Posts Tagged ‘writing life’

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

Her dream job


Alicia Joseph

When I was in college, back in 1998, I took a creative writing course where I wrote two horribly written short stories and some really bad poems. The stories were called The Hideout and The Attic. Apparently, I wasn’t very creative with titles back then.

To this day, I don’t know why I didn’t toss those papers in the trash the moment the semester ended. But not only did those pages make the trip back home with me, they managed to survive a couple decades in a bin with so many of my other failed writing attempts.

About eight years ago, (damn time flies) I pulled out that dusty bin and went through those old writings. It had been a while since I’d written at that time, and I wanted to get back into it. After all, being a writer was always my dream. Life, with all of its distractions, had pulled me off course for a little while, but I found my way back to it, and I thought past writings was a good place to start.

Turns out, I was right.

Even though those old stories were really bad, as I read through them, I found a storyline in each I could build on. I turned The Hideout into a novel titled A Penny on the Tracks that was published in 2017. It’s an LGBTQ coming-of-age story about friendship, loyalty, and the struggles of coming out. The story revolves around two best friends, Lyssa and Abbey, who discover a hideout near train tracks. They spend the summer before sixth grade hanging out and finding freedom from issues at home. But their innocence shatters when the hide becomes the scene of a tragic death.

As for the other story, The Attic, that one went through many rewrites with two major plot changes and took me two extra years to write. It was frustrating and many times I wanted to give up, move on to another story, but it was contracted. The new name of that book is Annabel and the Boy in the Window. I’m unable to put into words the relief I feel in finally putting that story to rest.

I am now in the process of revising what was my first attempt at writing a full-length novel that I wrote shortly after graduating college. I had finished it, but as with the short stories, the writing was horrible.

So, in the bin those pages went. A couple of years back I fished the pages out of the bin. Just like the short stories, I found a storyline I could work with. I hope to be finished with the story my summer. After that, I have two more previous attempts at novels I will look at and see if there’s a storyline in them to work.

Despite having a drawer full of new story ideas, I can’t leave my old stories behind. They take up too much space in my head. I need them gone before I can fully concentrate on new projects.

If you’re a writer, do you keep old stories? How do you decide which ones to salvage and which one to let go? I now realize it’s not just old stories I have a hard time letting go. Past relationships, old friendships, cherished memories from a time that can never be lived again, all have a hold on me.

Here is a glimpse into my coming-of-age novel A Penny on the Tracks. I hope you enjoy it.

“When a train runs over a penny, the penny changes form, but it can still be a penny if I want it to be. Or I can make it be something else.”

Lyssa and her best friend Abbey discover a hideout near the train tracks and spend the summer before sixth grade hanging out and finding freedom from issues at home. Their childhood innocence shatters when the hideout becomes the scene of a tragic death.

As they’re about to graduate from high school, Abbey’s family life spirals out of control while Lyssa is feeling guilty for deceiving Abbey about her sexuality.

After another tragic loss, Lyssa finds out that a penny on the track is sometimes a huge price to pay for the truth.


Alicia Joseph grew up in Westchester, Illinois. She has many works-in-progress that she hopes to finish soon. Life permitting.

When she is not writing, Alicia enjoys volunteering with animals, rooting for her favorite sports teams, and playing “awesome aunt” to her nine nieces and nephews.

Learn more about Alicia Joseph on her blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

Read Full Post »

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.



For The Love Of…Not Giving Up by Artemis Crow

By Leslie Bird Nuccio

In the last few months I‘ve seen several posts from authors announcing that they were quitting writing. Every time, my heart flopped in my chest, the pain of their decision and what led up to it physically causing me pain because there are times in the past I wondered why I was trying to be a writer, trying to write books that someone might want to read, trying to succeed amid such a full field.

How could I possibly stand out? How could I sustain a career? How could I think I was good enough?

These questions and so many more filled me. The one truth I kept coming back to was . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Nights of Passion blog

Read Full Post »

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.



10 Different Writer Reactions To The Question – ‘How is Your Book Coming Along?’

By Lucy Mitchell

I love this question – how’s your book coming along?
My reaction to this simple question can change daily, sometimes hourly.
Here are 10 different writer reactions to that question.
They are a mixture of some of the reactions I have overheard during my time as a writer and my own. . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Lucy Mitchell’s blog

Read Full Post »

The Writer’s To-Do List ©

If you’re like us, you have a to-do list. It’s filled with the mundane-but necessary-things that must be accomplished to make life run smoothly: go grocery shopping, pay the bills, do the laundry, call the plumber to unstop the toilet. Sometimes these things, and life in general, can get in a writer’s way. But just sitting down at the keyboard isn’t the only thing a writer needs to do. There’s more to writing than putting words to paper or on computer screens. Here are a few suggestions for your to-do list. Don’t just write – feed your soul and your muse too.

  1. Read. Read books, magazines, newspapers, the back of cereal boxes-whatever you can get. Writers must be readers.
  2. Visit McDonald’s at lunchtime and pretend you’re a kid again. Buy a Happy Meal, eat it slowly, play with the toy, play with your food, make kiddie noises, and watch the other kids play. Writers must be able to get into the skins of other people in order to write realistically.
  3. Make a journal entry. Write about your dreams, your past, your goals, your feelings. Free-write to let creativity reign. Writers have to tap into the unconscious, creative brain functions that allow characters to come alive, ideas to bubble to the surface, and creativity to flow.
  4. Take a walk, jog around the block, visit the gym. Writers need exercise to stay healthy.
  5. Spend time with people. Writers can’t be lone wolves all the time. We need the stimulation of companionship to recharge.
  6. Pull your lawn chair under a tree and look up at the sky. Writers need time to stare into space and dream.
  7. Sleep late, go to bed early, take a nap. Writers need their rest so they can be alert to the world around them.
  8. Remember a time when your emotions ran high and re-experience it. Feel the anger, love, hate, fear, loneliness, sadness, courage, and jealousy. They are part of life. Writers must be able to pull emotions to the surface in order to write with passion.
  9. Close the office door and spend time by yourself. Writers need to be alone to create.
  10. Write today, tomorrow, and every day. Writers aren’t writers unless they spend the time doing the one thing they, by their very nature, can’t avoid doing. Spill your passion onto the page and release the magic into your writing life.

Read Full Post »