is a delineation I’d like to draw between people writing for fun, and people writing with the aim of becoming a professional. I would love it if everyone wrote for fun. It doesn’t matter…

About Change

About Change

Change. Wanting to change. Knowing when to implement the change. Knowing how to change, what to change and why? Is it right, is it wrong? Should I, shouldn’t I? These thoughts roll around in my head once in a while, especially when I’m feeling overwhelmed. When everything seems to be slipping out of your grasp,…

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Of Giants and Men

You were a giant, once. Every step resonated through my world, every word tolled like the great bells of London. You were the sky I aspired to reach, the limits I aspired to challenge. The limits, my mind whispered, that I could never hope to surpass. For how does one swim better than a dolphin,…

This is What it Feels Like

This is What it Feels Like

This is what it’s like to be ‘strong’ and ‘confident’ and ‘capable’. I am in a runaway car hurtling down a road. The accelerator is stuck to the floor, and the brake is loose beneath my desperately pounding foot. My hands are tight around the steering wheel. It presses against my sweaty palms as I…

The Cycle

The Cycle

How can I improve my writing? It’s a common question. There are a few things you can do: Reading Reading and writing is a cultural conversation. People write books to say something. Other people read those books and a few of those write books in return. As has been pointed out many times, you should…