Book Talk: Station Eleven

This magnificent and intriguing novel by Emily St. John Mandel opens with the line, "The king stood in a pool of blue light, unmoored." I like catchy and mysterious first lines, and this was one. The setting was, in fact, not a true kingdom, but a stage, and the book character Arthur Leander was playing Shakespeare's character King Lear. Unfortunately, by the end of the second page, Arthur has collapsed on stage. And thus begins the book Station Eleven. The premise of the book is that a strain of the flu morphed into…Read more …
Are Blogging and Writing the Same Thing?

Are Blogging and Writing the Same Thing?

I've been wrestling with this question lately. And I've known my answer, but I've hesitated to post it here. After reading "When Commerical Christian Publishing was Bad for My Soul" by Ed Cyzewski yesterday and reading the post "Art and Fear" by Karen Salyer McElmurray this morning, I feel like the time is right to share these words with you. So, are blogging and writing the same thing? I believe they are not exactly the same thing.  Now, yes, of course, blogging is a form of writing. It takes time, effort, and thought to blog. Some…Read more …

Advice for Fledgling Writers: MFA or no MFA?

The MFA debate is alive and well. If you're new to writing, an MFA is a Master of Fine Arts (in Creative Writing, in this case). There are some people who believe that all writers should get an MFA, and there are others who think MFA degrees are a waste of time. If you want to read about the debates, this article gives you lots of links to different sides of the argument. I have an MFA degree, and personally I recommend MFA programs. Here's why I went that route: I had been teaching…Read more …
When Back Church is the Place You Belong

When Back Church is the Place You Belong

When I was in seventh grade, I started a new school. The previous year had been my first year as a missionary kid in Thailand, and I'd attended a small school that was basically more like a homeschool co-op for MKs. It was a fun experience and probably a good way to adjust to life in a new country. But seventh grade was my entrance into a true, large international school overseas. Ruamrudee International School was a Catholic international school that used American curriculum and was accredited by the American board of something…Read more …

Advice for Fledgling Writers: Where to Submit

Recently a few people have asked me some writing questions, and I want to write a few posts that will answer some of those questions. To be clear, I still consider myself a fledgling writer. I realize that I don't have any major publications or an uber-popular blog. But I have spent the last 7 years trying to be a writer in one way or another. And I think I can share some resources and support for writers who are just starting out. So, let's begin with where to submit. A lot of people want…Read more …