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When editing the stories for Rough Magick, what did you look for?

The most important thing to me was the potential of a story. If it had a strong hook, even if that hook was buried or needed some more finessing to make the story really come alive, the author had me. I wanted stories that felt alive and brought the reader into the story’s universe. It was especially important that each story could not only stand on its own but connect, in some way, to the other stories in the anthology. My goal was to keep the reader invested in these stories individually but also in the anthology as a whole, and I think that we really accomplished that.

What tips do you have for writers about how to create a powerful short story?

When I write a story, it’s usually because I have something on my mind that won’t go away. A feeling, or a particular image, a snippet of a dream. I’m a worrier, a ruminator, and I will replay that little bit of information in my head over and over again. Writing gives me the space to explore these feelings and ideas. I’d tell writers to begin there, with that passion. The power of that feeling will carry throughout your story, even if it’s not immediately clear in the first draft. Also, with short stories, there is a particular urgency that needs to be addressed. You have very little time to grab the reader and get them acclimated to the world you are creating, so it’s important to do that right away.

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Hi Loves

Happy Easter! Eat a flower!

My new classes start the first week of April and I want to help you finish your book! Although the two in person classes are full (with possibly one space available for the Sunday class) there is a lot of room in my online class starting April 4 for ten weeks. We will cover 12 Questions To Help Structure Your Novel (or short story/poetry cycle/memoir) and you'll be able to workshop fifty pages of your work and receive detailed notes from me and fellow classmates. The cost is normally $500 but I am offering a 20% discount making it $400 plus minor Paypal Fees. I have seen amazing improvement in my students who utilize this 12-Question Method with me! You can contact me at www.francescaliablock.com/contact for more information on how to pay.

My UCLA Extension Class, Writing The Young Adult Novel, starts 4/13 for ten weeks in the beautiful 1010 Westwood art building. We will also visit the 12 Questions in this class.

Remember to stop by Booth 1660 at AWP next weekend! If you are not signed up already, you can get a one day Saturday pass for $45 onsite on that day. (The info on that pass is on the bottom of the linked page).

Here are a few more reminders about AWP and more:

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We had a last minute change  of venue this weekend and held our Fairies party at the Fairy Cottage.

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The beautiful Augusta Gail with Fairies in The Kitchen.

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Carmen and I with our book. The cover models remind me of young versions of us.

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My Fairy sister Carmen Staton and I appeared at The Last Bookstore last Saturday for a demo from our Weetzie Bat Cookbook, Fairies In The Kitchen. Duck's Fig and Berry Salad shown above, more below!

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Eleanore Studer took this lovely shot of Amanda Yates Garcia (the Oracle of Los Angeles), Mary Pauline Lowry, Tracy DeBrincat, Daniel Weizmann, Laura Lee Bahr, Manuel Chavarria and me at Book Soup.

What a great store and what wonderful friends and writers. I feel so lucky.

You can order Rough Magick here! Stories that will make you laugh, cry, squirm, turn you on, or do it all. 

Love,

flb

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The amazing Gala Darling (here, in my Goat Guys T) has a New Book!

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We had a lovely evening reading at this spectacular bookstores! The Last one!

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Love In The Time Of Apocalypse

My top David Bowie songs

1. "Heroes" -- Heroes

This beloved song shows up on every top five song list I’ve ever made, not to mention every make out mix. Heroes is the second album in the Berlin Trilogy. Bowie and Iggy went to the most decadent city in Europe to get clean and sober. How like them! And, what’s more, they did it! At heart, even in his most apocalyptic moments, Bowie is a romantic. And nothing is more romantic than this tale of two lovers kissing at the Berlin wall, wanting to be each other, wanting to be there for the world. Nothing. The lyrics and the music and that black and white image of Bowie posing on the cover with his hands like birds…

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"There was once a time where I didn't have Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat in my clutches at any given moment, but I don't remember it. I read it at age 12 and it has shaped me in fantastic ways I never could have predicted, including the way I style and put together shoots. Weetzie definitely had her hand in this particular project, so much that Augusta and I joked that the theme was "Weetzie Bat Wedding Vibes". But, you know, it's true. As much as this shoot was about my bestie and I getting together for a few hours and shooting otherworldly wedding looks, it was a celebration of what Weetzie has brought to the both of us."-- Aurora

"I was in my early 20’s the first time I read Weetzie Bat.  I felt like I could see my future in those pages – living in Hollywood where palm trees are planted like jewels and the sunset looks like spun sugar, moving through the world like Weetzie in all her punk rock, romantic glory.  Francesca’s words felt like home to me, and I’ve never felt so connected to a character as I do to Weetzie.  My BFF Aurora (who, fittingly enough, is the one who introduced me to Francesca’s work) and I spent a day drinking coffee, frolicking in a cactus garden, and taking these photographs.  When we looked at the finished images, it was so clear to us that these were Weetzie inspired – full of wild whimsy, rock and roll, and the magic of friendship."  –Augusta

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