Improvement by Joan Silber Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Improvement by Joan Silber; Counterpoint, 2017. 227 pages; $26.00 (hardcover); reading level: adult. Part I of this three-part novel dangles the prospect that this will be an intriguing but straightforward story. It’s 2012 and Reyna, living in Brooklyn and the single mother of a four-year-old, narrates. We meet Aunt Kiki, Reyna’s boyfriend Boyd and, after… [Read More]

Work in Progress #28: A Reconstruction of My Emily Post Biography

After my agent read my latest draft of Emily we had a long phone conversation. I still had more work to do. I needed to begin in medias res (in the middle of things), I needed to get to the significant part of Emily’s life more quickly, and I needed to shorten even more. What… [Read More]

Work in Progress #27: Waiting To Find A Publisher For My Emily Post Biography (The Sequel!)

A writer’s life is full of surprises. As it turned out, my agent didn’t come back with either of the responses I described in my last Work in Progress blog. Instead, she suggested some revisions. They were pretty major revisions: Re-writing the last chapter, putting in more material that would appeal to the junior high/high… [Read More]

Work in Progress #26: Waiting To Find A Publisher For My Emily Post Biography

Any seasoned writer will tell you that after you submit a piece to an editor or an agent, you should immediately start in on your next writing project. I’m following that advice to a point. I’ve started doing some reading on various topics I might be interested in pursuing. To be honest, though, ninety percent… [Read More]

Work in Progress #25: How I Got Myself to Send My Emily Post Biography to My Agent After 4 Years of Work!

The first step in my revision process was to print out the manuscript and read it through from beginning to end making big-picture comments in the margins like “painfully slow here” or “Where exactly are you going???” or the old standby “awk” (for awkward). I wouldn’t let myself stop for typos or to make small… [Read More]

Work In Progress #24: The First Draft of My New Emily Post Biography is Completed!

This is a euphoric moment: I have finished my first draft! I know from past experience that it’s useless to try and keep myself contained and realistic. My imagination is running like wild, far into the future…past the submission process (there’s no guarantee my book will find a publisher at this point)…past all the work… [Read More]

Work in Progress #23: Terrified! It’s Time to Make a Large Point in My Emily Post Biography

I have been writing for two hours, not one word of it on my actual manuscript. I have reached the place where I have to make a large point. Everything in the book has been leading to this moment. I probably have a paragraph…two at the very most…to say some very conclusive things and I… [Read More]

Thwarted! Do You Know Any Great Places to Write Near Zionsville, Indiana? UPDATE: Darrin’s Coffee Company is Now Closed!

After just posting on how overjoyed I was to find a great new writing place – Darrin’s Coffee Company in Zionsville, Indiana – I arrived there last week with my computer and a stack of books to be met with a sign: CLOSED. Closed? How could my writing place be closed? Another Darrin’s customer arrived… [Read More]

Work in Progress #22 for My Emily Post Biography: Making Space for a Large Thought

When you’re writing a longer book, it moves forward in layers. On the surface, one word follows another and a sentence happens; one sentence follows another and a paragraph happens; one paragraph follows another and a chapter happens. Underneath the words and sentences and paragraphs, themes also have to be moving forward and these can… [Read More]

Connie Will Be Signing Books at Morrisson-Reeves Library on Dec. 5th at Local Author’s Fair

Connie will be signing books from noon to 2:00 on Saturday, December 5 at Morrisson-Reeves Library in Richmond, Indiana. There will be a host of events going on for the whole family. Stop in and say hello! >> Details and Directions Other Events Meet Other Local Authors 12-3pm Meet local authors and have an opportunity… [Read More]