If I’m ghosting for a week, writing articles about the side effects of antiquated amitriptyline or the evolution of human teeth, I find it nearly impossible to settle into writing a short story or even a simple journal entry. Conversely, if I’m on a sleepless reading jag, chest-deep in poetic prose and an old, revered story, I […]
I’ve just closed the cover on a romance/mystery/family drama (not my usual choice, but I needed something light), and I’m left with a mystery of my own. The point of view utilized for telling the story was third person, no doubt, but as scenes changed (which happened every page or two), the specific point of […]
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In Chapter One of The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud, a concept is introduced using a reference to a sign in a grubby-looking NYC Chinese restaurant. The sign reads, “Our chef is very famous in London.” This serves as an utter admittance of the fact that things aren’t going well in the Big Apple. The irony is thick; so […]
I’ve been asked about my New Year’s Resolution. I generally never give this a decent thought until someone else brings it up (similar to my reactions to questions like, “Are you ready for Christmas?” or “What are you doing for Thanksgiving?”). I’ve always sort of scoffed at the molded system: a calendar devised by people […]
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While in the midst of your creative writing, you might find that you’re feeling a little less than ingenious. The screen is blank…or riddled with repetitive, stale concepts. You’re beginning to find yourself growing rigid and pecky, not unlike the machine you use to compose prose that should be fluid and picturesque. I’d like to […]
What is a ghostwriter? I don’t broach the subject of my vocation unless I’m prompted, but when that happens, this question often follows. If those specific words don’t interject themselves into the conversation, a blank stare or a change of subject usually ensues. Most writers have felt this antipathy, but the best ones don’t work […]
Before you start writing your short story, ask yourself, “How does it end?” Sound strange? Imagine this: You gather your belongings, lock the house, get in the car, start the engine, and…tap the steering wheel with your thumbs, contemplating the fact that you have no place to go. Why would you have gotten into the car […]
Writers create. We struggle to dream what hasn’t yet been dreamed; to fashion something with our brains that is strange and wonderful and utterly fantastic to the senses. It must have never before existed until it was conceived of our minds; birthed by our hands. All that sounds terribly romantic. But occasionally, even the best writer […]
Is it the new um? It is a sad side effect of the classic valley girl mockery, “Like, O my God,” in annoying So Cal upspeak? Is it a reason to beat the 60s pulp out of Shaggy? Last Sunday, my husband, my son, and I attended a human sexuality conference for seventh graders. They spoke out against womanizing, […]
In 1966, Truman Capote’s novel In Cold Blood was published. This creative account of Kansas’ 1959 Clutter murders instilled fear; it raised hackles — and even though it trampled on ethics and our basic comprehension of truth, it would tear open the earth and drop the seed for what we know today as creative non-fiction. […]