Tag Archives: nonfiction

#WhatImReadingNow : How to Be a Cat Detective

Food A natural diet would require hunting for several hours a day and the consumption of as many as a dozen small rodents. How many cats living naturally eat twice a day from a predictable source? Cats spend up to six hours a day hunting, foraging, stalking, catching and consuming prey. The availability of food […]

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My Reading Year 2016

It’s that time again. Man, where did that year go? Ayaan Hirsi Ali / Infidel / NF Jo Ann Beard / In Zanesville / YA Martyn Bedford / Never Ending / YA Geraldine Brooks / March / LF Sheila Connolly / Buried in a Bog / GF (don’t waste your time) Pat Conroy / My […]

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Short Saturday: Nonfiction Book Structure

When I clicked on this blog post from literary agent Janet Grant and read … Nonfiction Book Structure = More Than a String of Blog Posts … I stood up and cheered. Because, yes, she’s said a mouthful. You cannot just cut and paste together your blog posts and call it good. As Grant notes: […]

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Titling Committee Fail

The title of a book is a big deal. It’s the first thing readers see, so it’s an important marketing tool. But there’s no magic formula to creating a good title. Whether fiction or nonfiction, the title should be catchy, interesting, unforgettable; it should get the attention of potential buyers. And publishing companies have a […]

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Fiction Arousal

I have started reading, and liking, fiction. This was not the case a year and a half … ago. Aside from a handful of short story collections (Carver, Canin, Moore) and an isolated novel here and there, my post-college reading-for-pleasure era has been marked by a shocking absence of fiction. I have been trying to […]

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Short Saturday: A Considered Discussion of Traditional Versus Self

You know what I mean. A friend of mine—a professor of English lit at a local university who is just weeks away from having her first book (traditionally published nonfiction) in her hand—recently asked me about traditional publishing as opposed self-publishing. It seems even in academia, the “publish or perish” expectation is pushing some authors […]

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Clean, Clear, Uncluttered Writing

Clutter is the disease of American writing. We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills, and meaningless jargon. … But the secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be a short word, every adverb […]

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Be Careful, Little Mouse, What You Copy and Paste

A few months ago I was hired to provide content for a kids’ activity book that would have a focus on values, virtues, character building … and so on. I’m a parent, but that alone doesn’t make me an expert, so I did a little research—and in every single article, plagiarism was mentioned. Why? Because […]

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Short Saturday: The Paradox of Voice

I’ve written some about finding your voice (there are links below). Many people have. And you’ll hear lots of different opinions … which makes it difficult for young or inexperienced writers to figure out. What is voice in writing? And how do you identify yours? It’s a mystery until you one day find yourself writing […]

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My Reading Year 2015

Kate Atkinson / Behind the Scenes at the Museum / LF Kate Atkinson / Case Histories / LF Kate Atkinson / One Good Turn / LF Kate Atkinson / Started Early, Took My Dog / LF Kate Atkinson / When Will There Be Good News? / LF Margaret Atwood / Negotiating With the Dead / […]

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