Deb Vanasse

Deb Vanasse | Where to Look

If you’ve spent any time around infants, you recognize how much of their waking existence is focused on where to look. Grownups look mostly out of necessity—for hazards on the road they’re driving, for the words they’re typing on the screen, for the next item on their to-do lists. Infants look out of wonder, delighted …

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Deb Vanasse | Finding Focus

  I just spent three hours writing 74 words. I’m not usually so slow. In three hours, I’d more typically draft 750 or 1,000 or, on a good day, 1,500 words. But this project was different. I was drafting the back copy for the novel I’m revising. In other words, I was finding its focus. …

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Deb Vanasse | Bring on the Light

Danish designer Poul Henningsen was obsessed with light. Inspired by the soft glow of pre-electric lighting, he devoted his life to designing electric lamps that would capture that glow. Electricity, he said, gave humans the possibility of “wallowing in light,” and yet there was the danger of losing the harmony of what once had been. …

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Deb Vanasse | Know It All

It’s a crazy hypothetical, but let’s say you could only give one piece of writing advice, and the advice had to be expressed in a single sentence. Based on where we are along our trajectories as writers, each of us would choose differently. In large part because of the developmental editing assistance I render, my …

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Jeff Brady | 2017 North Words Writers Symposium Rundown

North Words Writers Symposium wrapped up in Skagway recently. Jeff Brady, co-organizer, provides a vicarious look at this year’s conference. ~ JP  The 8th annual North Words Writers Symposium in Skagway was the biggest yet. About 40 participants from all over Alaska and the Yukon were extolled by keynote author Paul Theroux to get out and …

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Deb Vanasse | In These Times

Just when I think I’ve achieved equilibrium, there’s a jolt. Such is life. That’s the Zen way of thinking. But I’m a writer, and writing demands focus. Under certain circumstances—death, illness, tragedy, the potential demise of democracy—focus is hard. It won’t help with all circumstances, but one source of wisdom I’ve returned to time and …

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