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Thanks for the great blog. Do you have any advice on point of view basics and how writers can avoid plagiarism?


Cali - If you're writing fiction, poetry or essays, I really wouldn't worry about someone stealing your work. (You could always send yourself your work by registered mail and leave it unopened if you want to be able to prove it's your writing.)As for POV - stick to first person or third. One POV only in a scene. That's my best advice.


Great blog. I never had the chance to take your class at UCLA Extension but I'm glad you'll be posting assignments so others can follow along on their own.


So excited that you are going to post exercises on your website, Barbara. I have lots of deadlines for pieces, but sometimes no ideas. As for the reading, I am reading "The Assistant," and "The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit," and "The Last Gentleman Adventurer". Also just finished "Eat, Pray,Love." Author Elizabeth Gilbert will be appearing with Annie LaMott at UCLA in the Royce Hall Series. I plan to attend. Should be great to hear two wonderful writers gabbing about the "big black hole" where hopefully there is inspiration. Loren Stephens


I think that's a great idea to write everyday and read one book a week. I find with my busy life that the reading sometimes plays second fiddle, but it is, of course, quite important, as long as its not the only thing you do.

P.S. looking at those book recommendations to the right - The Dorothy Brande and Brenda Ueland books are two of my favorite books on writing.


Thanks for offering to share some of you class assignments with us, especially since it's September and we all kind of get into school mode.

I try to write everyday anyway, even if it's just morning pages. But I'm always open to new inspiration!


Jenny - If you're interested in classes, or just attending free panels - come to the UCLA Writers Faire this Sunday -

Loren- See you at Royce Hall in March. I've ordered tickets.

Storyblogger - I'll be adding to the lists soon.

Becca - Class starts October 2nd. Stay tuned -


Thanks for planning on sharing your assignments. I'm looking forward to it. Anything to get me organized and writing more. I don't have a problem with the reading part, although a book a week is hard with two young school age girls in the house. :-)


I can't wait to see the curriculum here on the blog! I could use the kick in the pants.


anne - an assignment every week, I promise.


thanks for offering to share your class assignments with us! i think the regularity could work out nicely for me!

as far as books go, i finished 2 books this week, "the runaway quilt" and "circle of quilter's", both by jennifer chiaverini ~ hold your applause! i started them both months ago but lost interest! (though i'd read 3 quarters of one, i only read a quarter of the other!)

lately those half read books have been naggin at me!

last month i finished "sufficient grace" by darnell arnoult which i bought and started in march ('07) but didn't pick up again until august. it's the most beautifully written fiction book i have ever read! amazing! (i put it down originally because it was actually painful for me to read).

Beverly Higginson

Barbara, I've not been able to take your classes so I'm looking forward to seeing assignments posted. Thanks for sharing. The Secret Life of Bees isn't new, but I'm reading and loving it. Started but didn't finish two other older books: "The Liar's Club" & "Then She Found Me". My reading jones has kicked in once again, so I'm determined to finish those as well.

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