Marie C. Collins

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Marie C. Collins

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Born
in Bronx, New York, The United States
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January 2015

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Marie lives in Lambertville, New Jersey (USA), with her two dogs, George Eliot and Henry James, who — in spite of their snoring and a tendency to sniff horrifying things — are very good company (and endure Marie’s insistence that they love being kissed on their snouts).

Marie holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from Douglas College at Rutgers University and a master’s degree in English Literature from Temple University. She has held sundry jobs throughout her life, like caregiver, cook, waitress, newspaper reporter, and even a brief, misguided stint as a ballroom dance teacher. However, for most of her adult life she has written for hire, usually on topics related to education, as writing is the thing she likes to do best.

Mar
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Marie C. Collins
I think of “writer’s block” as something much more serious than the phenomenon I usually I hear writers talking about. For me, “writer’s block” is a…more

I think of “writer’s block” as something much more serious than the phenomenon I usually I hear writers talking about. For me, “writer’s block” is a paralyizing byproduct of things like grief, trauma, or depression, and may render a writer unable to put pen to paper for years.

But having said that, I also think that we who are lucky enough not to be suffering – at this moment – from that brand of writer’s block still struggle from time to time with thoughts that won’t pour when we want them to. Writing ourselves into a corner can bring it on, but so may a wound to our confidence, lack of sleep, or simply asking too much of ourselves. I see that as a normal part of who we are – and of being human.

There was a time when I would chastise myself for being unable to perform on demand, but not once did that solve my “problem” until it was ready to be solved – it just made me feel bad. We are not robots: We can’t write day in and day out without breaking down. Other needs push their way to the top of our to-do lists, other people and issues claim our minds. It’s this very humanity that we call on to bring depth and understanding to our creative work, so why deny it in ourselves?

So now I go with the flow. Depending on what’s temporarily silencing me, here’s what I do:

1. If I can identify a problem, I step away from the draft and analyze it. For example, if I’m at a plot crossroads, I might break out a graphic organizer to map where I am and see if I missed a turn, forgot a character, or can move the story forward another way. Or I might wrestle with it in my journal by asking myself questions that get at the core of the problem until I find one I can answer (and thus start digging myself out of the hole). Journaling can also help when the problem has to do with wavering confidence. Regardless of what caused it, spilling it on paper can help me reground myself.

2. If there’s a more global cause – like a cold, or lack of sleep – I try to do something else. For instance, if I’m not up to writing, I may try outlining. If outlining is beyond me, I may update the documents I keep as a record for later books in the same series, or work on marketing materials – say, the book teaser or synopsis. These days we writers wear so many hats there’s bound to be one wearable one, even on bad days.

3. If after looking for workarounds, the stubborn child inside me stages a sit-in that says “I won’t!” I’ll step away altogether and accept that I’ve been pushing myself too hard. It may be time to go for a walk, to have lunch with a friend, or to do something manual (pulling weeds comes to mind – there are always plenty of those to be found). I have also been known to pop my dogs in the car in the middle of winter and head for the beach, as driving and walking are both extremely productive thinking time for me. When I let the writer in me grow quiet for a while, solutions can arise in the unlikeliest of places.(less)
Average rating: 4.32 · 25 ratings · 18 reviews · 1 distinct workSimilar authors
A Brief Stay at Earth Human...

4.32 avg rating — 25 ratings — published 2014 — 8 editions
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Put some summer-camp adventure in your back-to-school reading with "A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp"! I am giving away 10 signed and dedicated copies to take the sting out of summer's end (U.S. only).

"A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp" has been very well received! Reviewers compare the book to the work of Roald Dahl, Rick Riordan, & J. K. Rowling. To see all reviews previously published on... Read more of this blog post »
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The Revere Factor by Joyce McPherson
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I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the second book in Joyce McPherson's Camp Hawthorne series is even better than the first book -- and the first book is excellent! What's different? Book 2 is more streamlined, the action begins earlier, and ...more
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The Pandora Device by Joyce McPherson
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There’s a lot going on in The Pandora Device! Joyce McPherson weaves the tried-and-true devices of the genre into an original story that is sure to engage middle grade readers. Stella is one of a select few chosen to attend a camp for children with s ...more
A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp by Marie C. Collins
"This is the kind of book that kids can relax into and savor. From the first page, we learn that 12-year-old Anne and her little brother Atticus are different. They have grown up separated from civilization and only know what they have learned in h..." Read more of this review »
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Tormented Soul by Dylann Rhea
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Some minor spoilers ahead ...

Tormented Soul, book 1 of the Storm Trilogy, is the first book I’ve read about fae and their world. While I agree with another reviewer who said “the novel should have gone a couple more rounds of editing,” I based my st
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A Brief Stay at Earth Human Camp by Marie C. Collins
"After meeting Marie C. Collins at one of my first author events, I finally got the chance to read her work. Just glancing at the first few pages you can tell how well thought out Collins built her world. The incredible effort put into this story i..." Read more of this review »
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Henry David Thoreau
“The written word is the choicest of relics.”
Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Henry David Thoreau
“We get the language with which to describe our various lives out of a common mint." (Letter, April 26, 1857, to B.B. Wiley)”
Henry David Thoreau, The Writings of Henry David Thoreau

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