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Do you long for the company of other writers? Consider taking a class or joining a writers retreat. Click here. My books spring from a curiosity about English and a desire to understand how writing makes us laugh, well up with tears, or just say “ahhhh.” This site shares tips and resources, insights and inspiration—all in the interest of encouraging wicked good prose. And this blog brings you boneheaded errors and brilliant passages, random thoughts and ruminations. Let’s plunge into the peculiarities of prose.... More posts >>

The precipitous slide of authors income

When I was starting out, I wrote poetry and short stories. I never expected to earn money from writing—I bought the myth of the starving artist, empty hook, line, and sinker. I developed a sideline as a teacher, married a contractor so that I could have a house (even if it was a ruin in the ghetto), and settled in for the long haul. But as I gradually shifted to journalism—and got to know many professional writers in all genres—my expectations changed. I thought of writing not just as my calling, but as my career.

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Writing Refuge

I’ve just started a two-week residency, joined in a large house filled with windows by two-other writers. Every day I walk from the house to the “East” writing shed, where I listen to the bird calls, watch egrets take flight, and stare out at Tomales Bay, which goes from bay to wetlands and back, depending on the tide.

This may seem like an odd setting in which to be writing a book on hula, but being in a place like this settles the soul and lets the imagination carry me to unexpected places. Finding stopping points is so essential to being able to sustain a life as a freelance writer, with its ups and downs, excitements and disappointments—and with the need to be constantly either hustling up work or hustling to meet deadlines.

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