WRITING LIFE: The Small, Accessible World of Publishing by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew
Hippocampus Magazine » Writing Life
by Donna Talarico
2w ago
A few years ago, I was invited to participate in a public discussion followed by a workshop at a large, wealthy, suburban church. The panel was emceed by a major Minnesota Public Radio personality; the church flew in one panelist from Michigan. They publicized widely, fed us salmon and wine, and paid us generously. At the Sunday afternoon event, 20 people were scattered throughout the cavernous sanctuary. My workshop was attended by four congregants. In the classroom, I introduced spiritual memoir and we wrote for a bit before abandoning the formalities to chat. One woman, a quintessential Lut ..read more
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WRITING LIFE: I’m a Writer with Mental Illness: How I Work Through, With It by Molly Bilinski
Hippocampus Magazine » Writing Life
by Donna Talarico
2M ago
My dad diagnosed me at the age of 10 with a brain that wouldn’t shut off. Hours after bedtime, I’d make my way to the living room, the fuzzy blue light from the television guiding my steps. Without a word, I’d join my dad on the couch, wrapping myself in a blanket and settling in to watch whatever late-night comedy show or war movie was playing. He had trouble sleeping, too. Falling asleep after my mother died was difficult. As soon as I closed my eyes, my thoughts would race, one after another in quick succession. I described it to my dad as a train speeding down a track while rapidly picking ..read more
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WRITING LIFE: One Letter at a Time by Vanessa Stirling
Hippocampus Magazine » Writing Life
by Kristen Paulson-Nguyen
7M ago
Before my elementary-aged son’s diagnosis of dyslexia, I would coach him word by word, second by second, through a battleground of writing homework. This one about empathy: “What would you do if your friend got on the team instead of you?” We need ten sentences. Shrug. His gaze determinedly fixed anywhere but on his wide-ruled paper. “What,” I said, “Do you think he would want you to do?” “I’d get a giant nerf, hide behind the trees and get him.” He leapt from his seat, acted out the attack, which devolved into a tussle with our dog, Trout. “OK,” I plead, “Write that.” I’m concerned by the vio ..read more
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WRITING LIFE: Book Midwifery by Diane Zinna
Hippocampus Magazine » Writing Life
by Kristen Paulson-Nguyen
8M ago
For the past three years, I’ve been a developmental editor for memoirs and novels. A client-friend has taken to calling me her book’s “midwife.” I love that. I am not her book’s creator. My job is not to help her write the book I would write, but to meet her where she is and help her make her book the best version of what she intended. I am someone who has been there before, who can help her see what I see. I make the process a little easier, feel less lonesome and confounding. Like a midwife, I suppose, all the books I’ve ever sat with during the laboring hours can help me to see things. Like ..read more
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WRITING LIFE: Riding the Waves by Zina Zeigler
Hippocampus Magazine » Writing Life
by Kristen Paulson-Nguyen
9M ago
Ideas rush through my mind like waves rushing to the shore carrying treasures waiting to be discovered by a perfect stranger. The ideas are shaped into words; the words strung together to form sentences; sentences build paragraphs until stories are crafted to find their place in the mysterious publishing world. A world that may swallow me whole or toss me around and beat me until I surrender, or learn to ride the waves. 8:00 A.M.: Alarm rings. Music blares through the iPhone speaker. Hit snooze. Ten more minutes of sleep Pull the blanket up and wiggle back into the warm spot. Fall asleep. Nine ..read more
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WRITING LIFE: Winks from the Universe by Linda Maria Steele
Hippocampus Magazine » Writing Life
by Kristen Paulson-Nguyen
10M ago
Whenever I am unsure about where to go next with my writing, I remember to always look for the signs or even ask the Magic 8 Ball. I keep a Magic 8 Ball on my writing desk, so I remember not to take my writing too seriously. And I use it to look for signs about where to take my writing next. Signs come in the form of whispers or nudges and by way of happy accidents (serendipity) and coincidences (synchronicity). When I am having fun with my writing, I am productive and the writing flows. The moment I get too serious my writing feels stuck. Like I’m trying too hard.  I have been writing fo ..read more
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WRITING LIFE “Navel Gazing” for Good by Andrea Askowitz
Hippocampus Magazine » Writing Life
by Kristen Paulson-Nguyen
11M ago
After an intense, long weekend of writing workshops, we walked into a brew pub. I was so pumped up, I couldn’t sit down and went around the table bear-hugging each scientist. “How will we be able to tell if Andrea’s drunk?” one said. “She’ll start hugging everyone,” my writing partner, Allison Langer, said. We hadn’t ordered the first beer, but I was already drunk on a sense of purpose. We’d been hired by the Center for Ecosystem Science & Society at Northern Arizona University to teach their graduate students how to personalize their science writing. The center is run by Dr. Bruce Hu ..read more
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WRITING LIFE: 9 Steps to Reach Your Dream Pubs by Tamara MC
Hippocampus Magazine » Writing Life
by Kristen Paulson-Nguyen
1y ago
Two years ago, I published my first essay. Since then, I’ve published nearly 30. If I can do it, so can you. There is no get-rich-quick formula. But, if I could sum up the process, it would be this: Work you’re a$$ off. (I am not glorifying overwork, but publishing is HARD.) This is a long game, so keep reading and pitching. Then read more and pitch more. Don’t give up. According to Katy Perry, “Baby, you’re a firework.” Getting into your dream pub takes patience, hard work and tenacity. Here are 9 steps I recommend. 1. Read ferociously. I cannot emphasize this enough: read. Read public ..read more
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WRITING LIFE: Ode to My Notebook by Ellen Frank Bayer
Hippocampus Magazine » Writing Life
by Kristen Paulson-Nguyen
1y ago
Dear Notebook, You are the depository of my dreams. Thank you for standing by me day after day, no harsh comments, no back talk. You take my words, and my artwork too. Sometimes I make just a scribble. Sometimes I draw a line and call it a day. There is no comment, no judgment and no frowns, only a blank page with blue lines. I consider you my friend. You have stood by me through it all: my aspirations, my dreams, even my joy, guilt and sorrow, my frustrations and my hopes. I write to you when I’m lonely, when I can’t say the words aloud even to myself, when no one seems to understand me, when ..read more
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WRITING LIFE: Stuckness by Brett Ann Stanciu
Hippocampus Magazine » Writing Life
by Kristen Paulson-Nguyen
1y ago
In the halcyon days of my early twenties, my boyfriend and I lived for a summer in a tipi in a field of wild blueberries. Vermont nights can be cold, especially in June, and we snuggled on our mattress, surrounded by a gold cast-off carpet spread over those berries, and imagined our future: he as a carpenter and I as a writer. Early one morning while we slept, a woman called outside those canvas walls, “Help!” She and her young daughter lived in a rented room down the road. Her car hadn’t started that morning. She was desperate to get to work. My boyfriend pulled on his jeans and t-shirt, drov ..read more
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