June 14

Birthdays: Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896), John Bartlett (1820), Jerzy Kosinski (1933-1991), John Edgar Wideman (1941), Bruce Degen (1945), James Gurney (1958), Laurence Yep (1948), Joan Silber (1945), Peter Mayle (1939-2018), Rene Char (1907-1988), Vivian Gornick (1935)

Tip: Be professional when connecting with others. This is a business—a creative one—but a business. Treat it as such. Don’t publicly put down other authors or editors.

Thought for the day: “As a writer, you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. You’re just doing it. You hope it works out well.” – John Edgar Wideman

Jumpstart: Almost everyone has a superstition. We don’t walk under ladders or cross paths with black cats. Hotels don’t use the thirteenth floor and we knock on wood or bless someone when they sneeze. Create a character who lives only by his or her superstitions. What kinds of problems does this cause for them?

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