My Name was Supposed to be Elizabeth Ann

— Stories from the Roads (Not) Taken

For those of you unfamiliar with the challenge, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Beginning every November 1, writers of all ages and abilities set out to write a 50,000 word novel by midnight November 30.  I planned to participate. I even signed up. I had a project and a schedule in place. Then …

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The venetian blind Lady Liberty at the heart of “Bring Me Your Yearning” actually existed. In 1986, two days before the 100th anniversary of  New York’s original Statue, she mysteriously appeared overnight in the middle of the Susquehanna River near my childhood home of Dauphin, Pennsylvania, seven miles north of the state’s capital. Her origins …

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“Lesson Plans” was inspired in part by a series of conversations among my colleagues in various disciplines. Months before Covid-19, remote learning, and our country’s long overdue reckoning with systemic racism, we shared our difficulties about having enough time to plan and teach our core classes effectively, let alone fulfill an ever-increasing list of duties …

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Recently, I was invited by StoryADay.org founder Julie Duffy to be a guest on her weekly podcast. I was honored, thrilled, and honestly quite a bit nervous about the interview. However, I needn’t have worried. Julie is a warm and welcoming host in whose care I felt immediately at ease. Chatting with her was like …

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FOCUS. And no, its selection has nothing to do with the visual connotation of 2020, though I do appreciate the symmetry.  Rather, its selection logically follows my 2019 word, SPEAK. A little context…  I’ve been a writer almost as long as I’ve been a reader, but writing–and finding the time to do it well–has almost …

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Writers are nosy creatures. We eavesdrop. We people watch. We collect other people’s stories like sea glass, shiny bits of treasure we hoard then barter with the muses. The inspiration for The Nail Club is one such gem. Years ago, my nail tech B. shared that one of her most difficult clients at her former …

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“The Daffodils” began a few years ago as an assignment for an online creative writing class through Gotham Writers Workshop. The details are vague, but I remember a map of a fictional town and instructions to write a story of no more than 750 words, which then and now is very difficult for me. In …

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CONFESSION: I want to write a novel.   I have been concentrating on writing flash and short stories. But this year, I seriously considered joining  NaNoWriMo to force myself to start a longer project.  Besides, all the cool kids hang out at NaNo. They have private groups and private chats. Buddy systems wherein they delight and …

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The first week of StoryADay September was also the first week of the new school year, so I knew going in I would have to create a workable daily schedule that would not only include writing time but prioritize it. First off, a confession–I did NOT write to the prompt every day. Some days, I …

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Earlier this year I signed up for May’s Story A Day Challenge, wherein writers receive a daily prompt from its creator, Julie Duffy, and commit to writing a story every day throughout the month. Yee-up. That’s THIRTY-ONE stories. I was excited, nervous, intimidated–and determined. No matter what, I was NOT going to quit. I’d given …

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