Excuse me, my characterization is UP HERE

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SIGH

Okay friends. We need to talk about something that’s been bugging me a long time. I CAN’T EVEN COUNT– hold on, this feels like something I need a proper soapbox for.

*rummages*

Hm, looks like I don’t own anĀ  soapbox. I’ll just stand on my desk, then. This will make typing hard but I will do it, in the name of justice.

I CAN’T EVEN COUNT how many back-of-book blurbs I’ve read in which the only mentioned female character is described as ~beautiful~ and nothing else.

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I have a confession… I have not been writing.

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While all my writer friends are hunched over notebooks and computers, bustling and toiling, penning lines and crumpling them up, or even just jotting down ideas, I’ve been over here… not… doing that.

Since finishing my novel in December, the last creative writing I did (excluding blog posts, which are more article-y or journal-y than creative, um, -y) was a 1000-word fiction in March, that I didn’t post because I’m submitting for publication. Oh, and those one-line stories I did in April, if those count. Otherwise… *crickets*

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New publication! Log Jam, now up at The Bohemyth

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I’m so excited to announce that my short story Log Jam has been published by a lovely journal called The Bohemyth. This piece, about the often inexplicable nature of depression, is very dear to me and was in submission for a long time, so I’m deeply thankful it found a home. It would mean the world to me if you read it.

You are allowed to write badly.

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We’ve probably all heard the adage, “Give yourself permission to write crap,” but I want to talk about it because it’s such an important one. We must face the inevitability that not every word we type will be fabulous, and that’s okay. We are allowed to be imperfect. Welcome it, embrace it. It’s your right as a human.

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Festival of BOOKS! (throws books up like confetti) (ow) (ouch) (oof)

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Happy May, everyone! I’m feeling particularly chipper today because I am FINALLY getting over a brutal cold. Ugh. This thing was a monster. The moment I realized I could swallow again without pain was a hallelujah occasion, and the first night I noticed I wasn’t coughing up a lung and half my spleen felt like a deer eating out of my hand. “KEEP VERY STILL… DON’T COUGH… DON’T… COUGH…”

While I was sick, I had plans to go to the famous Los Angeles Festival of Books on April 23rd, and after missing it every year thus far, I was determined to go even if I had to wear a face mask and be carted around in a wheelbarrow. Come on, guys. It’s a FESTIVAL… of BOOKS! I had to.

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30 lines for my 30th year!

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Today is my birthday!! Woooo! “Growing up” is lame and I refuse to do it, but birthdays are awesome. To celebrate turning the big three-oh, I decided to write 30 one-line stories. Because… challenge? Novelty? Masochism?? It was a lot harder than expected. But also fun. Some are silly and some are serious. Some have only a few words and some make abundant use of commas. I hereby present: Noel’s Thirty for Thirty~

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Why I dislike the term “Strong Female Character”

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I don’t like the term “Strong Female Character.”

That does not mean I prefer weak female characters. This is not a black and white world in which you either swing swords with swagger or cower in a corner. There’s a vast spectrum in between.

The reason I can’t stand the term “strong female characters” is because women described that way are usually one-dimensional, monotone cutouts of what the writer thinks a strong woman is. Often she’s a woman who can shoot a gun or throw a punch, and that’s enough. She never cries or feels uncertain or has any internal struggle whatsoever, unless of course it’s just for a minute to get the plot going and then she knows exactly how to deal with it. (Probably by shooting a gun.)

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Rejections and the benefit of humility

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Pretty much the second my post about waiting for agent responses hit your screens last month, rejections hit my inbox. You know that saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs?” For me, it was raining No’s and Also No’s.

I took it hard – harder than I should have for someone who’s been through this before with another novel. The reason is something I’m going to confess to you even though it casts me in an unflattering light, because… I don’t know, there’s just something about you, random internet stranger, that makes me feel like I can open up to you.

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