May 25

Birthdays: Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803), Theodore Roethke (1908), Robert Ludlum (1927), Raymond Carver (1938), Jamaica Kincaid (1949), Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803), Eve Ensler (1953), John Gregory Dunne (1932), Madeleine Thien (1974), Octavia Spencer (1972), Vera Nazarian (1966), W.P. Kinsella (1935)

Tip: Mad at someone? Use that emotion—or any strong emotion—in your story. Give the emotions to your characters. Your story is where you can legally kill someone off—but remember to change the names!

Thought for the day: “Because one has written other books does not mean the next becomes any easier.” – John Gregory Dunne

Jumpstart: Write a short “how to” piece on something you know. Do you know how to pick out good wine? Build a birdhouse? Bake bread? Give the reader details on how to do this.

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