Mariana Cotromanes

Writer, Blogger, Crunchy Mom


Book Review: 2013 Guide to Literary Agents

Posted on November 16, 2012 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

I put the 2013 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino  among the ranks of Anne Lamott...

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My CWC Experience: 15 Tips on Writing & Publishing

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (1)

One month ago I attended my very first writers conference: the inaugural Chicago Writers Conference.  It was held in the beautiful Tribune Tower on energetic Michigan Avenue.  So full of energy and literary accomplishment, it was th...

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Good Reads: Birds and Hemingway

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

It's been a busy summer between family events and baby milestones (she's got a couple teeth in, and she'll be walking any day now!).  I'm grateful I've also had time to get in some good reading. 

Here is a book I read recently and loved, as well as a book I can't wait to get my hands on in the fall wh...

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Interview with Sere Prince Halverson, author of The Underside of Joy

Posted on March 20, 2012 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Seré Prince Halverson stopped by the blog for a chat! Her debut novel is one that I love (read my book review here)-- and about which the writing and reading communities are buzzing! See what the author of

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Just Keep Writing: 4 Tips to Persevere

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (1)

Whether you've got a family to take care of, a full-time job, or both, it's tough to find writing time and stay motivated.  Just this morning I was chatting with a fellow mommy and aspiring novelist about how to persevere.

This conversation got me thinking... What keeps me motivated to continue finding time...

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Book Review: The Underside of Joy

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The Underside of Joy by Seré Prince Halverson has a quiet, soulful beauty that captivates the rea...

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2/14: Forever Bittersweet

Posted on February 14, 2012 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

It just hit me-- like the shame and guilt of forgetting a loved one's birthday-- today is not just Valentine's Day.  Today is the 4th anniversary of the Northern Illinois University shooting.

Everyone mourns differently-- and events li...

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Motherhood: (Re)Teaching Writing Lessons

Posted on February 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

With a six-month-old baby girl, the majority of my days are filled with motherly tasks-- nursing, diapering, laundry, LOTS of cuddling and giggles, rinse and repeat-- but I also find myself writing during one of her nap times.  Two worlds seemingly collided recently after giving some advice to new mommy friends: I realized that the best parenting tips I've received (and then shared) are also some of the best writing tips I've hea...

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Turning Thirty: Great Expectations

Posted on January 21, 2012 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Today I turn thirty.  It's funny, I don't feel thirty.  Wait... What's thirty supposed to feel like?

For years I've actually envisioned what thirty might feel like, and it was more about goals than about any particular emotional reaction.  Since I turned twenty-two I began dreading birthdays, feeling my youth ...

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The Middle: Kate Morton's Advice

Posted on January 20, 2012 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

I read Kate Morton's The House at Riverton several months ago and enjoyed it, so I decided to pick up The Distant Hours.  Both novels contain captivating mystery, are well-written, and have vivid characters-- elements which I believe add up to some great novel writing.  When I decided to learn more about this talented and prolific author I came across helpful advice on novel writing on her

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Peeling Back the Layers: Character Development and Backstory

Posted on January 14, 2012 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

As I endeavor to make my way through my very first novel writing experience, I find myself quite paranoid that my characters lack complexity and backstory.  As an avid reader I've found my most favorite aspect of the reading experience is getting to know complex characters.  I enjoy nothing more than coming across the little random tidbits of information about a character an author might throw into the story (like that they hat...

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After a Campus Shooting, a New Reality

Posted on September 10, 2010 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (6)

The Chronicle of Higher Education

May 23, 2010


After a Campus Shooting, a New Reality

By Mariana A. Cotromanes


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