• blog,  Going Offline,  Private Journal

    Fourteen Days Offline

    I’m late with this entry.  Fourteen days was two days ago, but the farther I move from computer screens and phone screens the harder it is to come back.  I’ve enjoying the quiet, learning how to think again, and how to observe.  I went to the doctor for my physical and didn’t know what to do in the waiting room.  How should I spend an uncertain, but small, amount of time without scrolling or texting or clicking?  How many of these mini-breaks, do I get a day and how can I use them if I’m not looking for something exciting on my phone to fill it? I’ve started carrying a…

  • blog,  Pop Culture

    Shut Down Thinking!

    There are more and more stories online now about mobs in artistic communities attempting to shutdown wrongthink.  As you may remember, I experienced this in 2013 when I was writing dirty stories, scratch that, passionate stories that involved monogamous, heterosexual couples. Walter Kirn captured my experience in his Harpers article last year Illiberal Values.  Holiday works in accounting, not a colorful field, which is why she originally assumed her pen name. Soon she had another reason: politics. Though Holiday considered herself a liberal (“I was on the ‘coexist’ team”) and held impassioned environmental views that she’d promoted on an earlier blog (“I crusaded against plastic bags and all things plastic…

  • blog,  Book Reviews

    Book Review: A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

    *Spoiler Alert* In A Land More Kind Than Home, Cash tells the story of a death that happens in a small church from three different points of view, each person giving different parts of the story. There is Adelaide Lyle who opens the book remembering how much has changed in the tiny North Carolina town where they live. She hints that these changes came about because of the actions or decisions of Carson Chambliss. The book is about a tragic event that changes the town forever. Read more about writing a great beginning with a great hook.  This first chapter is incredibly strong. It follows the full arc of a…

  • blog,  Going Offline,  Writing Journey - A Journal

    Seven Days Offline

    Last week, I decided to make a dramatic change in my life.  I wanted to quit social media.  I tried to quit in the past and failed, but this time I was more motivated than ever. I wanted to quit so I could focus more on my writing.  This has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. At first, I was just going to delete the apps from my phone and give myself a certain time of day to check in, but as my cousin reminds me, I’m not a woman who can “do moderation.” I’m more of an all or nothing kind of gal, so I pulled the…

  • blog,  Going Offline,  Header Slider

    Write Great Shit

    I started Kitten Holiday in October of 2013.  Since then, I’ve written ten stories, six hundred blog posts (insane, right?), and submitted articles to over twenty publications. I’ve published essays on numerous online publications and I’ve got a 40,000-word non-fiction book in draft and 75,000 words of scrap and freewriting for a novel–both have remained unfinished for two years. I need to focus and outline and edit and get the work done.  It’s time. My goal in starting Kitten Holiday was to get back into the routine of writing after a ten-year hiatus and to improve my skills.  I wanted to be able to take creative risks and push myself without feeling like…

  • blog,  On Writing

    Are You Brainstorming or Beginning? Where Does Writing Start?

    This essay is a summary of the points made in my recent Write Naked, Die Famous Podcast on the topic of Beginnings. Use this article as a reference. Listen here: Writing is hard work but for most of us, it’s also fulfilling work. Whether you write fiction, poetry or non-fiction, writing comes from a creative spark that ignites a fire within us to express this idea through writing and, for many, to share this idea with others. The struggle many have with writing isn’t just the discomfort in revealing their ideas or vulnerabilities or in exploring the dark and frightening parts of their psyches with the world, the hardest part…