Archive for November 2008

Mumbai and Misfits

Sparkle Hayter is a terrific writer (the hilarious Robin Hudson murder mysteries) and comedian, who now lives in Mumbai. She has done so for a couple of years now, working in Bollywood. She seems to love living there, as she has loved living in Tokyo, The Chelsea Hotel (NYC), and in an art squat in…

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What to do until the publishing Messiah comes…

Ironically, a couple of days after I wrote that last blog on “How to Write a Novel,” I received a disturbing email from Publisher’s Weekly. The notice stated that the venerable Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has temporarily stopped acquiring manuscripts. This, understandably, has sent authors and agents into something of a flap. This is the house…

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How to Write a Novel or "Wood Craft"

Students and other emerging writers often ask me, “How, precisely, do you write a novel?” I suspect they think, as perhaps I did myself once upon a time, that there exists somewhere a hermetically sealed room, guarded by hydras, in which Real Writers have placed, in a locked chest in turn submerged in a shark-infested…

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The Invitation of the Sacred Drum

I had the marvelous experience of hearing the Soweto Gospel Choir in concert last night. I can’t imagine a more enlivening way to spend an evening, unless it might be to get up on stage to sing and dance with this amazing choir. In fact I was hard pressed to stay in my seat, as…

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Monsters and Artists

Someone reveals more than anyone wants to know. I recently read a Weekly Standard review of The World Is What It Is: the authorized biography of V.S. Naipaul, written by Patrick French. In this biography, an authorized one I remind you, Naipaul talks about beating women, being a sexual sadist and a racist. The review…

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The scalding and the blessing

It’s been a few days since my last post, and what a busy few days it’s been! Clearly, the big news is a new president-elect here in America! And I’m quite sure there’s very little I can say about that which hasn’t already been said — although that rarely stops me from saying something anyways.…

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This, too, shall pass

There comes a moment — often many moments — as one writes a novel, when it all seems quite hopeless. A moment when the writer desires nothing more than to emit a loud raspberry sort of noise, and fall into a swoon on the nearest soft surface. And thus, you find me. Oh, I’m still…

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