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    MFA Confidential Blog

    Helping Me Help You Help Me

    Last summer, I took a lit course on postmodern fiction. It was a  sampling of different postmodern authors from Pynchon and Burroughs  to Foster-Wallace and Mark Leyner and, aside from being a … Read more

    On Diaries, Dinner Parties, and Morally Questionable Decision-Making Skills

    A little while ago, my (two) friends and I put on our mature pants,  and had a dinner party to welcome another friend into a new apartment  complete with wine and a … Read more

    The Great American (Cellphone) Novel: A Writer's Digest Exclusive!!

    I, like many youngish people, use the text message feature on my cell phone in an excessive manner, which is indisputably annoying and potentially harmful, especially when trying to cut things or … Read more

    The Graduate School Timeline; Or Things You Can Do for Half a Decade Post-College

    This week marks a special and unique moment in my life plan. It is the last week before I start my last semester of the last time I will ever step into … Read more

    On Taking (Non-Productive) Breaks

    Hello friends, I hope you–like me– found time over the holiday to reflect on the year that was and consume nearly twice your daily recommended caloric intake in Lindt chocolate truffles and … Read more

    The Holiday Hiatus

    Friends, In order to best mentally, physically and socially emotionally prepare for a second year of sometimes helpful, semi-effective, consistently above-average blog entries, we three bloggers of WD are taking a holiday … Read more

    On Listening to Music While Writing Or Why The Last of the Mohicans Soundtrack Plays an Integral Role in My Getting Work In By Deadline

    I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that I have weird writing  habits. I spend most of my writing time pacing around my room talking  aloud to myseWlf, I’m … Read more

    Life Changingly Awesome Query Letter Part 6: The New York Times Book Review

    Dear Mr. Sam Tanenhaus, In my opinion, there are three things that every man should do before he dies: 1. Ride a jet ski  2. Write a harshly worded letter to an … Read more

    The Special Edition Deleted Column with Director's Commentary

    Hello Friends. You know how–when you, um hypothetically, buy the DVD of The Notebook– there are all those special features and deleted scenes with Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling that you’re so … Read more

    On Deadlines and Self Examination

    I am working on a deadline for Boston Magazine. The deadline is this  Thursday. And, at the moment, that seems manageable. I am (mostly)  done with the reporting, I have (partially) transcribed … Read more

    The Two Question Novel Quiz Part 3: Voice

    In order to sell your novel, books recommend having a unique “voice”that separates you from the pack and wins you literary, commercial,and social-emotional praise. The fact that books also recommend thatyou be … Read more

    Pseudo-In-Depth Analysis of The Things I Read Online: Slate.com

    As in gymnastics or morning visits to the bathroom, everyone has theirown routines for visiting the Internet 2.0. Before I can safely get to“work”, I scroll through a lengthy list of favorite … Read more

    Reviews of Books I Was Forced To Read in High School, Part 2: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

    Brief Research Sidenote: In my long esteemed career of researching via the Web 2.0, I have come to love and look forward to the random factual tidbits provided for you by Wikipedia. … Read more

    (Potentially) Sellin' Out

    It is true that there are a lot of benefits to the writing life.  There are the hours, of course, that come with a flexible schedule,  not to mention the clothing choices. … Read more

    The (Really Long) Two Question Novel Quiz Part 2: Know Thy Characters

    Characters are, without question, the blood of life flowing through the veins of a novel. Without characters a novel would just be  setting, and there would be more adverbs and long, flowery … Read more

    True Tales of Embarrassment Via The Internet 2.0

    TOW books–in celebration of the release of their first two books–has a series of embarrassing admissions by writers on their website. My terribly true, terribly embarrassing admission is up now. You can … Read more

    The (Re) Write Blog: Issues, Perils, and Semi-Solutions

    As those of you who read the print column and a few, scattered previous entries on said blog may or may not be aware, I’m working on a novel to use as … Read more

    This is Totally NOT What We Mean When We Say "Research Before You Write"

    Ummmm…. gross? http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,301254,00.html

    C. Columbus Day: Now with Life Altering Literature!

    Shameless Cross-Promotional Plug: My friend Sarah Walker’s book, Really You’ve Done Enough: A Parents’ Guide to Stop Parenting Their Adult Child Who Still Needs Their Money But Not Their Advice has been released … Read more

    (Meta) Life Changingly Awesome Query Letter Part 5: Tiger Beat

    (In order to allow you, the reader, to play along at home and fully  utilize the time-tested, mother-approved formula that make LCAQ’s so,  so damn successful, I’m going to walk you through … Read more

    The Two Question Novel Quiz Part 1: Conflict

    Everybody knows that– much like the plot lines in the Wesley Snipes  vehicle Passenger 57– a good novel needs to have conflict. My novel,  for example, has so much conflict that my … Read more

    In the Marketplace of (Really Good) Ideas

    I had an informal meeting the other day with a few of the editors at Boston Magazine to discuss stories for the Fall/Winter. I say informal because we didn’t schedule the meeting … Read more

    Reviews of Books I Was Forced To Read in High School, Part 1: Ethan Frome

    By all accounts, Edith Wharton is not a sadist. Although she did marry a man twelve years her senior who happened to go insane and intentionally chose to spend most of her … Read more

    Back and Even Better

    Hello, friends. First of all, I’d like to offer a quick apology for the lack of communication via the blog lately. You see, we at WD have been doing some thinking and … Read more

    No Seriously, Someone Interviewed Me

    Friends, up today on the Novel Journey website is a Q and A with yours truly. The link is here: http://noveljourney.blogspot.com/Try to avoid asking yourself the obvious question of why someone would … Read more

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