Pitch Wars 2020 was a wonderful experience for me, not just because I was chosen as a mentee, or even because the showcase helped me find representation, but because of the way my mentor and I worked together… What I would like to pass on to mentee-hopefuls is some insight into choosing the right mentors to apply to (You get four choices!), to give yourself your best shot at finding a mentor-teammate.
While I was querying, I wanted to read stories of others’ journeys. I was trying to divine by comparison whether I would succeed or fail. On the other side, I can tell you that it felt like failing, right up to the moment I succeeded.
Here’s my story:
People say “writer’s block doesn’t exist; could a cab-driver refuse to drive, saying she had driver’s block?” Well, no, but if her passengers were simultaneously shouting at her—turn LEFT, NO, turn RIGHT—she might slam on her brakes, and/or get herself into an accident.
So it’s not a block—not a thing in the road preventing your progress. It’s an internal paralysis, when the voices in your head as you write give opposite advice, so you don’t know which way to turn.
Which of those voices is right? How can you tell?
Well, yours truly took a trippy, er, trip into her own brain to find out just who is in charge at the (metaphorical, obviously) Writer, Incorporated. What follows is a series of interviews with the various voices in my head, like any perfectly normal person might conduct. It’s kind of like Are You My Mother? but for creative types.
In a year, this kitchen table will be covered in boxes of fentanyl patches, probiotic pills and laxatives — the balloon-patterned tablecloth from my dad’s 59th birthday still spread out underneath. In a year, my father will weigh less than I did when I was sixteen, and I will be grateful just to have him answer, groggily, from his gurney-bed when I call out, “Hi, Dad!” But, for now, all is well. He may know he has cancer, but I don’t. He’s sipping his coffee, leaning against a cutting-board-topped cabinet, in blue jeans and a t-shirt. It’s 2017.
…Which means, it’s time to talk about NOT ALL MONSTERS, an anthology of horror by women writers compiled by the wonderful, Stoker Award-winning Sara Tantlinger (with cover and interior art by Don Noble). Every week in February, Sara’s hosting a round-table on her blog —… Read More
And by that I mean we all are!
(photo by Adrien Broom) By: TONY PALMIERI for briana 2-14-13
I have never been good with my hands. It’s the cerebral palsy. There is no middle ground, for me, between the over-hard, stress-red clench of a pen and a tentative, trembling touch. So that I do not shake, I type too loud, and draw too… Read More
This week, I shared a writing exercise with my writer’s group. It’s called “Starting from Solitude,” and it was developed by Richard Hoffman. It’s intended for memoir writing, and it’s unique in that it organically gets the writer back into her own head at a… Read More
(IMAGE CREDIT: Marco Michelini via FREEIMAGES.COM) At a red light, once upon an icy evening, Mom and I watched as a woman on a motorcycle tipped over. The immediate fear, of course, was that she was hurt – if not from the bike falling on… Read More