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When Bad People are in Power

Andrea Cagan - Monday, April 09, 2018
When Bad People are in Power

I was a cable news junkie . . . until November 8th, 2016. MSNBC was my drug of choice and I watched constantly, listening to the pundits’ opinions and following the movement and philosophies of President Obama. He was intelligent, kind, scholarly and a favorite among anyone who wasn’t a racist or a rigid member of the religious right. I cared abut the world views and I was fascinated about how government worked and how I could be part of the change. 

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Writing Through Writer's Block

Andrea Cagan - Tuesday, April 03, 2018
Writing Through Writer's Block

As I started to write my blog this morning, I sat there for a few minutes, contemplating what I wanted to write about. My mind skipped to a load of possible topics but I didn't really want to write about any of them. Last week and the one before that, I knew what I wanted to say before I did it. The words just seemed to flow naturally out of me and it turned out okay. So why was I faltering this week? What was different?  

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From Baby Boomers to Millennials

Andrea Cagan - Monday, March 19, 2018
From Baby Boomers to Millennials

I teach a weekly writing class for about eight students. I keep it small because it’s in my home and I want time to give attention to each person, listening to their pieces that they write and read in class and making encouraging comments. The same people come back week after week, and we are diverse: African Americans, gay and straight men, and single women, ranging from ages 29 to 82. Initially, I wondered if we would all get along and if we could forge a bond since we were all so different. We came from different generations, we had different family environments, we came from different parts of the country, and our lines of work were varied. How will they ever understand each other? I wondered before the first class. Will they connect and be instrumental in helping each other learn and grow? Or will they feel disconcerted and unsafe? Will they embrace the diversity or feel stunted by it? 

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What is Your Super Power?

Andrea Cagan - Monday, March 12, 2018
What is Your Super Power?

I work out at an elite gymnastics gym for girls between the ages of 5 and 18. My trainer, Orlando, is also a physical therapist and while I concentrate on strength and stretching, I wonder what it would feel like to swing on the parallel bars, perform back flips on a four inch balance beam, and run like the wind, throw a huge vault into the air, and avoid breaking every bone in my body. The only words I can think of when I watch the girls is “super heroes.”  

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Lull of the Halfway Point

Andrea Cagan - Monday, March 05, 2018
Lull of the Halfway Point

Once you figure out how to get started on your writing project, various obstacles show up unexpected and unannounced. It happens when you least expect it, when you think you found your groove. Your hands are flying across the keyboard, you're making great strides, when a STOP sign flashes in your mind’s eye. You pause, your mind becomes hazy and you try to understand the obstacle and how to get around it.  

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Starting a Re-write

Andrea Cagan - Monday, February 26, 2018
Starting a Re-write
I recently picked up a first draft of a book I was writing a while ago and decided to dig in and do another draft. But apparently my manuscript had other ideas. As I read the material through, I knew something was missing. It wasn’t hanging together properly, it didn't sound like me, but I was stumped as to what was wrong and what I should do. Indignation rose up. This story was mine. I had created it, developed the characters, chosen a plot line, worked out the pacing, and now, I couldn’t figure out how to pick up where I left off. I just couldn't get back in there.  

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The Olympic Experience: Failures & Successes

Andrea Cagan - Wednesday, February 21, 2018
The Olympic Experience: Failures & Successes

Two nights ago, a favored ice dancer in the Olympics, Gabriella Papadakis, had a wardrobe malfunction. The fear and upset in her face reminded me of various missteps I made when I was in the ballet. The French couple won the Gold anyway but she’ll never forget the dread of her costume falling off her chest. She called it her worst nightmare. I can relate. 

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Get Smart

Andrea Cagan - Monday, February 05, 2018
Get Smart

It’s 2018 and most of our electronic home and entertainment devises are SMART. At least that’s what they're called. Smart phones, Smart TVs, Smart doorbells, Smart cars that drive themselves. And they’re getting Smarter all the time. We stand in long lines for hours to purchase these devices, we spend a lot of time watching videos online about the latest and greatest Smart devises that will surely change our lives, and we wait impatiently for twenty-four hours for our Smart Amazon Prime purchases to arrive. 

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Do You Take Things Personally?

Andrea Cagan - Monday, January 29, 2018
Do You Take Things Personally?

I’m often under scrutiny when I write. If I’m working on my own pieces, I only have to please myself. But when I ghostwrite and collaborate, I have several people to please: the client whose story I’m telling, the agent who has a habit of sticking his or her nose where it doesn’t belong, and then there’s me.  

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Facing Your Inner Critic

Andrea Cagan - Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Facing Your Inner Critic

I began teaching a writing class about two years ago, giving prompts, reading inspirational pieces, and offering advice about how to maneuver the world of words, sentences, paragraphs, and stories. I felt that I had something to offer since I'd written so many books. But when I began to share my knowledge and experiences as a writer, I never imagined how much my classes would impact my own writing and my understanding of the writing process in general. 

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