Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Guest-Blogger Leslie Pietrzyk's Top 5 Work-in-Progress Guest-Blog Posts

This post makes me blush, but what the heck! Guest-blogging today is my DC amiga, novelist and fellow-blogger Leslie Pietrzyk. If I just celebrated the second anniversary of my blog, it's thanks to her--- she's the one who urged me, despite my disdainful resistance, to take literary blogs ("litblogs") seriously. One of the questions newbies to the blogging world ask me is, how do you know which blogs to read? Start with the ones I recommend, I always say--- meaning, well, start with the ones someone recommends! Leslie gave me my start by recommending several (click here to read her list of favorite blogs back in 2006). And now she, too, is celebrating the anniversary of her blog, Work in Progress and I do very heartily recommend it. One of the most outstanding litblogs on the Net (on my top 10 list of writers blogs), it focuses on the creative process and all things literary. Over to you, Leslie.
My blog, Work in Progress, is a year old, and I have our own dear Madam Mayo to thank for this auspicious event. While I was reading literary blogs for several years, trying to hook others into my obsession, I had never imagined I might actually write one: too much work... too hard to format italics... too much responsibility... too many links. I had plenty of excuses.

Then I started reading Madam Mayo, who made blogging seem effortless and fun and an exciting (and necessary) part of the future for writers. Finally, I took the plunge directly from her site, clicking on the innocuous “create blog” in her upper right hand corner, right up there still (you can start a blog, too, right now; that’s how simple it is). And that was a year ago!

To celebrate, I’d like to offer my five favorite guest posts over the past year. I’ve enjoyed—and am grateful to everyone who contributed a guest essay during my first year (and I’m always looking for pieces; contact me)--- but these are five posts that I absolutely can’t shake.

1. Liam Callanan, “After Words.” I still get teary when I read this evocative piece filled with yearning of the young and the old, the remembered and the forgotten.

2. Carolyn Parkhurst. I write fiction so I don’t have to deal with the issue of writing directly about people I know and care about. That question is even more complicated here when the story you think you might want to tell is about your own child.

3. Ryan Krausmann. What can I say? This one still makes me laugh. And I’m continuously inspired by Ryan’s story about how he boldly quit his job to spend the summer writing his first novel.

4. Anna Leahy offers excellent suggestions for how to create an effective writing group, a topic that I think is under-covered in the general writing magazines.

5. Katharine Davis, “Letter from Maine.” Kitty writes here about the intersection of art and writing, showing us that writers have much to learn from visual artists.

6. Bonus pick: Check out Madam Mayo’s helpful suggestions about how to get the most out of your writing workshop!

--- Leslie Pietrzyk

--->For the archive of past guest-bloggers on Madam Mayo, click here