Total Character Makeover

After much anticipation, I finally received some valuable feedback on my first novel, three things. Of course, the optimistic compartment in my brain was hoping for only a few minor suggestions, so I could finally send my digital baby out into the world. I am so naive. What a rollercoaster. In general, the feedback was…

Two Novels, Both Alike in Dignity…

Lately, I’ve been working on my second novel, and I can’t help but to be amazed at how different it is from my previous one, in so many ways. The reason I’m so staggered by this fact, is that when I first began it (maybe two months ago), my number one concern was making sure…

Sending Letters to Strangers with Cancer

A few months ago, I discovered this amazing nonprofit organization, From Me To You Letters, which allows people to write uplifting, anonymous letters to people suffering from cancer in England. I heard about them from one of my all time favorite podcasts, The Allusionist, hosted by the amazingly witty Helen Zaltzman. (It’s no secret, I…

Improv in the Classroom

I know I usually write about the fiction writing process on this blog, but last week I had an opportunity to lead a professional development session for my fellow teachers, and now I feel compelled to share my experience, as it felt like quite a success! I’ve always said that improv has helped me with…

The Real Final First Draft

I’m a couple of months late to the party, but it’s my party, so I make the rules. Which party? The “I finally finished my first draft” party! I know I’m still nowhere close to actually sending my novel out to agents, but this is definitely a milestone! It felt pretty darn amazing typing those…

In Defense of Noncommittal Planning

Many of my writer friends are extreme planners. Just the thought of starting anything without at least an inkling of where it’s will eventually lead is out of the question. On the other hand, I have other writer friends who relish the ambiguity of starting something, without knowing what will come of it. Personally, I…

Second Drafts: Twice as Drafty

Recently, I met up with an old friend from high school, whom I hadn’t seen in nine years. Chatting over crepes, we caught up on all the expected subjects, from family to mutual friends, before the topic shifted to writing. My friend, it turns out, is a monstrously productive writer. Since I last saw her,…

Slaying the Beast

About once a year I say to myself, “Lara, it’s about time you started a blog.” After being struck by this thunderbolt of (probably) divine inspiration, I then proceed to bang out a long “first post” filled with residual teenage angst. I commit wholeheartedly to it, saying I will update it once a week without…