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.
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!”
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?”
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”
1. Collage, fragmented, montage, segmented, lyric, sectioned: a mosaic by any other name was still a thorn in my flesh. The first mosaic I ever tried to write amounted to little more than a clumsy knockoff of a Richard Rodriguez essay assigned in my first MFA nonfiction workshop. 2. Three years later, I tried again.Continue reading “Wrangling An Elusive Essay Form: Mosaic”
“Creative nonfiction is a gloriously flexible genre. What we don’t know or can’t know doesn’t have to wreck our writing. Instead, what seemed at first to be only an empty space can be an opportunity to shape and expand a narrative, exploring the gaps and writing our way through the myths.” –Jessica Handler, author ofContinue reading “Creative Nonfiction, Gumby of Literary Genres”
As you emerge from your food coma I present the lovely and talented Annie Sullivan as my first guest blogger since Eliza Tudor shared her wisdom on navigating a writer’s life after the MFA. [Thanks, Annie!]
As I’ve mentioned before, being a mom to this particular son* is a gas—and always educational. This morning I decided to visit him in his room before he fully woke up and remembered his mother irritates him to no end. He rewarded me by reading aloud, in Latin and then English, selections from “Which Way toContinue reading “Which Way to the Vomitorium?”
For those of you who wish to learn Orkish, a less-pretty language spoken by Orcs, Trolls, and some Men in Middle-Earth in the Third Age. Orkish dialects were usually vulgar forms of the Black Speech of Mordor, the language written on the Ring. These words are scrounged from what little Tolkien wrote of the Orkish language as well as some reconstructions by Tolkien linguist David Salo.
I was working on a meditative essay to post on this here writey blog, but the following Facebook status update by my dear son, pictured below (in what I think should be his online dating profile picture, should he ever online-date in his twenties), derailed me. You’ll understand why. Oh, and as any good anglophile, he punctuates the UK way. Also, why do I even try to write? OY, this kid: