• 7 Ways to Get Creative When You’re Not in the Mood

    Plant Drawing, 7 Ways to Get Creative When You’re Not in the Mood, Karen Hugg, https://karenhugg.com/2019/02/08/ways-to-get-creative/ #howtogetcreative #writing #craftofwriting #artist

    Any artist has experienced this: you finally get an afternoon to yourself where life is free of distractions, kids, responsibilities, chores, etc. You have a long stretch of time to create something new. It’s a time where you can relax and enter a silent space to produce a work of art, whether it be painting, knitting, jewelry, etc. The idea of it is exciting. You may even look forward to it, can’t wait for it, in fact. But then, when the time comes, you’re not in the mood. I’ve experienced this. I’ve blocked off time on my calendar and no…

  • Paris in the Dark Glows With Tension and Intrigue

    Paris in the Dark Book, Paris in the Dark Glows With Tension and Intrigue, Karen Hugg, https://karenhugg.com/2019/02/08/paris-in-the-dark #ParisintheDark #RobertOlenButler #books #novels #historicalfiction #Paris

    Paris in the Dark struck me as the quintessential literary thriller. It has both fine prose and an intriguing plot, a novel that reminded me of Ken Follett’s earliest work, combining the quiet narration of Alan Furst and gradual tightening suspense of John LeCarré. This is the fourth in Robert Olen Butler’s series of spy novels, putting Christopher Marlowe ‘Kit’ Cobb square in the middle of World War I in Paris. An American journalist by day, Cobb poses as a German-American one by night as he steadily uncovers secrets of the war strategy while embedding himself with military ambulance drivers.…

  • How to Hide That You’re a Vampire Mom, An Interview With Autumn Lindsey

    How to Hide That You're a Vampire Mom, An Interview With Autumn Lindsey, Karen Hugg, https://karenhugg.com/2019/01/29/autumn-lindsey/ #books #novels #AutumnLindsey #RemainingAileen #vampires

    Autumn Lindsey writes women’s fiction with characters that bite. Her forthcoming novel, Remaining Aileen, is about a mom with a very dangerous secret. She lives in Northern California with her husband and kids. I talked with Autumn about her debut novel, her online group, Writer Moms, and an interesting way she handled writerly rejection. When did you first become interested in writing fiction? Have you written stories since you were a child or did you come to writing as an adult? I didn’t become interested in writing fiction until 2014 while writing screenplays with my husband, so just before I…

  • A Little Problem Solved with a Lovely Plant

    Peace Lily, A Little Problem Solved with a Lovely Plant, Karen Hugg, https://karenhugg.com/2019/01/30/peace-lily-plant/ #dogs #indoorair #plants #BelgianShepherd

    In Spring several years ago, we adopted a big black dog. He was a Belgian Shepherd mix about six months old with pointy ears and a pointy nose, the largest dog my husband and I had ever owned. I’m 5’6” and he came up to my mid-thigh. Since all of our dogs have had or have names that start with vowels, Arrow, Iris, Olive, we named him Ezekiel. With a brassy bark and sharp brown eyes, he looked more like a Zeke so we started calling him Zeke. Zeke liked to roam the perimeter of our yard, woofing at crows…

  • Bruno Schulz Imagines an Insane, Ecstatic World

    Bruno Schulz Imagines an Insane, Ecstatic World, Karen Hugg, https://karenhugg.com/2019/01/23/bruno-schulz #BrunoSchulz #StreetofCrocodiles #Poland #writers #Polish #novels #books

    Bruno Schulz was a writer, painter, and literary critic in early 20th-Century Poland. I’ve always admired his work. It’s surreal and strange but amazingly compelling. The other day I came across my copy of Street of Crocodiles, a collection of short fiction that’s his signature creation and couldn’t resist sharing my ideas about it here. Wild Words That Resonate When I read it years ago, the book rang in my soul like a large brass bell. Days after reading it, I could still feel the sound resonating in my chest. Even now, reading some of the words, I’m swallowed into…

  • How Little Plant Shops Inspired a Big Paris Dream

    Paris Plant Shop, How Little Plant Shops Inspired a Big Paris Dream, Karen Hugg, https://karenhugg.com/2019/01/16/plant-shops/ #Paris #plantshop #novels #books #TheForgettingFlower

    I’ve always thought owning a plant shop would be a fun job. I wouldn’t want to manage a full-on nursery, that seems too complicated, but I wouldn’t mind owning a small store that specializes in rare and unusual plants. An Oasis of Greenery This is because I’m convinced plant shops are dreamy. I can think of one in particular in Seattle I love to visit: Ravenna Gardens. They have unusual (and usual) plants along with tools and fun gifts. Outside, the plants stand in alluring arrangements while inside, dreamy displays of lotions and books surprise shoppers. It’s a place of…

  • Neil Gaiman’s Old New Year’s Wish Is Still Fresh Today

    Neil Gaiman's Old New Year's Wish Is Still Fresh Today, Karen Hugg, https://karenhugg.com/2019/01/15/neil-gaiman #NeilGaiman #quotes #inspiration #writing #books #novels

    I’m a super fan of Neil Gaiman. Not only do I love his stories but I love his prose and I love the upstanding man he is. He broke through in his career with the urban fantasy Neverwhere and has most recently given us the darkly witty Norse Mythology. What I admire about him is he’s a genius who doesn’t think he’s a genius. He just writes from a place of inspiration and ends up entertaining the world. I came across his New Year’s Wish from 15 years ago on his website. What struck me about it was the unwavering…