Most of you know about Marie Kondo, the new tidying expert, bestselling author, star of Netflix’s hit show “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” and founder of KonMari Media, Inc. Kondo is famous for teaching people to find the things in their lives that don’t spark joy, and then letting go of them. Letting go. If…

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Last week I finished editing my new book and emailed it to my editor, who like so many others is working from home. For years, finishing a book meant buying paper, ink cartridges and giant padded envelopes, then spending several hours printing the complete manuscript. Finally I stood in line at the post office to…

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While the title today is writing with others, let me first talk about reading with others instead. As many of you probably remember, I’ve mentioned my book discussion group, which has been in existence for more than twenty years. It began as an offshoot of a small group of writers in the Cleveland, OH area.…

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Last week I wrote about the way novelists incorporate facts into their fiction. While I was at it I also explored the way we sometimes ignore facts in order to advance and suit our particular plots. I listed some general rules I’ve created for myself. This week I thought I’d be more specific. Recently I…

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So you pick up a book by an author you love, and before you begin the story, you read the author’s note. “If you’ve ever been to Anytown,” he/she says, then you know that the river flowing downtown doesn’t stop at Everywhere Street. In fact there is no Everywhere Street. And let’s face it, the…

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I’m going great guns on my new book after so much time away over the holidays, so blogging has taken a back seat. But I couldn’t help but think of you as I read my morning paper today, so I’m checking in quickly. So often I’m asked where I get my ideas. I’ve explained how…

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Good morning from Monterey County, California. Novelists on the road or on vacation are a different breed. For fun come join me on my two week stay at my son’s home where Proman and I are dog sitting. We decided that since this area is so rich in possibilities, we would take them one at…

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“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” Theodore Roosevelt Book ideas, like everything else in life,…

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A quick glance at my latest publishing contract last week provided a shocker. While my next book isn’t due for more than a year, my proposal is due next month. Here’s a quick catch-up on what “proposal” means. In traditional publishing editors usually require authors to submit their ideas ahead of time if they’re already…

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