Simple enough assignment, yeah? Identify rated-G or PG novels I love—literature—for half a dozen unnaturally brilliant, high-achieving readers ranging in age from twelve to twenty-five, books that aren’t treacle or L’Engle, Robinson, or Cather, whom I’m sure they’ve already read. And yet.
Author Archives: Beth Bates
It’s a Wonderful Life(?)
“It’s usually just a family thing,” she said, “but this year Brooke and I decided to make two Advent boxes—one for my niece who’s away at college, and one for a friend who really, really needs it. And, well, you’ve had a real shit year!”
Flash v. Vignette: What’s the difference?
Thank goodness for morning pages. They’re like the letter your homeroom teacher had you write to yourself on the first day of class, which she then sealed in an envelope for you to open on the last, and inside you find an enchanting, vaguely familiar message proving that past-, more-motivated you did the work. It’sContinue reading “Flash v. Vignette: What’s the difference?”
Shifting Away from “Us and Them”: A Mother Who Knows, Speaks (Guest Post)
“Jesus is grieved by this crap and He is calling all of us to step up and stand with the oppressed”
Arg, Sarah Layden!
I don’t love flash fiction. But when Indy literary pal Sarah Layden offered me her ARC of The Story I Tell Myself About Myself to preview, I was all in. She’s such a peach and her debut novel, Trip Through Your Wires, such a tasty treat, I jumped on the opportunity to lose myself inContinue reading “Arg, Sarah Layden!”
Resisting the Blues—Like a Boss
I stepped over to my manager’s cube and announced my depression. It occurred to me yesterday morning before heading into work, all slumped against my pillow with TODAY and a mug of coffee, that this persistent weight of sadness even Hoda can’t cheer away is simple, unmistakable, good ole fashioned “feeling depressed.” And searchingContinue reading “Resisting the Blues—Like a Boss”
Too Old to Write Your First Novel?
Think again. Consider, from Rivka Galchen’s rundown in Harper’s of twentieth century author family life and age demographics, among them: Alice Munro: Two husbands. Raised three children. First book of stories at age thirty-seven. Toni Morrison: Two children. First novel at age thirty-nine. Penelope Fitzgerald: Three children. First novel at age sixty. Then eight more. RockContinue reading “Too Old to Write Your First Novel?”
Creative Nonfiction Writing Prompt: Empowerment
They say it takes 30 days to develop a habit, and J worked diligently to develop hers. She and I started our long distance writer/coach relationship around mid-January, and now she’s ready for more focused instruction. Her first two assignments were throat-clearers, and now we’re getting down to business. I turned to Poets & Writers for her next prompt and encountered this arresting poem by Ansel Elkins.
Feed the Lake: Write Your Teeny Weeny Little Trickle
The Paris Review can’t get rights from the interviewer to print in its entirety the Jean Rhys interview, regrettably, so I’ll just have to quote from dear Madeleine L’Engle Herself. “If the work comes to the artist and says, ‘Here I am, serve me,’ then the job of the artist, great or small, is to serve. The amountContinue reading “Feed the Lake: Write Your Teeny Weeny Little Trickle”
My Creativity IV Drip: Madeleine L’Engle Herself
While recovering from my summer vacation heart attack last July in the small Colorado western slope town where I lived when my children were small, I stumbled upon hidden treasure on the bookshelf of my dear friend’s guest room. Like an IV drip of creativity energy, leafing through the pages of Madeleine L’Engle Herself pinked up my cheeksContinue reading “My Creativity IV Drip: Madeleine L’Engle Herself”
Poetry, Official Palace Language of Wow: Another Gem from Thanks Help Wow
On an ice-glazed morning, today’s reading thaws my cockles. Thanks again, Annie L: When all is said and done, spring is the main reason for Wow. Spring is crazy, being all hope and beauty and glory. She is the resurrection. Spring is Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The world is charged with the grandeur of God. /Continue reading “Poetry, Official Palace Language of Wow: Another Gem from Thanks Help Wow”
Found in the Vault, a Weekend Writing Prompt: Paint Chip Memoir
Did you know the list is a legit narrative nonfiction form? Yep, and it’s ancient. McSweeney’s did not invent the list. Around the first day of the first month of Noah’s 601st year, as the ground was drying out, a writer in Sumeria (now southern Iraq) carved wedge-shaped letters into stone tablets, composing a work of wisdom scholars consider to be . . .
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