In my writing class, there's a certain format to things. We read a bit of this, then reflect. Read another passage, discuss. A literary liturgy of sorts. There's something about this class that reminds me of Catholic masses, only without the standing and kneeling. (Though, I would say, our literary docent probably wouldn't mind if … Continue reading Literary mea culpas, literary prayers
Sunny mornings, thundery afternoons. That's been the weather pattern lately, meaning the days start bright, but become gray by afternoon, making it seem later than it really is. This weather has me thinking about things like light and dark. Recently someone said to me, "I can see you writing some dark stuff." They didn't mean … Continue reading Writer of the moonlight
I had a day off, and spent it drafting an outline. I've never been one who was able to write to an outline. My stories like to go off on little weekend retreats without telling me then come back and start ordering me around with the pride and swagger of a newly hatched adolescent. Mostly … Continue reading Outline this.
I went to the Botanical gardens a few weeks ago. Mainly I was there to get some work done, and the gardens are a nice place to read or write. But I remembered, while I was there, an assignment that a teacher once had us to called Word Gardens. Word Gardens, the way I remember … Continue reading Word Gardens
As an independent editor/beta reader, I see a lot of writers fall into the message trap - they have something they want to say, something they feel is important, and they're very passionate about it. There's nothing inherently wrong with this - in fact, even if you're a pantser (vs a plotter), you should be … Continue reading A message is not a story
I've done over the past few months what I often do, which is turn inward. I always tell myself I'll keep a blog going, and it's not for lack of words and ideas that I don't. It's more just that introvert's tendency to want to live in your own head, in your own private writings, … Continue reading A recommitment to writing
Good writing knows when to show and when to tell. 'Jacob Have I Loved' has some great examples of this.
For many of us who live in the U.S., this is a frightening time. I feel the ball of anxiety tightening in my chest everyday, triggering a queasy feeling, an uneasiness that hovers around me. My concern for this country and the people in it is at unprecedented levels - I am, at times, actually … Continue reading Throwing out sparks
Grad school is out for the summer, which means I finally have more time to decompress...and think, and write, and read about things that aren't part of my grad program. Someone once described grad school to me as intellectual boot camp, and I think there's a truth to that. I would actually call it emotional … Continue reading Word gardener