Which author do you write like?

My fantastic critique buddy, Nicola Layouni, posted a wonderful method of procrastination for writers tearing their hair out with revisions tool for writers. Using the “I write like analyzer” and pasting some pages of her text in the text box, Nicola discovered that she wrote like James Joyce. Pretty nice compliment, right? Since I’m right…

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Exploring Napoleon’s Empire: Elba

As a history buff, Elba has always been the place I associated with Napoleon’s short exile, but I’d never visited Italy’s third largest island until I received a wedding invitation. The weather was touch and go on this Tuscan island during our visit earlier this month. It was definitely too cold and windy to enjoy…

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Gender-bias in book covers? Coverflip.

I’m proud to write women’s fiction, but I know this genre label can raise hackles far and wide. The argument goes that, when men and women write about similar, (often domestic) topics, the men’s work is seen as serious fiction (a.k.a. The Great American Novel), while the women’s work is written off as light, beach-reading…

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A beach fit for an Emperor: Sperlonga

Looking for a Mediterranean summer resort with history? How about 2000 years of history? Ancient Roman Emperor Tiberius, who reigned from 14-37 AD, used to enjoy spending summers in this beautiful seaside retreat on the Tyrrhenian Sea and, millennia later, modern-day Romans still escape the city’s sweltering summers by relaxing on the beach of  beautiful…

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Best places to experience Vienna’s café culture

Vienna is one of my favorite cities. I spent a happy year living here far too many years ago, and I’ve returned countless times as a tourist. To truly enjoy the city, a visitor shouldn’t rush, but should instead slow down and enjoy age-old Viennese traditions. Few of these traditions are as enjoyable as taking…

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Favorite web resources for writers

I’m not always a fan of tecnology, and I often lament the fact that it takes us away from the daydreaming and writing that we writers should set aside more of our time in pursuing. But I’m also the first to admit that a writer’s job – particularly a writer just starting out – is…

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Fairy tale spires and lake views in Lausanne, Switzerland

On a recent trip to Geneva, I had a few hours free on a Sunday afternoon, so I hopped on one of the frequent trains (love, love, love efficient Swiss public transport) to nearby Lausanne. Lausanne is about fifty-three kilometers north-east of Geneva, along the banks of Lake Geneva. During the summer months, there are…

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Call for submissions at Writers Abroad

Writers, sharpen your pencils. The submission period is open for the Writers Abroad annual anthology. Each year, the writers group Writers Abroad publishes an anthology, organized around a particular theme. This year’s theme is Far Flung and Foreign. They seek submissions of short stories (up to 1700 words), flash fiction (up to 500 words), non-fiction (up to 1000…

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