Creative writing

Honing talent one week at a time

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Hello, Write Edge readers! We’re chugging along through January. Here in Central Illinois, we’ve had some bitterly cold days but the temperatures will warm up later this week. Everything’s relative, right? So when the temperature was minus-7 this morning, and I look at the weather for the week and see a high of 38 for Saturday, I think, “Wow, look at how high it gets.” 😀

One thing that definitely keeps me warm is my writing, reading, and editing, all of which I get to do on a daily basis in pursuit of my dream: to be a published novelist. Some days I feel like the waking hours go by in a blur, but that’s because I know that in addition to talent a person has to have perseverance. That’s what makes dreams come true, above anything else. Talent, though, is a really good starting point, even if we’re not always sure where it comes from. But even the greatest of artists say that’s okay, as in this week’s motivational quote:

“Talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We use it.”—Maya Angelou

Speaking of perseverance, here’s an excerpt from this week’s new short fiction:

“Sorry, duckling. If the paps don’t get a day off, neither do you. They’ve been hanging out by the front gate ever since that video of you and Nathan went viral.”

She winced. “So that wasn’t a dream? Oh, god…”

“Nope, not a dream,” Ronnie said, and Alisha could tell without seeing his face that he was peeved. “What were you thinking, Ali?”

Read the full story now on The Write Edge Writing Workshop!

In the middle of this week, I’ll share a brand new book review with you. Find out on Wednesday what I thought of The Tenant by Katrine Engberg. You’ll see that review up on The Write Edge Bookshelf.

And at the end of this week, we’re back to parenting adventures. Teenage-dom has hit our house hard. Find out how on Friday on Growth Chart.

Have a lovely week, readers!


Back on track (I hope :D)

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Hello, Write Edge readers, and happy Monday! I’m back at my desk and ready to tackle the next step in my writing journey. That includes non-revision work for my novel (a query, a synopsis, researching agents, and trying really hard not to pester my beta readers as they graciously take time out of their lives to read my book and tell me what they think.)

That last part is especially hard for me. I want to be an author with a published book so badly I can practically feel it in my teeth. I think I’ve made considerable strides toward that goal, and I’ll certainly tackle that subject in more detail when we celebrate the anniversary of The Write Edge. But even when I’m not talking about it with anyone else, it’s a goal that always sits on my shoulder. In the end, I have to remind myself of the reason for writing in the first place. It’s the same of any arts-related field, and this week’s motivational quote goes right to the heart of it.

“Writing, regardless of the end result—whether good or bad, published or not—means celebrating beauty in an often ugly world.”—Mary Karr, author, The Art of Memoir

One of the positives of not working on the book directly comes in the fact that I can redirect my creative energy to my short fiction again. I’ve posted this week’s short story; here’s an excerpt.

Curious, I dropped the box cutter in the pocket of my store-issued vest and went to the front of the store. No one else seemed to care one way about the way the dawn broke. Shouldn’t it have mattered to someone, I thought.

Read the full story now on The Write Edge Writing Workshop!

This week I’ll have a brand new book review for you of a book that releases tomorrow. When I first heard about Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain, I requested it because the book is set in North Carolina and anything in the Carolinas catches my eye right away. (You know what they say about taking the girl out of the south but not the south out of the girl. :D) Find out on Wednesday what I thought of the novel on The Write Edge Bookshelf.

Then on Friday it’s back to Instagram and the visual side of my life as an author and a mom/wife/reader/friend/person. Check that out at the end of the week with my handle, @EktaRGarg.

Have a fantastic week, readers!


And into the new year we go!

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Hello, hello, my dear readers! A very happy new year to all of you. I realize I missed wishing everyone on the first day of this year and decade, and I apologize for that. It’s always a creative enterprise in scheduling when one is visiting family. Rest assured, however, that all of you are never far from my mind.

This year is an important one for me, in many ways. As longtime readers know, I launched the blog in the month of February so that’s what I count as the “new year” for The Write Edge. Next month I’ll go into more detail about what this new year means for me as a writer and a person. I can’t wait!

In the meantime, I’d like to start this first Monday post of 2020 with an encouraging quote. We often hear about amazing feats of science or the arts, and sometimes it feels like these individuals achieved all their success overnight or that what they’ve earned comes from a great deal of intrinsic talent. Neither is completely true, and I think the following wise words from a well-known American figure is the perfect reminder that dreams and goals are, without a doubt, worth working toward. You just can’t give up.

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”—Stephen King

As I think about new beginnings and the new year, I’m reminded of my time in graduate school. Going to Northwestern and living in Chicago was a huge step for me, personally and (eventually) professionally. Today’s writing piece reflects all that and more. It’s a micro piece, so I won’t share an excerpt, but please do visit The Write Edge Writing Workshop to read the it. I hope it’ll offer you its own little bit of inspiration toward a new goal for this year and decade.

Next, it’s on to brand new books. Tomorrow sees the release of Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin. Come back on Wednesday to find out what I thought about this YA novel.

Finally, we go back to parenting adventures. I have a little gem of a story I’d like to share that reiterates (for me, at least) what a new year can mean. One of the greatest pleasures a parent experiences is watching their children grow, but it can often surprise us too. Find out more in Growth Chart on Friday.

Have a lovely first full week of 2020, readers!