The Next Loop

I told y’all I was going to keep you in the loop—how many times have I made such a promise then let my commitment fall by the wayside? I’m trying to have more stamina this time, so here goes. The next step in revising: I’m about to embark on reading The Bone Trench out loud. I’ve incorporated all the action points from...

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Revising, Ellen Style

I’ve never done this before, but—hey, that’s how you keep from getting old, right? Try new things? So here goes—I’m folding you in, inviting you along, opening the curtain, and showing you how the sausage is made. Yesterday I began the revisions to The Bone Trench recommended by my editor Gretchen. I’ve posted about this...

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Do It Your Way

Some of you have given up on me. You’ve quit asking “How’s the writing going?” You’ve even stopped asking, “Are you still writing?” Honestly, I don’t blame you. I gave up my law practice in 2001. At the turn of the century. Fourteen years ago. Fourteen years. In that time, I’ve published a lot. A lot. You can read all about it on my Achievements...

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Gone Girl, Ellen Style

Hip rehab, yes. But obsession in writing a new novel too. That’s why I’ve been so absent—the combination of these two life facts have been deadly to blogging, for which I apologize. BTW, I’ve missed being here. 🙂 Here’s my latest: * The University of North Carolina was eliminated from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament....

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The Gift of Doll God

When I showed up at the psychiatrist seeking help for my night terrors, the first question the doctor asked was whether as a child I had played with dolls. I was incensed—a thirty-something lawyer in charge of my own life, and he was reverting to some Freudian hooey? Better he should have asked why as a child I insisted on climbing higher and...

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Walking Toward the River

Every morning and every afternoon I walk toward the river. The river flows past the oversized window at the end of our hallway. Sometimes when I walk, a behometh ship passes, rusty hull slicing the air. At other times it’s the train passing, the cars laden with graffiti. On the rarest of occasions, the train runs in front of a ship and...

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Literary Gift to Those Once Known as Homeless

No one owes you anything in this world. Everything anyone does for you is a gift. Some gifts—the gift of love or forgiveness or a trust fund enabling you to graduate law school and make your way in this world for a while—are pretty damn big gifts. Others may seem small, but those gifts are the ones that often bring tears to my eyes. Chapter 16.org...

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Creative Healing

I am working on a new novel. A mystery with a 62-year-old protagonist who was formerly homeless. A body is found in a Jeep in the Wolf River Harbor. My man Coot is on the case. This is why I haven’t been posting lately. When I am drafting—not revising, but writing new work—everything else pretty much comes to a stand still. I am only posting...

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Love Your Heart!

I love this book. It’s about a young woman who goes on a cross-country train trip to clear her dead daddy’s name and winds up repairing her relationship with her mother. It’s funny—really funny—and sad. And, in parts, wise and faintly political—it decries the commercial abuse of chickens. The main character is Southern to her...

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