Review: Rediscovering Palestine (aka, adventures in new research sources)

Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900 by Beshara Doumani My rating: 5 of 5 stars You won’t know how fascinated you are by the economy of an ancient city until you start reading Doumani’s engrossing portrait of eighteenth-century Nablus. It’s written with the thorough, poignant eye of a biographer and the tacit … Read More »

Schedule: Publishers Weekly Star Watch banquet

Less than a week after signing up for BinderCon, my good friend Laura Stanfill of Forest Avenue Press invited me to be her plus-one at a PW awards banquet in New York. I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to be with one of the most talented friends I have on this special night, and this just … Read More »

Schedule: BinderCon, NYC, November 6-9

Even as I’m oh-so-overdue for writing about my amazing experience at Shubbak in London last month, I’ve signed myself up for BinderCon, a professional development conference to empower women and gender non‑conforming writers with tools, connections, and strategies to advance their careers. This has been a hugely supportive group of women, and I can’t wait to … Read More »

Love Letter to the Weird Things

When you have a job in books, you read all the time. And it’s true: I spend literally every single day of the week reading manuscripts on one or two computer screens, hands hovering over the keyboard, usually poised on the seat of my chair in something like a crouch or a perch; a chiropractor’s nightmare. People ask if … Read More »

Shubbak Festival

I’m beyond excited to be attending this year’s Shubbak Festival in London. It includes a weekend of events related to Arab Literature. The highlight, for me, will be the panel “Science Fiction in the Arab World.” (Haven’t I been saying this is a thing?) I can’t wait to bring my notes and ideas home to … Read More »

Shoplifters Will Be Shot

In the heat of the Ferguson protests, it was hard to look at Darren Wilson’s corn-fed, supposedly bruised face and not suspect you’re looking into the eyes of white privilege. Or flat-out racism. If anything, the months since the verdict–verdicts–have showcased the ease with which an individual can become a synecdoche, an effigy, or a martyr. I … Read More »

A reminder to self and others

Orwell died this day in 1950. Here’s Knopf’s form rejection of a “stupid and pointless fable” called Animal Farm: Likewise, in a spirit of defiant optimism, I’m calling this year Project 2015. It’s going to be a year of positive thinking, hard work, laughing at old rejections, and readiness for the future. Read all about it … Read More »

Back in the workshop groove!

Five years ago, I moved away from Portland, Oregon, which took me away from an informal and much-loved writing group. It’s been a long time since I sat around a table and talked about fiction with fellow writers. Needing some fresh air in my writing life, I signed up for a class at the rave-reviewed The Grotto, … Read More »

Editing and freelancing resources

I have been on a hunt for great editing and freelancing resources these past few weeks–the changing of the seasons always inspires me to take a fresh look at my writing and editing business, and make sure everything is on track. Once in a while, Amazon’s list of book recommendations is spot-on, and I thought … Read More »