The right collaborators — and the right attitude — make all the difference

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Once your submission get bites, you have some thinking to do.

15. Sign with the right agent or editor

If you get an offer from an agent or an editor, it will be thrilling. But don’t leap without looking. Have a good conversation with the person who has expressed interest; try to get a feel for their personality…

Every submission matters — but no submission is precious

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Once your draft is polished and ready to go, you need champions to bring your publishing dreams to fruition.

11. Do your homework on agents and publishers

Just about the most self-defeating thing you can do is to submit blind to agents (or publishers) simply because you’re excited to have a book ready. Why waste your time and…

Write, rest, revise — and repeat

Photo: Michael Burrows for Pexel.

If you’re ready to swap pre-writing for actual draft writing, it’s good to have some strategies for facing the tasks ahead.

5. Don’t sweat the whole book at once.

As I mentioned in part one, some writers have trouble knowing where to start; some get out of the gate fast and then get stuck. The answer to both…

It was time for endings, beginnings, and a season of change.

Will I recognize them? And how embarrassing will it be if I don’t?

Despite having seen my sisters on Zoom and in photos, those were the thoughts in my head as I hurried up the jetway and followed signs from my gate to the terminal. …

I joined AncestryDNA to find family — why was it so hard to call when I did?

I was at dinner with one of my dearest friends when I saw the match, a relative AncestryDNA described with the tantalizingly vague phrase “close family.” After years of third or fourth cousin matches, their names always meaningless, I had not expected much. …

The clues to my father’s identity didn’t mean a thing — until I knew to look.

The story of my family doesn’t begin with four Cuban men standing on a beach in Miami comparing feet, but some part of it is anchored there forever. It was one of a few moments in my childhood that could have revealed the truth, the existence of parallel life narratives…

There are ways to help him get out of his head when he can’t get out of his house.

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

Dear Other Dad,

Help! I’m caring for my father, who’s disabled. He has previously had serious reactions to vaccinations, so his primary care physician won’t clear him for the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, the Biden administration and the entire Democratic party are denying my father his right to take part in…

David Valdes

David Valdes is a Cuban-American playwright and author. He’s written about family, race, and LGBTQ issues for the New York Times, Boston Globe, and HuffPo.

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