Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Wrinkle in Time: A Heroine for Odd, Awkward Girls

Today is Madeleine L’Engle’s birthday.  There are many literary touchstones for young women writers:

--wanting to be Jo in Little Women
--the Jane Eyre vs. Eliza Bennet debate
--Nancy Drew: good or evil?
--imagining Laura Ingalls writing on her yellow tablets

But I’m certain that every young girl of a literary bent just has to be absolutely enthralled when encountering A Wrinkle in Time for the first time:  odd, awkward Meg is the ultimate appealing heroine for odd, awkward girls with a literary bent.

While I was in Iowa this summer, I brought home a few beloved childhood books, including my copy of A Wrinkle in Time (my name and phone number penned inside).  It’s amusing to read the first line:

It was a dark and stormy night.
Surely the author is having some fun with that!

But we quickly get to the heart of the conflict in the next paragraphs:

            In her attic bedroom Margaret Murry, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind.  Behind the trees clouds scudded frantically across the sky.  Every few moments the moon ripped through then, creating wraithlike shadows that raced along the ground.
            The house shook.
            Wrapped in her quilt, Meg shook.
            She wasn’t usually afraid of weather.  –It’s not just the weather, she thought.  –It’s the weather on top of everything else.  On top of me.  On top of Meg Murry doing everything wrong.
            School.  School was all wrong.  She’d been dropped down to the lowest section in her grade.  That morning one of her teachers had said crossly, “Really, Meg, I don’t understand how a child with parents as brilliant as yours are supposed to be can be such a poor student.  If you don’t manage to do a little better you’ll have to stay back next year.”
            During lunch she’d rough-housed a little to try to make herself feel better, and of to the girls said scornfully, “After all, Meg, we aren’t grammar-school kids any more.  Why do you always act like such a baby?”
            On top of this, we learn that her father is mysteriously missing.  Trouble upon trouble upon trouble.  Poor Meg.  How can an odd, awkward girl save the day in the end?  And yet she does, giving hope to odd, awkward girls everywhere.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

University of Georgia Press Seeks Editor

Job opening:

The University of Georgia Press seeks an experienced and motivated Senior Acquisitions Editor. The Senior Acquisitions Editor is responsible to the UGA Press's Editor-in-Chief for evaluating, acquiring and transmitting 25-30 high-quality, marketable new manuscripts per year for the University of Georgia Press. While this position has some flexibility in the area of acquisition, its primary focus will be History and/or International Studies (as determined by experience of preferred candidate). Responsible for developing intellectually distinguished and successful lists in History and/or International Studies including but not limited to the following series: Studies in Security and International AffairsEarly American PlacesRace and the Atlantic World, 1700-1900Politics and Culture in the Twentieth-Century SouthSince 1970: Histories of Contemporary America.

This position also assists the Editor-in-Chief and Director with shaping the Press's overall publishing program and identifying outside funding sources for select projects in need of external support. 

Founded in 1938, the University of Georgia Press is the largest book publisher in the state. It has been a member of the Association of American University Presses since 1940. With a full-time staff of 24 publishing professionals, the Press currently publishes 80-85 new books a year and has over 1,500 titles in print. For more information, please visit the Press 

The Press is located on the University of Georgia’s historic North Campus in Athens, Georgia.  Perennially rated as one of the nation's top college towns, Athens offers a vibrant place to work and live.  With Atlanta 70 miles to the west, Athens offers good proximity to the city while maintaining a small-town culture and feel.  Athens offers a nationally recognized music scene, great restaurants, a local food movement, and a vibrant downtown area with independently owned businesses. Please visit 
here for more information about Athens.

Required Qualifications:  Bachelor's degree in a humanities or social science discipline; minimum of five years of acquisition experience with a scholarly or trade publisher; proven track record of working successfully with senior scholars and authors.
Demonstrated success in list building.   
Ability to work independently and imaginatively in seeking out promising book projects.
Ability to work effectively with authors and external reviewers.
Ability to manage multiple, deadline-driven projects simultaneously.
Tenacity and creativity to see projects through to successful publication.
Superior communication and networking skills.
Familiarity with manuscript development and preparation.
Familiarity with all stages of the publishing process.
Familiarity with best practices and emerging models of digital publishing, including ebooks and library aggregation.
Knowledge of copyright and contracts as they relate to book publishing.
Ability to travel. 

Preferred Qualifications:  Master’s degree preferred.

The full description of duties and application instructions is available

The University of Georgia values diversity in its faculty, students, and staff and strongly encourages applications from underrepresented minority candidates. The University of Georgia is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How to Write a Novel in 23 Days

Richmond writer Virginia Pye’s first novel,  River of Dust, will be coming out in April 2013, and I loved reading her inspiring story of the long and winding process that led to her writing a first draft in—wait for it!—23 days!!  (Take that, NaNoWrMo…a draft with seven days to spare!)

Here’s an excerpt from her tale:

Determination. Persistence. And that hard to come by third element had finally bestowed itself upon me: inspiration. All three elements were needed to make this book and I suspect are needed to make any book. And, the crucial help of others. All those emails back from agents with their thoughts on how to revise; all the comments from fellow writers and friends about the previous manuscript had educated me. And then, importantly, the brainstorming consultation I did with Nancy opened up my mind to re-create the story altogether. It gave my imagination license to go wild.
Read on  and be inspired. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

"Thinking and Writing Are Different" and More Great Advice

Some great advice from the Writer’s Digest Conference, via writers Anna Leahy and Douglas Dechow:

1. There is no book in your mind.

Acclaimed novelist Aimee Bender said this during her keynote talk at the Writer's Digest Conference West. It's among the best wisdom we've heard in a long time.

"Thinking and writing are different," Bender said. You may have great ideas in your mind, but "the only book that exists is the one on the page." The process of writing is not one of translating your thoughts onto the page. No, it's the other way around. "Writing gives us access to our own minds."

Many writers--from Flannery O'Connor to E. M. Forster to Joan Didion--have talked about how they don't know what they think until they've written it down. Writers must work from the page, not from their intentions, if they hope to finish writing a book.
  Read the rest of the excellent tips they picked up.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Best Stuffing in THE WORLD!!

Confession:  I have been a lame blogger lately, missing days of postings.
Confession:  I don’t think this will be the week that I’m going to get my blogging act together, so I’ll be back posting in earnest on Monday, November 26.

A food-related confession:  I will be going OUT TO EAT for Thanksgiving!!  This seems to me to be both shameful and a huge relief.

Further confession:  I will also be making a small turkey on Friday, so we can have turkey sandwiches, yes, but really so I can have this stuffing, which is the best stuffing in the world.  I would happily eat it—by itself—for dinner if permitted.

Darkest confession of all:  I’m also using Friday's non-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving menu as an opportunity to make sweet potato casserole with mini-marshmallows, which no one allows on the “real” Thanksgiving table.  I can’t wait!

Cornbread & Scallion Stuffing
Adapted from the beloved, still-missed Gourmet magazine, November 1992
(It’s actually called Cornbread, Sausage & Scallion Stuffing, but in an uncharacteristic nod to heart-health, I don’t put in the sausage. See the note below if you’d like to add the sausage.)

For the cornbread:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the stuffing:
¾ stick unsalted butter plus an additional 2 tablespoons if baking the stuffing separately
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 ½ cups finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons crumbed dried sage
1 teaspoon dried marjoram, crumbled
1 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
1 ½ cups chicken broth if baking the stuffing separately

Make the cornbread: In a bowl stir together the flour, the cornmeal, the baking powder, and the salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, the egg, and the butter, and add the milk mixture to the cornmeal mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. Pour the batter into a greased 8-inch-square baking pan (I actually use a cast iron skillet) and bake the cornbread in the middle of a preheated 425 F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. (The corn bread may be made 2 days in advance and kept wrapped tightly in foil at room temperature.)

Into a jellyroll pan, crumble the corn bread coarse, bake it in the middle of a preheated 325 F oven, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until it is dry and golden, and let it cool.

Make the stuffing:  In a large skillet, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and cook the onion and the celery over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened. Add the sage, marjoram, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste and cook the mixture, stirring, for 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, add the corn bread, the scallion, and salt and pepper to taste, and combine the stuffing gently but thoroughly. Let the stuffing cool completely before using it to stuff a 12-14 pound turkey.

The stuffing can be baked separately: Spoon the stuffing into a buttered 3- to 4-quart casserole, drizzle it with the broth, and dot the top with the additional 2 tablespoons of butter, cut into bits. Bake the stuffing, covered, in the middle of a preheated 325 F degree oven for 30 minutes and bake it, uncovered, for 30 minutes more.

Serves 8-10; fewer if I am one of the dinner guests!

Note: Here are the instructions if you want to add the sausage: The recipe calls for “3/4 lb bulk pork sausage” that you brown in a skillet. Remove it from the pan—leaving the fat—and proceed with cooking the onions, etc. Add the sausage at the end, when you combine the cornbread and scallion with the onion mixture.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jack Gilbert, RIP

Poet Jack Gilbert died yesterday, and immediately my Facebook feed was filled with many of the beautiful poems he wrote, fond memories, and stories of his influence upon writers at all stages, of all genres.  The words live on, yes, though it’s sad to contemplate that there will be no more new ones coming forth. 

In honor of Jack Gilbert, here’s a poem by Converse MFA grad Philip Belcher: 

Surface Tension

By Philip Belcher

Jack Gilbert is staring at me
from page 41 of this month's Poets and Writers,
or rather past me, as if he's still looking
for Michiko's hair in the stalks of carpet behind my recliner.
His skim milk eyes are full but do not drip.
We have never breathed from the same atmosphere
or stood on the earth in the same way.
He is completing a life
of absorption.
The script from which he reads
is written with stronger nouns and verbs.
He sees the movement of hair
on the backs of bees,
five different shades of white.
Never has he skimmed along the surface
like a spider, its feet denting the water
like cellophane, terrified of breaking through.

This poem was previously published in The Flies and Their Lovely Names (Stepping Stones Press 2007).

Philip Belcher has published poetry and critical prose in a variety of literary journals, includingShenandoah, South Dakota Review, Southeast Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and The Southern Quarterly.  In 2007, his chapbook, The Flies and Their Lovely Names, was published by Stepping Stones Press at the University of South Carolina.  He is an Advisory and Contributing Editor for Shenandoah and holds degrees from Furman University, Southeastern Seminary, the Duke University School of Law, and Converse College (MFA).  He currently serves as Vice President, Programs, of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina in Asheville, NC.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Link Corral: Virginia Quarterly Review Event; Nominations Sought for Poet Laureate; Sun Writer's Retreat in VA

Here’s where I’ll be on Wednesday.  Depending on the weather, I may be wearing my cute new cape!

Reading & reception
Arts Club of Washington (2017 I Street NW)
Hosted by Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR)
5:30 ~ Reception
6:00 ~ Reading

VQR will be celebrating the launch of their fall issue, on the theme of "The Female Conscience" (with an opening essay by Jean Bethke Elshtain that asks "Is There Such a Thing as the Female Conscience?"). On hand will be...

-MARIE ARANA, guest editor  (Writer at Large for the Washington Post, author of several books including the forthcoming Bolivar: American Liberator);
-JUDITH WARNER, contributing essayist (writer for the New York Times Magazine, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress);
-MARY EMMA KOLES, contributing poet  (winner of the 2009 Gerald Stern Poetry Prize and the 2012 Mississippi Review Poetry Prize)
-SANDRA BEASLEY, contributing poet (author of I Was the Jukebox and Theories of Falling)

To RSVP (preferred but not required): Allison Wright, Senior Editorial Assistant at VQR: #
434-243-4995 /  Or RSVP via Facebook:

Visit VQR's website for more information on the issue here:

Visit the Arts Club website for directions and parking info (validated garage parking is available) here:


My town is looking for a Poet Laureate…is it too late for you to move to Alexandria or get a job here?  Too late for me to scribble out a killer villanelle?

City of Alexandria Searches for Poet LaureateThe City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts is in search of a Poet Laureate to promote an appreciation of poetry as an art form, encourage the creative writing and reading of literature, and promote literacy through poetry. The individual will serve as Poet Laureate for three years and receive a modest honorarium.

All nominations must be submitted to the Office of the Arts, 1605 Cameron St., Alexandria, VA 22314 by 5 pm on Monday, November 26, 2012. The new Poet Laureate will be named in March of 2013.

Individuals can nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else. Nominees must be distinguished in the field of poetry through a body of work, published or unpublished. Nominees are limited to individuals who live, work or study in the City of Alexandria. Individual must live, work or study in the City of Alexandria for a minimum of 1 year prior to applying and through the 3-year term of service. If selected, individuals must be able to fulfill Poet Laureate ceremonial role, including presentations of work appropriate for all audiences and should be a minimum of 18 years of age. Members of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts and City of Alexandria staff are ineligible for nomination.

The Commission and the Office of the Arts, a division of the Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities, work together to promote and cultivate the arts in the City of Alexandria. For more information, visit or call 703.746.5588. 


I met Pat MacNulty once at a Sun magazine retreat, and she was an excellent teacher.  This retreat sounds wonderful:

 The Writing Path – Author and writing instructor Pat MacEnulty is returning to the beautiful Sevenoaks Retreat Center, in Madison, January 11-13, 2013, to facilitate a writer’s workshop and retreat. Using exercises to help writers get out of their heads and into their bodies, Pat will help writers of all levels delve into their creativity and discover the depth of their hidden material. Sevenoaks offers more than 130 acres with walking trails and paths to the river, and outstanding healthy, homemade meals in a peaceful, natural setting. Cost is $325 and includes lodging and meals. For more information or to register, go to   

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Channeling Hemingway in Key West

I tagged along with Steve on a business trip to Key West, Florida, and had some fun channeling Ernest Hemingway for a day. 

After an excellent group trolley tour of Key West, we went to Ernest Hemingway’s house.  I had been there several times before, so knew to expect roaming, six-toed cats, and the story of the $20,000 pool his wife built (about $200K in today’s money…for a WRITER!) and how he threw a penny at her, saying, “Go ahead, take my last penny!”  She pressed the coin into the wet cement poolside.  The guide acted as if this was all very funny, but I’m not sure it was at the moment.  On the other hand, this was Pauline, the wife who came from money, and it was her uncle who had given them the $8000 to buy the house.  Nice gift.  Anyway, apparently, this was a time of productivity for Hemingway, and he had a nice schedule of writing his 500 words in the morning in his fabulous second-floor studio, going fishing, and then meeting up with his buddies for dinner and drinking.  Among the books and stories he wrote during this time were To Have and Have Not (set in Key West), For Whom the Bell Tolls, and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.”

The guide also implied that late-in-life head injuries led to Hemingway’s depression and ultimate suicide, though it seems to me that he suffered from depression for quite a while and that there was a fair amount of mental illness running in his family (his father killed himself).

After our tour—during which one of the Hemingway cats licked my finger!—I headed out on my own to explore literary Key West, using as my guidebook a nice little publication I picked up at the gift shop, Ernest Hemingway in Key West, that outlined some key haunts of his.

After lunch at an off-the-beaten-track Cuban restaurant, El Siboney (ropa vieja and great fried plantains!).  From there, I walked through non-tourist neighborhoods to look at Tennessee Williams’ house, which is a private residence.  Knowing that Williams had a rather sad life towards the end, I was pleased to see that the house was absolutely adorable, white with red shutters, tucked into the vegetation.  So at least he had that!

I will admit upfront that Key West is one of the most aggressively relaxing places I’ve been, and I felt a bit guilty at having an agenda.  But it’s not easy to drop these East Coast ways…at one point as I was walking, a scruffy man pushing a bike hollered, “Ma’am, ma’am!  This isn’t New York City!  Slow down!”  It probably didn’t help that I was wearing black.

After admiring Williams’ house enough time to get a good feel for it but not long enough that the owners might start thinking to call the cops on me for loitering, I went to the Key West public library, to see what the Florida history room might have.  The historian was helpful and eager and found a great book for me to look through: Key West Writers and Their Houses by Lynn Mitsuko Kaufelt.  The book was published in 1986, so it wasn’t up-to-date, but there were more than enough juicy stories in the text about luminaries like Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens, Thomas McGuane, and more (including, sadly, several “famous” writers I’d never heard of). 

Here are a few snippets:
--Patrick Hemingway said that his father didn’t even like cats; while they lived at the house, they had peacocks and other pets, but not cats.

--Wallace Stevens and Hemingway were in a fistfight at Sloppy Joe’s, and Stevens ended up with a black eye.  (Stevens stayed at Casa Marina, the fancy hotel.)

--Tennessee Williams said of Pauline Hemingway, “She was a lovely, gracious woman, just a little given to crystal chandeliers.”  (She collected them—the Hemingway tour guide pointed out that each room in the house contained a crystal chandelier.)

--Tennessee Williams met up with writer friend Jamie Herlihy (author of Midnight Cowboy) every afternoon and the two of them walked to the White Street Beach, reciting to one another Wallace Stevens’ poem “The Idea of Order at Key West.”

From the library, I went down the street to Key West Island Books, a new and used bookstore on the site of the newsstand Hemingway used to frequent.  It was a nicely organized bookstore despite some remodeling going on, and I found a number of books that I’d been looking for—and, as usual, books that I didn’t even know I needed!

After our dinner meeting, I continued Hemingway Day by going out to Captain Tony’s bar, the place where Hemingway’s beloved Sloppy Joe’s was first located before moving due to a rent increase.  Apparently, this is the oldest active bar in Florida—and it feels ancient, dark with bras (all large) and business cards stapled to the walls and ceiling.  I enjoyed the time there, but honestly, I don’t think Hemingway would spend much time there today, though he sure did back then:  this is the bar described in To Have and Have Not, and this is where he met Wife #3, writer Martha Gelhorn, in 1936.  Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote also spent a lot of time here.

Then, of course, it was off to the modern Sloppy Joe’s (okay, 1937 is when it opened, which isn’t exactly “modern”)—a place I’m guessing Hemingway REALLY wouldn’t have spent much time in today.  He was attracted to Sloppy Joe’s because of the “characters” and story-tellers.  Today’s characters are mostly tourists.  I suppose they all have a story or two, if one took the time to sort through their dull chatter.  I was fascinated to learn that Hemingway stored a number of things at Sloppy Joe’s after he left Key West, and after he died, they found a cache of royalty checks and manuscripts here.  Even so, I enjoyed stopping by, having my own little adventure when after returning from the bathroom I saw a young “lady” dancing suggestively against Steve.  (To his credit, he was trying to shoo her away.)  When I said, “Excuse me, that’s my husband,” she first said, “I don’t care”—and the Hemingway-Stevens fistfight flashed through my mind!—but then she moved off.  Later her male friend apologized, and she apologized, and best of all, several middle aged women high-fived me on their way out.  So, I guess I’d call that the macho Hemingway moment of my life…and wow, it sure felt good!  Maybe bull-fighting is next?

The final stop on the Hemingway tour was a late breakfast at Blue Heaven.  Now a laid-back, island-style outdoor restaurant, in the past there were cockfights and boxing matches here, gambling and drinking.  Hemingway buried his roosters in the Rooster Cemetery.  Today, roosters and chickens wander around, probably happy not to have to earn their keep by fighting.  The pancakes and banana bread were FANTASTIC!  And, again, I’m not sure Hemingway would go to Blue Heaven today…the hour-long wait might scare him off.

Just to prove that it wasn’t all-Hemingway-all-the-time, I’ll note that we had great Bloody Marys at Two Friends Patio Restaurant and that the garden behind the Oldest House in Key West is a gorgeous respite from the hoi-polloi and that when you’re sick of the drunks on Duval Street, there’s a quiet and friendly patio bar a block away at Grunts and that I learned a lot perusing the Key West Historic Memorial Sculpture Garden and that Louie’s Backyard is a nice place for a fancy dinner (get the lobster appetizer) and that the sunsets ARE beautiful, and that in spite of cleaning itself up, that scruffy, end of the world, everyone running from something, early economy built on the shipwreck business, totally unique aura of Key West is still alive.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Hemingway Cocktail Companion

Getting ready to write about my trip to Key West and my day following in Hemingway’s footsteps, but my post-election brain is slightly foggy and disorganized, so for right now, here’s a link to a Washington Post article about a new cocktail book, To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion.

From the article:

Whatever one feels about the literary legacy of Hemingway, one thing is indisputable: The man was detailed and exacting in which drinks his characters imbibe, and the choice of drink is always important.

“We watched the beginning of the evening of the last night of the fiesta. The absinthe made everything seem better. I drank it without sugar in the dripping glass, and it was pleasantly bitter.” So says narrator Jake Barnes in the waning pages of The Sun Also Rises.

At this point in the novel, Jake’s friends have beaten the hell out of each other, and the girl has run away with the bullfighter. Jake’s decision to drink absinthe “without sugar in the dripping glass” is no small thing.

Well, yes.  As always, good writing is about the details.

If you’re feeling thirsty, here’s a recipe for “A Farewell to Hemingway.”

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Link Corral: ISO Work by Women Writers and Jen Michalski in Redux

I’ll write up an update about my personal “Ernest Hemingway Day” in Key West, Florida, later this week, but for now, a quick link corral.  (And don’t forget to vote today, if you haven’t already!)


ROAR Magazine is a print literary journal dedicated to providing a space to showcase women's fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art.

We publish literature by emerging and developing writers, as well as interviews with established writers,such as acclaimed novelist and short story writer, Jill McCorkle, who, in our current issue, talks about balancing her life and writing.

ROAR Magazine is now accepting submissions for our 2013 winter issue.

ROAR accepts work that represents a wide spectrum of form, language and meaning. 
In other words, don't worry if your work isn't specific to feminist issues. If you're a gal, we just want your point of view!

For detailed guidelines, please visit our website at


New on Redux:  Jen Michalski’s story “The Safest Place,” previously published in Reed magazine:

When Andnej turned sixteen he set like concrete. His cheeks and jaw flattened and squared, and so did his nose, which pointed downward, like a beak. Basha wondered if he smiled whether his face would break. In the afternoons and evenings he sat on a playground swing behind their apartment complex, his necklace catching the sun as his Adidas and jean cuffs dragged across the pavement. When the boys came up to him, he no longer ran.
              “He sold drugs to Henka’s sister,” Kamilia said as Basha studied him through the apartment window.
              “How would you know?” Basha looked down at her. Last year Kamilia had played princess games with Henka, the other 9-year-old in the building. Kamilia, whose face colored and eyes found the floor of the elevator when the boy down the hall read aloud all the bad words spray-painted on its walls. “Do you even know what drugs are?”
              “He gives her aspirin.” Kamilia moved her thumb and pointer finger together to show the size of the pill. “Henka says that Ania takes them to lose weight.”
              Basha could not forbid Kamilia to play with Henka; if it was not one child in the complex, it was another. They were the children of mostly second-generation Polish and Chechnyian families, and they tended to stick together.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Getting a Good Author Photo

I’ll be away from the blog for a few days—back next week.  In the meantime, this is a helpful piece about how to take a good author photo.  For some reason, I’m not able to cut and paste from the article and am too tired to try to figure out why not, so take my word:  reading this will give practical advice about you how to hide blemishes and double chins….not that any of us need to worry about that!

Oh, whew:  here's an excerpt:

To hide a double chin, lift your head, put if forward, and tilt your head down a bit. Not too much, or you’ll actually exacerbate the problem, or look insane. Position yourself so that the camera is a bit above your eye level. Of  course, there’s always the old trick of putting one hand under your chin as though you’re resting your head on your hand. And of coursenobody knows what you’re doing. (Avoid pushing extra skin into weird positions.) Some say resting your tongue against the roof of your mouth helps.

See?  Practical!


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.