Posts Tagged ‘writing’

A Return to the Beginning

T.S. Eliot’s Little Gidding. These lines: We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Circles. Wheels. In Indigenous spirituality, in Pagan spirituality worldwide, as well as in mystical forms of all major religions, this form has…

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Wisdom for a Hunger Moon

Here in North America, Indigenous people tell us the name for the full moon in February is the Snow Moon, or the Hunger moon. Yesterday we had what New Jersey folk call a snow storm, and while it was a bit blustery, for this Canadian, 4 inches of snow is hardly a storm. Still, it…

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International Women's Day and Selfies.

On this International Women’s Day, I’m reading a book called “American Girls” by Nancy Joe Sales. It’s a fascinating look at how social media affects girls between 13-19. Note: Of course, not all girls are so involved. And of course the problem isn’t limited to ‘girls’ — a term Sales recognizes as problematic in terms…

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The Author In Autumn

I remember a walk I took at twilight nearly twenty years ago.  I was living in Menthon-St.-Bernard, France then, a mountainous region in Haute Savoie on a deep lake. My Best Beloved and I lived in a house a ways up the mountain,  perhaps a twenty minute walk up the steep path from Menthon itself…

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Writer's Notebook: Creating Emotion in the Reader

It’s that time of the month — by which I mean it’s the time of the month I spend editing my students’ work.  I enjoy this.  They’re good writers and always striving to be better.  It’s wonderful to be part of that process. One thing I notice emerging writers struggling with is how to create…

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The Forgiveness Cure

I’m in the midst of editing my new novel, OUR DAILY BREAD, which will be released in the US in September.  It’s the story of what happens in a small town when, for generations, certain folks have been ostracized, pushed away and left to fend for themselves.  Considered Those People—beyond the pale, beyond redemption—they become…

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A Third Possibility

People frequently ask me, “Where did you go to college?” and some look as though I’ve just walloped them in the face with a flounder when I reply, “I didn’t go to college.”  How can that be, I see them thinking, you’re a published author.  Yeah.  And in this era of nearly mandatory MFAs, I…

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10 Hard truths about writing

Recently, a student told me she was too scatterbrained to write her novel without help, and that she needed someone to crack the whip, set deadlines, help her focus, etc.  She said she needed an editor or a partner, or both. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard that sort of thing from writing students.…

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Tell me what you want

Robert Olen Butler, in his book FROM WHERE YOU DREAM, says the one thing missing from almost every student manuscript he reads is a sense, in the beginning of the work, of what the main character yearns for.  He says fiction is “the art form of human yearning” and that  writers needs to place an…

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SHARPENING THE QUILL WORKSHOPS

I am thrilled to announce I’ve begun creative writing workshops in Princeton – last Saturday of every month! I invite you to join us. Although we’re just beginning. We are already a group of friendly, supportive writers — some just starting on the writer’s journey, others already well published.  Fiction, memoir, poetry, flash fiction, creative…

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