Dispatches from Draftsville

By Amanda Kabak

Writer of software and literature - Novels: UPENDED and THE MATHEMATICS OF CHANGE. Denizen of the in-between. In ardent pursuit of making an impact.

Writer of software and literature - Novels: UPENDED and THE MATHEMATICS OF CHANGE. Denizen of the in-between. In ardent pursuit of making an impact.

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12

issues

#12・

The Mad Dash into the New Year

Forget all the other holidays in the last quarter of the year, I love Thanksgiving best (except, you know, my anniversary). Setting aside the hugely problematic history (and ongoing state) of my country's treatment of Native Americans and its conflation with …

 
#11・

Not According to Plan

Things have gone so horribly wrong in my writing so many times that I long ago learned not to feed the fiction of having control by making a plan for when I might be done with any aspect of what I'm creating. In reality, going off any preconceived rails is, c…

 
#10・

My Metaverse

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know (or even really care) what Meta is in terms of the platform formerly known as Facebook. But meta as a general concept has been a force in my life for most of the last decade. What is meta? In its original Greek, it…

 
#9・

In case you haven't noticed ...

I think a lot about, well, a lot, but in my writing life, aside from character and setting and conflict and metaphor, I am preoccupied with the idea of improvement and its evil but essential twin, criticism. I have talked about how writing is the most joyful …

 
#8・

Some of My Favorite People

I'll admit it, some of my favorite people are fictional. Harper Lee's Scout, Robert Heinlein's Friday, Michael Chabon's Detective Landsman, Peter Hoeg's Smilla, Fannie Flagg's Idgie, and so on. Characters have been my constant companions my whole life, first …

 
#7・

The Ideal Idea

As a writer, I'm impossible. Plenty of times I sit around sketching out scenes and characters that float around in the ether with nothing to tether them to an actual story. I do this for days or weeks and wonder if maybe I've had my last idea and no one's tol…

 
#6・

Is Your Best Good Enough?

Apologies for being a couple days late on this newsletter. I know you were all watching your inbox, just waiting for it to drop, right? But I was busy turning 47 (a prime number!), and I lost track of time eating things that weren't very good for me and being…

 
#5・

Control, but the Fun Kind

This morning, I was driving behind someone who didn't appear to know that they could operate their car without having their foot on either the brake or accelerator at all times. It reminded me of the one year I commuted to work by car. I drove a dark purple T…

 
#4・

Oh Say Can You See?

I write character-driven fiction. Unfortunately, this does not free me of the necessity of coming up with a plot. I remember when I was watching the movie Chasing Amy, I thought, "This is exactly how I write: I just move from one scene of people talking and d…

 
#3・

Imagination and Me

One of the top-ten questions I get asked from readers about my writing is how much of me is in my characters. The answer, in case you, too, are curious is: a lot and none at all. My characters come through me and are influenced by my experiences, but they are…

 
#2・

You Get What You Deserve?

Funny how that always sounds negative. Getting what you deserve means you've gone and asked for it, been a troublemaker, did something that is just begging for punishment. But what if you deserve success? Happiness? A chocolate chip cookie (vegan, please)? Th…

 
#1・

Patience ... or that thing I hate to practice

Isn't that just the thing?The grind, I mean, not what that just made you think of. Everything worthwhile and lasting takes time and energy, and time and energy is work. Literally. Okay, in physics, work equals force x displacement, which means you do work mov…