My Five Worst Writing Habits (And How You Can Avoid Them)

[This post was originally published a few months ago but I wanted to resurrect it because (if you couldn’t tell) I’ve been in a bit of a writing slump and thought it best to revisit my bad habits in order to create some good ones.]  There’s a troubling dichotomy that exists in the mind of a writer between thinking what …

His Muse

There’s a road in Costa Rica that is watched by snakes and stones. The stones don’t make the best sentinels (stony-faced as they may be), mostly because they have no eyes and can only roll loosely in one direction or the next to warn of trouble ahead. The snakes, by comparison, fare a little better. Though their legless-ness proves a real …

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Revisiting Discarded Post-it Poetry: An Idea That Sticks

My friend, sob, and I recently reconnected over Instagram (hey, find me @melissakandel!) and it made me want to repost this interview I did with him several months ago. I publish this not only to celebrate our Insta-friendship but also in commemoration of his most recent milestone, hitting 20k followers! Enjoy! We met in the most unexpected way. And while I guess …

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Whale-Talk

Yosemite My name is Yosemite. I’m five feet, six inches tall with a reddish tint to my hair, a long beard that I never comb and green-blue eyes that are noticeably two different sizes. I only shower on Thursdays, smoke at least five cigarettes a day and eat my cereal each morning with cinnamon whiskey instead of milk. I don’t …

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Isabel Allende Is a Creative Storytelling Master

If Isabel Allende was applying for the job of world’s most popular Spanish-language author, she’d totally crush it. Because let’s be real … she probably is. The Chilean-American writer, best known for penning The House of Spirits (La Casa de los Espíritus) and City of the Beasts (La Ciudad de las Bestias), among countless other mega-bestsellers, has a literary resume to end all resumes. Career …

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Unexpected (and Totally Doable) Adventures for Labor Day Weekend

If you don’t have some blowout trip planned, three-day weekends can often feel like one of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books. Turn to page six to go to the gym! Turn to page eighteen to get all your laundry done! Turn to page forty seven for a bottomless mimosa brunch with your booziest buddies!  (Editor’s Note: Page forty seven does not …

A Date Near Downing Street

The taxi door fluttered open, a bright flap of yellow against the sluggish August wind. One last look to the driver with graying teeth and gangly, corn-husk hair and Simon Plinkers peeled himself out of the car. (This after sitting for twenty seven minutes in downtown traffic as the taxi meter skipped along and his elbow ached from not one but two …

Annalee

Annalee was her name. I say was because she’s no longer with us but you should know she was my Aunt Annalee and she was forever saying strange things to me like, “You’ll never understand what’s sitting inside or outside the ocean, so the best you can do is try.” “Yes, Aunt Annalee,” I’d reply, unsure if there was any …

In The Bag

His skin was old and ashen. Not ashen like a cigarette but ashen like the scorched embers of a campfire that had been left burning too long. Nikolai was the exact opposite: A tan-skinned, lanky figure of twenty six, with sun-dipped curls in his hair and a bright rose to his cheeks. They were the unlikeliest of pairs to be …

Sincerely and With Feeling

As the black crow flies, so too does the luck of anyone brazen enough to steal from the Painted Desert for the sake of a vainglorious because I can. Such a creature of inordinate vanity cannot, by the laws of moonlight and the writs of sunshine, remain unpunished for very long. He (let us use “he” because our story is …