Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

Fertile Attraction

In Interviews, Profiles on February 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm
If you haven’t read all you possibly can about people’s opinions on the octuplets’ situation, then check out my article on fertility ethics in the Pacific Sun.



In this age of reproductive wizardry, where babies can be created in test tubes and implanted in women who would not otherwise be able to get pregnant, it sometimes seems that anything goes. Yet the recent media storm and public outrage over Nadya Suleman—the Los Angeles mother of octuplets born in January that were conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and are still in critical care—has led many to think of fertility treatments as Frankenstein manipulations and Suleman as a selfish monster. Other medical professionals are calling her case a “failure of medicine” and defending their profession.

Yet Suleman’s is not the first set of octuplets born in the past decade, and multiples ranging from four to six still turn up every couple of years, most famously the sextuplets that made the Discovery Health show Jon & Kate Plus Eight a ratings hit. The outrage over Suleman’s case is inspired by revelations that the 33-year-old single mother has six other children ranging from ages 2 to 7, also conceived using IVF, and that she is unemployed and collecting money from state disability insurance.

In light of her case and the furor it has sparked, some Marin fertility doctors are expressing dismay at what they feel are ethical lapses on Suleman’s doctor’s part, and fear that this high-profile case may dissuade people from seeking fertility treatments, and attract unnecessary regulations to their field.


Agents Seeking New Writers

In General on February 26, 2009 at 3:15 pm

The word on the street is that it might just be tougher than before to get an agent. Whether or not that’s true, it’s definitely trickier to determine, out of the thousands of agents in the guides, which ones are seeking new writers.

Maria Schneider, of Editor Unleashed (and former managing editor at Writer’s Digest Magazine) has answered that question and put together a stellar guide of agents seeking new writers: Get an Agent. 100 E-friendly Agents Open to New Writers. At $14.95, you won’t find a better deal offering you such a specific set of agents anywhere, I promise! Best of all, it’s CURRENT…so get it while it’s hot.

Social Network Overwhelm

In Business of Writing, Musings on February 26, 2009 at 3:25 am

I feel so old, so out of date for what I’m about to say: between facebook and twitter and just keeping up with my two blogs, I am overwhelmed. And I don’t even get any of these applications on my cell phone! I like all of these forms of expression. The blog was a perfect outlet for a confessional sort like myself, and I understand its importance in a more professional manner, too. Facebook is a fabulous way to keep a quick tab on friends and whittle away time chasing down ghosts of the past. Twitter is like communication in haiku, but it’s also a little bit like what I imagine the stock exchange is like–conversations whizzing over and around one’s head so fast in so many directions it seems impossible that one is actually being noticed.

Yet so many people are out there, doing it all. Blogging regularly, tweeting all over the place, and seamlessly, too. How about you? Can you keep up? Which is your favorite form? If you do it all, how?

A Real Deal

In General on February 24, 2009 at 11:22 pm

My husband and I are moving soon which means: PURGE TIME! Among dishes that don’t match and no longer needed baby items, I’ve got a box of my book Make a Scene that I don’t want to lug with us. So I’ll make anyone reading a deal: I’ll ship you up to three copies with no shipping charge, at only $12/copy. They’re regularly $14.95 plus tax and shipping.

My book is good for the beginner or intermediate writer, since it offers not only refreshers on simple scene architecture, but detailed information on scene types.

To take advantage of this deal–I’ve only got 22 copies left–email me: jordansmuse (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject “Make a Scene deal” and tell me how many you want. We can work out the mailing/payment details from there.

BONUS DEAL: Add a copy of my book with Rebecca Lawton, Write Free: Attracting the Creative Life, and I’ll send you both books for $20, plus FREE shipping.


Don’t Be Afraid of My Dark Alley

In Musings on February 17, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Inevitably, in my blogging life, there comes a fallow period where I turn away from you, hoard all my ideas and insights and treat my blog like a dark alley nobody would want to be caught alone in.

I’ve done it again lately. I could blame it on motherhood or the weather or the economy but the real reason is that sometimes I find the task of constant upkeep daunting. I only recently joined Facebook, after all. I twitter, but still find that more effort than I can handle. I love blogging because I’ve always been the confessional sort, but sometimes even my confessions get stage fright. More so, there are so many blogs out there, run by such amazing people who are basically giving away priceless information for free.

But my friend Maria Schneider over at Editor Unleashed has lit a fire under my blogging kettle again and I feel I owe it to you to at least try.

So I’ll keep it simple today.

What I’m reading: Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl. I really held off on reading this for the same reason I often don’t buy popular fashions, watch the hot new shows, or visit museums when a new art show is in town. I’m suspicious of what’s new and hot. Trends frighten me; they feel forced until they’ve been around awhile. I know this is iconoclastic of me and I accept that. It shows that I’m not on The Cutting Edge (to borrow a capitalization strategy from Pessl), Afraid of Change, Set in My Ways. And it took me nearly 100 pages to stop tripping over Pessl’s clever turns of phrase and sink into what is a highly sophisticated, wonderful plot with an ardent and earnest protagonist until I was literally racing through pages (still stopping long enough to smell her prose posies, of course). So, I’m glad I read it, and glad I did, even if I’m late to the party. However, if I were her editor, everything in parentheses in the novel would have gotten cut.

What I’m writing: I’m still working on the novel-in-progress (loosely about a cult that tears a family apart and how my protagonist begins to learn the lies that her life is constructed upon), begun as a Nanowrimo project, which both excites and stymies me. My friend Erika Mailman and I did a n-i-p exchange that re-energized me, and when possible we get together at our “Glass Room of Productivity” at our local library to write. I like this book, but I have given myself some serious plot mazes to plod through.

That’s all for today folks, but I promise to have more of a presence, to populate this blog again with happy people and shiny lights rather than dumpsters and big stagnant puddles of mysterious liquid.

Playing toward Publication

In Business of Writing, Write Free on February 4, 2009 at 1:46 am

Month-Long Write Free Playshop: Playing toward Publication
Join us for the first Write Free Month-Long Playshop in which you exercise your creative chops and aim for your publishing dreams. We are now accepting sign- ups at our website for this new month-long, self-paced Write Free Playshop, which begins in March, 2009. Join us every weekday for four weeks (20 days), for the following activities, which will be sent to you in a daily e-mail (except for the Weekly Message, which will come once a week):

  • Write Free Writing Prompt to jumpstart your own personal freewrite for the day
  • Quote on Attraction to inspire and align you with your best creative life
  • Word of the Day to spark your imagination
  • Exercises to work new writing muscles
  • Weekly Message from Jordan and Becca on writing craft, practice, and community.

All this for $19.95-less than $1/day for the whole month! 

To SIGN UP, visit: