Dear Leo
Dear Leo #12

Keanuland! A disorganized column about staying organized by Leonora Desar Warning! This is not a sexy column. If you are looking for zaniness, genius writing prompts, or personal confession you will not find it here (much). I only wrote this because my deadline is...

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Dear Leo #11

French Fry MFA And getting on your “dark and twisty—” by Leonora Desar Dear Leo, I am a failure. A charlatan. I call myself a writer, but I spend most of my time on Twitter, drafting tweets (and this is on a good day). I had some success a few years ago, but now I am...

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Dear Leo #10

When I Was a Teenaged Witch and other stories practical advice by Leonora Desar Preface to a crafty blog entry Dear Leo, Nobody loves me. I mean, people love me, like my boyfriend and my cat, but they’re kind of under obligation. The folks that count—the...

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Dear Leo #9

The Misfits How writing outsiders can make you truly, truly outrageous by Leonora Desar I am not talking about the punk rock band. I am not talking about a Flannery O’Conner character, or even the Misfits, the rival all-girl group in my favorite 80’s cartoon ever, Jem...

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Dear Leo #8

Betty and Veronica— or how opposites attract (the reader) by Leonora Desar Opposites are in. This is in the tradition not only of Paula Abdul, but of film, literature, comics, TV shows. Infomercials, probably, too. There’s Betty and Veronica (Archie). Mike and Eleven...

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The Dear Leo Call for Questions

Is there something you’ve always wanted to know about the writing process? Or maybe you’re curious about the submission process? Maybe you want to know why LEO never wears matching socks, why she’s obsessed with ice cream, why she never takes a normal bio pic. ...

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Dear Leo #7

In Praise of Writing “Dull” by Leonora Desar Or how a simple writing prompt is better than all the good ideas— One day, instead of writing, I was doing my usual. I googled: “writers better than I am” and “writers that will inspire me to get off my butt.” I came across...

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Dear Leo #6

Writing Your Inner Child Or how to see with “Salvador Dali Eyes” (an awesome story by Douglas Campbell that you’re going to wish you wrote yourself)by Leonora DesarSometimes (often) being an adult is lame. Not to mention writing about it. By writing from a kid or...

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Dear Leo # 5

 Talk to Someone Weird (and leave the house) by Leonora Desar When I was at journalism school I was always super curious—and jealous—of the fiction people. They got to make stuff up while I had to hang out at the bodega with weird men named Gabe. I had to get...

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Dear Leo # 4

How to talk to dead writers—and get them to talk back (aka another off-the-rails-column-by-dear-leo) by Leonora Desar My favorite writer is Ned Vizzini. There’s this book, It’s Kind of a Funny Story. It’s sitting here right now. It has a yellow cover and a map of a...

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Dear Leo # 3

Dylan McKay is Not that Into Me Or using your lit mag crush to be a better writer By Leonora Desar            I’m obsessed with a certain magazine. Let’s call him Dylan—after Dylan McKay, the hot surfer boy on 90210. I was obsessed with Dylan. I am obsessed with this...

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Dear Leo # 2

Even If It Was Crap This column is now officially four days late. Actually, make that 11. It was my idea to do one of these every three weeks. This would give me a deadline. I would HAVE to write something, even if it was crap. There are about 13 (an unlucky 13) of...

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Dear Leo # 1

How to deal with being a failed writer, writing to get in someone’s pants, writing with the blood, and a bunch of other stuff by Leonora Desar Truth alert! (Usually I write fiction and I lie.) The other week I spoke to my friend’s class. Then I wrote them this...

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Morse Code by Elizabeth Cabrera

The old man fell asleep in his car, his nostrils pressed softly against the steering wheel, but the car kept going, because the old man’s foot was not asleep, was still pressing down hard, and later they would say, it’s not really his fault, he’s such an old man.

Electric Storm by Kathryn Aldridge-Morris

It’s been twenty minutes since the first bolt of lightning ripped a scar through the purple night sky. Since my mother said to swim in the rain ― it’s fun. Since her boyfriend Colin said he’d join us― to check we’re ok.

Amelia Earhart Knew Seven Latin Words for Fire by Joe Kapitan

Ignis, the flaming wreckage, bubbling rubber, liquified cloth, her skin charred and blistering, acrid smoke, the tiny thunders of survival’s kicks

I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours by Eliot Li

I tell you I’ve only ever shown it to a girl who I met on a tour bus in Moscow, where I was traveling with my parents. She had bad acne, and she really liked Duran Duran.

Bog Iron by Shane Larkin

We make stops on the way to our bog plot to look at the little skeletons. Dad tells me about them. Curlews and skylarks in dancing poses. Tiny skulls.