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Dana here–The Authors Guild is unquestionably the biggest bang you can get for your writing buck. Doug Preston tells us why. [reprinted by permission] In talking to some of you, I’ve discovered that not everyone is awareof the extensive benefits that come with Guild membership. Pleasetake a moment to look through the list, because there…

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The sky is not the limit.

Another of Marshall’s entries in the series he calls “Power of Place,” this one involving looks through the geographical lens at maybe not the first countries or locations you might think of when you think of our planet’s future. There are some surprising discoveries. Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in alternative energy and, following in…

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[Written at Laurie King’s request for The Arvon Book of Crime and Thriller Writing, 2012.] Those “Eureka!” moments Writing successfully is sweat equity.  Butt in the chair, hour after hour, grinding out sentences and paragraphs and pages, none of which, one is grimly aware, may make the final cut when it comes time to edit. That…

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One question every writer gets at every public event is what is our process, as in how do we write our books. For example, how many words do I write every day? I always answer in pages, lately five pages a day. I’m aware that that is an oblique answer, but there is a reason.…

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Traveling is always thought to be more enjoyable than moving: we envy foreign correspondents but pity army brats.

A dozen exceptionally well-written essays on disparate subjects such as coffee, mail and a biography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In “A Piece of Cotton,” an essay about the American flag, Fadiman writes, “In the weeks after September 11, I saw for the first time that the flag…has multiple meanings….The red, white, and blue turban worn…

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Note: From time to time on #thiswritinglife I will post reviews of books about the building blocks of our craft. If on the way to looking up “occurrence” for the seventy-third time to see if it’s two c’s or two r’s (both) and an “e” or and “a” (an e) and get sidetracked first by osmometry,…

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In 2009 I was asked to answer the Book Brahmins Questionnaire on Shelf Awareness. Never hard to get me talking about books I love, so I did, and here are their questions and my answers, lightly edited. On your nightstand now: The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson. I was raised in…

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