Some Nights I Wish That My Lips Could Build A Castle

Velveteen RabbitIt’s time for me to grow up and become a real writer. This, as you all know, is easier said than done. I’ve been acting a bit little like the Velveteen Rabbit, waiting around for the Nursery Fairy to make me real. But over the past two months I’ve felt a shift inside. I’ve been reading differently. I’ve been watching authors on YouTube talk about their writing. I’ve been taking notes and underlining sentences. I’ve been reading blogs and on-line journals. I’ve been paying attention.

It’s not that I haven’t done all this before, but I am absorbing things in a different way. I am committing myself to the experience. And I am taking complete responsibility for being a nobody. I have never sent anything out for publication and I am never going to unless I become deliberate. Unless I make a plan.

Because what will I do when the day comes and some publishing mogul says, I love your novel and will publish it right away – send us your bio.

My bio?

Uhm…well. OK. My bio.

Let’s see.

M.E. works at a day job to pay the mortgage, chauffeurs her kids around to school activities and events, blogs about random crap once in a blue moon, and sometimes writes in the doctor’s waiting room when the magazines suck.

So I’ve been looking at bios. People who publish seem to have lists of places they’ve published, degrees that actually have to do with writing, jobs teaching writing, and a whole lot of stuff that relates to, you guessed it, writing. It ranges from MFAs to Community College creative writing gigs, to first place in a Glimmer Train contest, to a Flash Fiction piece in a two-day old e-zine, to studying with Robert McKee for 10 years, to starting their own lit mag, to winning awards like a PEN or 5 under 75 (wait, that’s my fantasy, I think it’s really 5 under 35. Rats.), to making a grilled cheese sandwich for Joyce Carol Oates. These people have bios, people! Real bios.

So I’m going to build a bio. This means setting the novel aside for awhile and pummeling, I mean editing a few short stories and sending them out somewhere. It’s time to take the plunge. It’s time to toughen up, do the work, or as Seth Godin says, ship the damn thing. My goal – three publications somewhere. Two can be anywhere and one should be somewhere I might have heard of.

I think it’s a solid goal. I think it’s worth shooting for. I think, maybe I think this, I think I can do it. Progress, yes?

How’s your bio?



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7 responses to “Some Nights I Wish That My Lips Could Build A Castle

  1. Susan

    5 Under 75! Woot! Or as George Saunders might put it, (!).

  2. Ha! I just wrote one. Having no accomplishments to work with, mine looks like this:

    Averil Dean was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She left school at sixteen and went on to sell donuts, insurance and power tools before answering the call of the cubicle, where she spent the next twenty years building up her tolerance for burnt coffee and the dot-matrix printer. She left this dream life in 2012 when she moved to Portland, Oregon, and now devotes her time to writing, photography, and the pursuit of massaman curry. You can find her blog at


  3. I like how you mention that you are paying attention. This will serve you well in any situation. Writers do not just construct sentences; first they observe.

  4. smerk

    Sounds like a good plan to me. Seems like it’s time for fishing, as in ‘Fish or cut bait’ – which is a less vulgar version of ‘…or get off the pot’. Lots of wise men and women have said this over the years so you can’t go wrong.

    But I kinda like your bio as it is, especially the part about writing in the doctor’s waiting room.

    Just do it!!!

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