Why not use a cliché?

Even if an expression is true –when it has been overused, it loses impact. Clichés lose value over time because they lack commitment to circumstance. They do not make distinctive or memorable contributions to story or character development – often they can feel like short cuts. Avoid clichés by offering specific, detailed phrasing: Instead of: … Continue reading Why not use a cliché?

do you see what you believe?

Perception is everything. illusion - noun - implies a false ascribing of reality based on what one sees or imagines. Merriam-Webster Can we choose how we perceive? A friend once said to me "I've decided that each morning when I wake up I'm going to believe that all that happens is for the best." I … Continue reading do you see what you believe?

Love Stories

"You will search for me in another person, I promise." Deidré Wallace A good love story requires the writer to have a degree of insight that the characters must struggle (and perhaps fail) to achieve. Writing Prompt: In 100 words, write a story in which the main character realizes the person they are about to marry … Continue reading Love Stories

Writing to Heal

Why do I Write?        Because happiness is complicated.  Advice about achieving well-being is all around us - from tidying up our closets to eliminating processed foods from our diet. But for some of us, a commitment to practicing happiness may not be enough, if deep down we don't believe happiness is possible.  Our … Continue reading Writing to Heal

Writing Memoir, Truth or Fact

Memoir is our experience of what happened. It offers ways to discover and organize meaning, to understand, and reconcile –even recover from – something or someone in our past.  Because memory is subjective, it can be tenuous, conditional, and error-prone. There will be events and conversations that we only vaguely recollect. This can require that we synthesize a coherent narrative from … Continue reading Writing Memoir, Truth or Fact

Thanksgiving Camper

Not everyone loves the holidays, or Disney World, or campers.   In 300 words or less, write the story of a family's resolve to make the trip to Disney World for Thanksgiving in a VW camper. Begin with: "We don't need cell phones or tablets to have a good time together. Somehow we all muddled through before … Continue reading Thanksgiving Camper

“Can books save the planet?” article in The Atlantic

Great article by J.K. Ullrich about cli-fi momentum!

Wild Type

If you’re interested in literature, STEM education, environmentalism, or just want to look at a picture of Jon Snow from “Game of Thrones” (yes, some culture critics argue the presence of cli-fi themes in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series) check out the article I just wrote for The Atlantic about the growing popularity of cli-fi and its expansion into college classrooms. Special thanks to the people interviewed, who were kind enough to share their thoughtful commentary on the topic!

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Saving the World One Word at a Time – Writing Cli-Fi

Available on Amazon Discover how writing fiction can make the world a better place. This book offers instruction, inspiration and prompts for writing cli-fi; speculative fiction that focuses primarily on the ways that climate change is transforming our world. Explore how plot, place and character development can make climate change personal. By anticipating and elaborating … Continue reading Saving the World One Word at a Time – Writing Cli-Fi

Recent Reads: Saving the World One Word at a Time: Writing Cli-Fi

Wild Type

I received a promotional copy of this book from Ellen Szabo in exchange for my honest review: thanks, Ellen!

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 5.35.23 PMIn the preface to this book, author Ellen Szabo writes “I wish someone had told me when I was young that separation of the `hard sciences’ and `creative arts’ was a false duality”. I can certainly relate! As a cli-fi author myself, I know the two disciplines can be powerful allies. I’m glad Szabo’s book will help make this emergent genre more approachable for aspiring writers. “Saving the World One Word at a Time: Writing Cli-Fi” is a useful workbook for writers who want to explore the cli-fi genre, but need a little nudge to get started. Szabo discusses cli-fi as a form of social activism and highlights ways to bring environmental speculation to life. Some of the techniques she includes are ones I used myself in Blue Karma

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