I mentioned previously that I’ve been reading Charlie Jane Anders’ craft book Never Say You Can’t Survive that dropped recently. I’m finding her insight refreshingly accessible and compassionate. She believes in her characters, and she especially believes in their feelings and how those feelings drive their decisions and move the plot forward. My expertise is … Continue reading Four Questions to Keep Asking About Your Characters by Charlie Jane Anders
“But the genius of this memoir lies in its letting us see how much the narrator becomes his father rather than struggles to separate from his father.” Vivian Gornick, The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative When I read the quote cited above, I underlined it with my black pen, hard, and … Continue reading Geoffrey Wolff, Vivian Gornick, and the Art of Calling Out Your Own Bullshit
Yesterday I woke up and finally reckoned with the fact that I probably have a UTI. If you don’t know what that is, you are lucky. I drove to a nearby town to locate an urgent care center. It was Saturday, a holiday weekend, and even the urgent care centers in this part of Virginia … Continue reading And the Whole Day Ended with a Multicolored Wig on my Head
I feel as if I’m re-learning how to write. Or maybe finally learning how to write. Or maybe that’s what it is to be a writer–to cycle through the re-learning how to do this art for every project you have, every major life change, every significant emotional shift or growth or loss you experience. When … Continue reading Free the Draft! An Attempt to Liberate my Writing Routine (with Bonus Baby Bunny Interlude)
I don’t even know where to start with last night. I’m in Virginia, a fellow at an artists residency, where sometimes we share what we’re working on. Visual artists have open studios, composers play either live or recorded original music, and writers have readings. Last night, I read from my memoir-in-progress, Terrible Daughter, sharing the … Continue reading It Might All Be About the Margarita Bucket
Well. Sometimes I feel the Universe does not, in fact, want me to write. Too bad, Universe! Here’s the short version: two days ago, while hanging out at the pool and right after I’d finished my previous blog post about wine and working and wine, I became suddenly nauseated and lightheaded. Two wonderful fellow residents … Continue reading Is The Universe a Jerk?
Last night the visual artists here hosted open studios. I love open studios. Writers love visual art, don’t we? It’s so inspiring to immerse into a different art form. It fills me up, feeds my own creativity, and I’ve felt so deprived since lockdown began a year and a half ago. So I walked around … Continue reading Art and Wine and Progress and Wine
When the Coffee Grounds Hit the Carpet: A Mini-Essay Examining One Morning of One Writer’s Process Full of Unwanted Drama
Prologue For a person who hates drama, I sure had a lot of frickin’ drama this morning. First you should know that I have polycythemia vera, a chronic blood malignancy. I’ve had it for many years, my whole adult life. It’s well-treated and managed and I’m very familiar with the symptoms and how to deal … Continue reading When the Coffee Grounds Hit the Carpet: A Mini-Essay Examining One Morning of One Writer’s Process Full of Unwanted Drama
What is it with me and headaches lately? Woke up at 3 am with a raging tension headache–radiating from the back of my neck down into my shoulders. Or vice versa. It was brutal. And I still have it. Go away, headache! Don’t you know who I am? I’m Very Important and I have Very … Continue reading A Headache and Perfectionism and Quite a Nice Swim
I have arrived at my writing residency and all is well. When I was here before, I had a separate room and writing studio, which is the case for most fellows. This time I’m in a small apartment so I’ll work and sleep in the same place. It’s quite spacious and I have a mini-fridge. … Continue reading Hanging Out at my Artist’s Residency and Wondering About Things
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