Synopses & Reviews
"PEN ON FIRE soars with inspiration and crackles with joy. It's a blessing for anyone going crazy trying to find time to write." --Carolyn See, author of Making a Literary Life
In her years of teaching, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett has found aspiring writers (especially women) blocked not by fear of the blank page but by the lack of time. We're sure we need an afternoon to do any real writing, but finding even an hour free of work, children, or chores can seem impossible.
But you don't need an hour. Start looking for just fifteen minutes a day -- minutes spent stalled in traffic, waiting for water to boil, stuck on hold with the phone company - and DeMarco-Barrett will help you turn them into productive sessions that get and keep your creativity flowing. In short, inspiring chapters, she offers classroom-tested exercises and innovative techniques for generating ideas, as well as advice from well-known authors. Give her fifteen minutes: She'll ignite your pen and help you become the writer you have always wanted to be.
"So many people have told me they are burning to write, but can't seem to find a spare moment. I wish I could track them all down now and hand each of them a copy of Pen on Fire." --Gayle Brandeis, author of Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who
Barbara DeMarco-Barrett teaches creative writing at the University of California Irvine. She also hosts and produces "Writers on Writing," a radio show on KUCI-FM on which she interviews authors. She is a contributor to the Los Angeles Times and The Writer magazine, and edits The ASJA Monthly, the official publication for the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She lives in Southern California with her family. She can be reached through www.penonfire.com.
"What a little gem! Gulp down this cocktail of compassion, inspiration, and wizard limbering-up exercises."
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR PEN ON FIRE
"Pen on Fire is a gym for writers with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, who teaches, coaxes, and cheers us on." -Diane Leslie, author of Fleur de Leigh's Life of Crime
"A wonderful mix of the practical and the inspirational." -T. Jefferson Parker, author of Cold Pursuit
"With an encouraging attitude and inspirational approach…everything writer-wannabes want to know, from finding an agent to finding your voice."
"Soars with inspiration and crackles with joy. It's a blessing for anyone going crazy trying to find time to write."
"PEN ON FIRE is a fitness gym for writers with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, who teaches, coaxes, and cheers us on."
"The simple tips and easy lessons herein will provide inspiration to beginning and seasoned writers alike. I recommend it highly."
"PEN ON FIRE is a beginning writer's dream cocktail of fortitude: equal parts compassion, inspiration, and fabulous limbering exercises. "
DeMarco-Barrett knows the writerly type. Her book perfectly combines inspiration and practical advice.
"A creative dynamo, a true writer's writer."
"PEN ON FIRE has got a wonderful mix of the practical and the inspirational."
"Barbara DeMarco-Barrett's wonderful, practical guide teaches us to value our craft and, thus, ourselves."
In her fifteen years of teaching, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett has found that the biggest stumbling block for aspiring writers (especially women) is not fear of the blank page but frustration with the lack of time. What woman doesn't have too much to do and too little time? Finding an hour free of work, children, or obligations can seem impossible.
But anyone can find fifteen minutes, whether you're sitting in traffic, waiting at a child's soccer practice, or watching the coffee drip. DeMarco-Barrett has created a practical, inspirational guide for fitting serious writing into those stolen moments. She offers writing exercises and techniques for generating ideas, as well as pragmatic advice from the well-known authors who appear on her radio show. With fifteen minutes a day, she can help you to ignite your pen and become the writer you have always wanted to be.
About the Author
Barbara DeMarco-Barrett teaches creative writing at University of California-Irvine and hosts the weekly radio show, "Writers on Writing," on NPR affiliate KUCI. She is a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times, The Writer, and Poets & Writers, among other publications, and is editor of The ASJA Monthly, the official publication of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She lives in Southern California.
Table of Contents
Before You Begin
Writing Like There's No Tomorrow
Hang a Partition
Freewriting Shall Set You Free
Load the Basket, Fill the Jug
Create a Written Snapshot
Through a Child's Eyes and Ears
Tools & Rituals
Leave Your Shoes at the Door
Where Writers Work
Walk! Refresh! Have Fun!
Napkins, Notebooks, and Journals
Teaching Your Pen to Listen
Mining Your Life
Celebrate Your Otherness
Using the Ones You Love
Breaking the Chains
Words Can Be So Powerful
Life Imitating Art
Beads of Sweat . . . or Pleasure
Plot or Not
Voice and Style
Play to Your Strength
Point of View
Titles: The Port of Entry
Say What? Writing Dialogue
Set the Stage
Poetry: The Beautiful Stepchild
Obsessed with Detail
You Are What You Read
Overcoming The Obstacles
That Black Hole: TV
Green with Envy
Keep Your Lips Sealed
Living The Life
Set Your Pen on Fire