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Lynda's Twittery Writing Advice Column #4: LAUGH

Column #4: LAUGH

Want to be a writer?

• Laugh.
• Take your craft seriously but not yourself.
• Lighten up.
• Even the moodiest writing often has comic relief:
• Billy Crystal and Robin Williams played Hamlet's gravediggers. Look it up.
• Humor is one of the sharpest tools in your box:
• Use it sparingly in your writing soup, like salt.
• But on yourself? Pour it on...
• Pour until you crack yourself up.
• Not a born wit? No worries. Not the point.
• Master the art of self-deprecation. That'll do.
• But don't overdo. Same goes for humor.
• (Unless you're Billy Crystal or Robin Williams.)
• Understand the writing life is tough enough without laughter
• Brevity may be the soul of wit...
• Laughter is the soul of sanity.
• Cry and laugh if you must, but do it.
• Brood if you must, but keep it short.
• Rhino hide is a writer essential, but even rhinos hurt.
• Rejections pierce any hide: Expect it.
• But laugh and you can handle anything.
• Life is too serious not to treat with humor.
• Did you hear the one about the writer who never learned to laugh?
• Died young. And wrinkly. And had not one iota of fun.
• Save the moody darkness for the page.
• Save the literary angst for your book jacket photo.
• But for yourself?
• Laugh.
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Tattered Cover Bookstore Blog's VIDEO interview

FAITH BASS DARLING'S LAST GARAGE SALE had fun in DENVER in late July, making the Denver Bestseller List. Tattered Cover Bookstore, one of the biggest and best independent bookstores in the country hosted a signing and reading of it, after which I was asked if I'd liked to do a video interview for their blog.

"Sure...." I said, with my best deer-in-the-headlights look.

Here's the result for your entertainment: Two short "vlogs"--one is all about the novel, the other is about publishing and advice to writers.

Video Interview with Denver's famous Tattered Cover Bookstore's Blog Read More 
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PBS' Antiques RoadShow-Antique Inspiration for Novel

We read about such stories everyday: A comic book found at a garage sale is worth $48,000. An ugly lamp is an authentic Tiffany worth $100K. A cracked vase turns out to be a rare Egyptian urn somebody's grandfather swiped during World War I from North Africa.

If you've read Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale, you'll know that antiques are actually characters themselves and play a pivotal part in the story that unfolds at a rich old woman's garage sale on the last day of the Millennium.

A rolltop, a dragoon, 44 Tiffany Lamps, an heirloom wedding ring, a museum-quality elephant clock...all are there for the buying. Cheap.

This is why we love Garage Sales and why we dream of being the next big find on PBS' Antiques Roadshow Episodes. Antiques Roadshow has made people clutch their hearts on spotlight episodes since 1995 and has become part of the nation's psyche. And I don't mind admitting that watching this show was one of the varied inspirations for Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale from your friends at Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam who brought you "The Help."

This episode about a Tiffany "fish" lamp worth $100,000 impressed me so much that a fish Tiffany found its way into my character Faith's Sale (where, by the way, the Tiffanys are going for a $1).

PBS' Antiques Roadshow Episode-TIFFANY FISH LAMP--$100,000 FIND.

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Lynda's Twittery Writing Advice Column #3: FAIL

Column #3: FAIL

Want to be a writer?

•A lot
•Rejoice in failure (ok, that maybe's going too far):
•Be ok with failure
•How to get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.
•Failing is practice
•Like a stuntman, do it without getting hurt
•Like a stuntwoman, learn the right way to fall
•Like baseball, there's no crying (or at least not for long)
•There's only the stubbornness to see failure as prelude...
•Tattoo this somewhere: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
•Research says it takes 10,000 hours to perfect a skill.
•See every rejection as notes on how to get there quicker.
•Make failing work for you
•Expect it. Learn from it.
•99% of writing is rewriting; all but 1% then is failing.
•Get it?
•Don't let it get you. In order to pass, let yourself:
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