Letting Go - eBook, now available for pre-order!
The paperback will be out very soon, meanwhile you can pre-order the eBook here.
Interviews with the authors from Letting Go
There's something very satisfying about a great collection of stories. Fiction, nonfiction, if told well, it doesn't matter which as long as they ring true. Hold your attention. Widen your world.
One of the best parts about publishing an anthology edited by M. E. Hughes is that she can draw on what she calls “a small army of writers” – devoted students and friends. Some she’s worked with at New York University, where she’s taught for more than 20 years. Others have attended her nonprofit Peripatetic Writing Workshops or have been private clients.
Thirty authors from seven countries contributed to Letting Go: An Anthology of Attempts. Some are making their debut in print. Others have several books to their credit. All are dedicated writers.
Call me nosy. But after I read the essays from these writers, all new to me, I wanted to know more about them. As writers.
So, for the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring these authors individually. Answering the kinds of questions authors are always asked.
It's a luxury to have an abundance of authors all in one book. I hope you'll enjoy it.
A Twitter Milestone
Back when I was new to all this and I heard about Twitter, I thought - seriously? 140 characters? What does that even mean?
Then little by little I got hooked. I even attended a conference session on how to use Twitter. The speakers, experts of course, said you couldn't even hope to have an impact unless you had 5,000 to 10,000 followers. So I set out to reach that goal, following one person at a time. Manually. Every day.
And I've just hit 5,000 the same week that Joshua Topolsky has an article in the New Yorker heralding the end of Twitter. Asking whether it has become irrelevant. Saying it may even be dying.
It was hard enough noting that most of the people I follow these days have upwards of 100,000 followers. That most of what I get in my feed are ads or else insipid inspirational sayings with lovely photos. And to know now from experience that Twitter really isn't the way to sell books. But to hear that Twitter may be over?
Facebook still creeps me out. It's too personal. Google plus is nice but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. And Pinterest is fun to look at. But Twitter is where I turn when I'm watching bad television and I know I'll find some funny, snarky remarks.. When I want to know what's happening in some breaking news event. When I just want a quick read.
I'm not ready to give up on Twitter. And I hope my now 5000 followers won't either.
Reading through our next title - Letting Go: An Anthology of Attempts - you learn pretty quickly that letting go doesn't mean giving up. It doesn't mean selling out. And it doesn't necessarily mean reducing clutter by tidying up. Though followers of Marie Kondo's best seller will be the first to understand that relinquishing anything, even an old T-shirt, deserves a ceremonial farewell. These true stories by 30 authors from seven countries provide that.
While you might identify with many of the authors' struggles, you won't find a formula for how to do it.
When M. E. Hughes put out a call for stories for this anthology, she says,
"I asked people to write about the process of letting go; I didn’t care if they were successful; I was more interested in how they went about trying, rather than the result I emphasized that this book was not a “how to.” Instead, it was designed as a collection of essays in which readers could explore the very real—sometimes funny, sometimes painful—efforts we all make throughout our lives to let go."
Full disclosure: I'm a fan and friend of M.E. Hughes (isn't it nice when your friends produce terrific work so you can honestly praise them?). Her first novel, Precious In His Sight is a long-time favorite. She has guided and edited a small army of writers in her nonprofit Peripatetic Writing Workshops, Inc., fiction workshops at NYU, and as private book doctor/editor. .
For years, her focus has been on fiction. Why then put together a nonfiction anthology?
"Selfishness is the answer," Hughes says. "I don't know how to let go of anything. Not of people, places and things. I come by it naturally, still having a gunny sack full of my great-grandfather’s desk contents—old letters, pieces of string, rubber bands, broken pens, newspaper clippings, address books, pencils, a political button from a forgotten, local race—emptied out in 1939 on the day he died. No one, including myself, ever had the heart to throw them away."
"The question in the air," Hughes says, "is: Does the inability to let go of ideas, people, places and things sometimes drag one down? After all, we are no longer in the Post-Depression Era; most of us don’t really need to save brown bags any more."
When Letting Go_ is released at the end of January (or beginning of February), you'll find dozens of different answers to that question. Until then, you can find excerpts here.
The delightful cover is designed by Al Pranke
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