Your New Best Friend:
The Deadline Calendar
GO ON, TRY my interactive calendar of emotional high holy days, regular-version high holy days and more. It’s probably my number one memoir writing tip, since writing on deadline, or to a deadline, is one of the single best ways to learn how to write memoir.
Hover your cursor over a cinnamon-colored date to see what pops up. Use it to start personal essays, radio pieces and op-eds to submit on deadline. How? Look three months out for radio ideas; six to twelve for magazine pieces. Pluck something from the calendar and start now to submit the very best work you can produce.
Here is how to stop using writing prompts and writing exercises, those time-wasting devices leave you merely practicing writing. You want to write with intent, and you want to succeed. So start today and do so.
Write with intent: Pick a date, write to it, submit the piece. Read and react. You’re a writer. That’s what writers do. So write on.
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December, 6 2013
White House Christmas Tree Topples
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, it was on this day in 1970 that the White House Christmas tree fell over. Well, this happened to me when I was a kid, right in our living room in Little Neck, New York. That incident is on my to-do list for a personal essay. That is, just as soon as I figure out what it is about.
December, 14 2013
Halcyon days begin
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, these are days of calm during winter. A legendary bird named alcyon, believed to have the power to calm the seas, originated in myth and appears twice in Shakespeare. Today the bird is identified with the kingfisher, able to nest on the sea and believed to calm it for the seven days before and seven days after the winter solstice. Need examples of writing on deadline? See my blog category NPR essays, for pieces I’ve aired on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.
December, 17 2013
The Full Cold Moon
December’s Full Moon is known either as the BULL BEAVER MOON or the FULL COLD MOON. This year, accordig to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, it’s a beaver year. We take our full moon names from the Native American tradition. Full moons shine on us all. How do you make an event we all experience your very own tale? Don’t let it get too big. Here’s a post that might help you with that.
December, 22 2013
The Winter Solstice
Today is the winter solstice, on which the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun, making this the onset of winter up north. And while you can’t really see the axis and its tilt from where you are, what you will see is that this is the shortest day of the year, or the longest night, depending on which way you choose to view it. How to personalize something that happens to us all? Look for universal themes.
December, 29 2013
Owls Mating Now
You read that right. And if you’ve heard some hooting, that’s why. The Great Horned Owl and the Great Gray Owl are starting a brood. Owls don’t migrate, allowing them to breed now and into the early months of the year, while most other bird species don’t mate until spring. Owls have distinctly different calls. The hoot owl hoots; the short-eared owl has a sneezy bark; the barn owl, a shrill snore, all in the name of love. Humor is serious business. Maybe this will inspire you.