Letters to the editor


Got another one published, this time in the Washington Post. Maybe instead of novels I should be working on The Collected Letters to the Editor of Carol Nissenson and how you can write witty insightful non-fiction that will bring you no fame or fortune whatsoever.

Is it so wrong?*


As a writer, one of the questions I sometimes ask myself is, “Should my 99-year-old mother die, how many days later could I go back to writing without seeming callous and unloving?”

Corollary: I hope my mom lives long enough for my first novel to be published. I won’t mind taking a week off, then.**



**She’s doing just fine, thank you. We plan to put her in our will.

Writing Break*


You know the fates are telling you that you need a break, when a little kid at the far end of your coffee/writing spot starts playing “Ode to Joy” on a tonette**…repeatedly.


*Don’t get too excited. I’m talking “ten-minute” variety.

**Spellcheck clearly didn’t go to elementary school in the ’50s. It keeps trying to change this to “rosette.”

It’s not you, it’s me


I got my third “I love your writing, but I don’t know how to market this” rejection on a novel today. I suppose I’ll have to shelve that one until I write an amazing best seller or three. Then anything I write will be marketable.*

*Well, maybe not the middle grade novel if the best seller is chick lit with passionate, though not explicit, love scenes.

Juggler Vain


I had the audacity to start a new project yesterday, because I have this bizarre idea I can write in any genre of fiction.* So here’s my current scorecard.

3 full manuscripts of one YA (youngish) modern fantasy with agent/editors   Idea for sequel languishing in back of mind

2 query invites Chick Lit/Cozy Crime  Second draft of sequel complete

1 query invite YA (oldish) modern fantasy

1 YA coming of age awaiting revisions (on the sidelines now, because even for me, there’s a limit)

And now I’m 600 words into a YA (youngish) mystery

There is a method in my madness. I do have a plan. Whatever sells first, that’s the style I’ll write in. Seems as realistic as any of the ideas I’ve had lately.

*Except the ones I don’t want to write in anyway,  like Dystopian Westerns, picture books about dental floss, historical paranormal Middle Grade romance and anything with an important life lesson that would have been just fine for the 18th century,