Author Archives: Lisa Papa

Create Your Perfect Routine

  Last July, I received my MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. One piece of the graduation requirement was that we read and provide an annotated bibliography for at least ten books a month (more, if the books were short). In order to make this happen, I would wake up at 5:30 every morning […]

The Hardest Two Sentences

My agent just asked me for a two- to three-sentence synopsis of my next book. Uggg. Anyone who has ever tried this exercise knows how excruciating it is. This is the essence of the dreaded “elevator pitch,” in which you must “sell” someone on your “concept” in the length of time it would take to ride an […]

When You’re Ready To Toss The Whole Thing Into The Fire

  Recently, a friend asked on facebook if other people ever experienced a moment at which they hated their own story, the story they had poured months or even years into. Did anyone else ever reach a moment when they wondered why they had ever gotten themselves into this mess, what they had been thinking […]

Movers and Shakers

      The other day, as I sat in a lawyer’s office, a real estate agent told me that I was a “mover and a shaker.” That’s a term that gets batted around a lot, usually in reference to politicians and/ or businesspeople. I always used it that way…until recently. Because, guess what? That’s […]

Celebrate the Struggle!

Last week, I went to a publishing party. Now, I’ve been to a lot of book launch parties, publishing parties, mixers, and whatnot. The authors are always nervous and excited, and often the readings give you a bit of insight into the author’s struggle to capture meaning on the page. But I have never been to […]

Ten Years Later . . .

Life is just full of surprises. Ten years ago, I co-wrote a novel called M or F? with Chris Tebbetts. It’s a modern Cyrano tale, updated with internet and a gay main character. Also, it’s hilarious, if I do say so myself, which I do. Marcus and Frannie are best friends, and when Franny needs […]

How to Quit

  A while back, I read a little book—very short, maybe 80 pages—by Seth Godin called The Dip. This is about the long, hard slog to success that comes between beginner’s luck and real success. He talks about how successful people often have to be very strategic about what they choose to pursue and what […]

I Like Big Books

One of my odd little hobbies is reading books on the craft of writing. I love them. I don’t read them looking for answers, I just read them because I like to think about reading and writing. It’s like “talking shop” with fellow authors. Oh, is that how she does it? I’ll think as I […]

Heroes

Years ago, when I was a young associate editor, I went to the national SCBWI conference in Los Angeles. I wore my favorite outfit: A black skirt, a top with a bunch of pictures of vegetables on it (dishtowel chic), and a bubble watch filled with water and sparkles (like a snow globe) that I […]

Up For It: The 777 Challenge

  Well, well, well. Another challenge is upon us, is it? This time, it’s personal. Well, actually, it’s kinda professional. My good friend Heather Demetrios threw down the 777 Challenge, which is especially for writers. It’s a dare to post the first full seven lines of a current work in progress, on page seven, seven lines down. […]