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Jennifer Swan's Blog (8)

Is writing a catalyst for doom?

There are many spiritual elements to writing the book In Wake of a Following, and with them, comes fear. I worry that stirring up memories from the 1950s Virgin Mary sightings will release a measure of bad karma. My investigation is a lot like descending into a dank, unlit basement. Deep down, I’m troubled. With each bad thing that happens to my loved ones – my sister’s cancer, financial stress, a recent car crash – I wonder. Is my writing obsession a catalyst of…


Added by Jennifer Swan on October 2, 2010 at 7:38am — 1 Comment

The Beginning of a Memoir

When a person stumbles upon a deeply rooted secret, it’s nearly impossible to keep quiet. And yet, that is exactly what my family did for decades. None of us had the gumption to ask dad about the bizarre happenings in Wisconsin. We each furtively hoped he’d one day grant us an exclusive tell-all about the time grandfather abandoned the family to become co-leader of a controversial, anti-communist religious movement.…


Added by Jennifer Swan on August 26, 2010 at 10:05am — 2 Comments

How to share & write memories

Share your family stories before it is too late. That’s my motto in a nutshell. I believe everyone has a story to tell. It’s just a matter of digging deep to find those memories. Of course, proof is in the puddin’ - alright, no more tacky clichés - I'm about to issue you a challenge:

  • Grab a pen and paper.
  • Number your paper from 1 – 13.…

Added by Jennifer Swan on August 3, 2010 at 8:46am — No Comments

When doves fly - searching for a sign

shrine n. A place of religious devotion or commemoration, such as: a place where devotion is paid to a deity or deities, the tomb of a saint or other venerated person, a location where an important event in the life of a holy person is thought to have occurred. 2. A container or receptacle for sacred relics; a reliquary. 3. A site hallowed by association with a revered person or object or with an important…

Added by Jennifer Swan on July 18, 2010 at 6:05am — No Comments

Dwell not on negative (writing)

"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery." - Jane Austen

A heavy fog infiltrated my creative mindset ten days ago. I became discouraged and frustrated. But I was not alone, others felt it too. On Saturday, I followed a hash tag (#writers) on Twitter and found a steady stream of negativity:

  • 20 warning signs your content…

Added by Jennifer Swan on June 28, 2010 at 11:43am — No Comments

From the Slush Pile to Publication. Do purple ravens exist?

Randomness can be defined as events that happen outside predictability, prior knowledge and beliefs. I’ll start with an example. What has Paris Hilton done for the fine arts? The answer: NOTHING. And yet, she became the next big thing.

Now let’s take this concept to the world of publishing with the idea that a writer’s manuscript, deep within the bowels of the slush pile, is discovered at random – regardless of whether you are Hemingway resurrected or just another…


Added by Jennifer Swan on June 9, 2010 at 2:35pm — No Comments

A writer's Journey to the Land of Oz

Do you want to come along? I am on my way to impress the great OZ with a brilliantly written query letter (version # 53, to be exact). I’ve been here before. In fact, it was just last week that I marched to the emerald city only to discover the doors strong-armed by guards holding WEAPONS OF MASS REJECTION.

I must better prepare this time. I am fearful, but I double back, lick my wounds, and attempt to gain as much feedback as possible before entering the…


Added by Jennifer Swan on May 27, 2010 at 8:55pm — No Comments

In Wake of a Following

Mona Lisa Smile

I rode in the backseat of our 1979 Pontiac Bonneville. The scarlet plush interior cushioned my cheek while the top of my head rested against the rigid window pane. There was a faint smell of peppermint from the hard candy my dad tucked in the pocket of his cheek – melting slowly as he drove the rural highway. On occasion, he’d slip me a piece of…


Added by Jennifer Swan on May 21, 2010 at 7:55pm — No Comments




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