Archive for On Writing

Entry # 223 – “Bad-Ass Dudes” in Fiction

Writing fiction requires writers to explore parts of what Charles Baxter in The Art of Subtext, has called, “the problem of the unknowable,” especially as we think about characters.

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Entry # 222 – “Even Ruins Have A Particular Beauty”

Sometimes on summer afternoons my thoughts turn to poetry. Although I see myself as a writer of mostly fiction and a bit of nonfiction, reading poems gives me insights into linguistic effects possible in fiction. This morning I reread Mary Oliver’s wonderful poetry collection: American Primitive and all afternoon I hear her words as music […]

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Entry # 219 “The Phoenix Effect in Revision”

Recently I revised a story and the process required the surgical removal of a character I particularly liked, and as a result, I needed to remove three scenes and find another way to get into the heart of the story. Although I hoped to avoid this painful process, the reality of what was needed would […]

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Entry # 218 – “Surviving & Thriving from Workshop Feedback”

2014 At Tinker Mountain – Hollins University Often when I get home from a workshop and look through peer review comments on a draft, I feel overwhelmed. Having recently returned from a week at the Tinker Mountain Workshop, I am once again faced with the question of how to begin my revision process. Sometimes I spin […]

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Filed Under: On Writing, Reflections, Writing Workshops

Entry # 215 – Did You Hear the One About the Wood Carver, Miner, & Surgeon?

Rainbow 2 – Photo Credit – Jim Wilson – 2013 What does a wood carver, a surgeon and a miner have in common with a writer? Sounds like the punch line for a joke. And what does this rainbow photo from my friend, Jim Wilson have to do with the topic? Nothing! I liked it. […]

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Entry # 214 – ” Wasting Time for Your Rose”

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once and then you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” Writers, like concert violinists, don’t get their expertise from thin air. They work at it. Writers tending their rose are not wasting time; they are nurturing the rose to find its beautiful center.

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Entry # 214 – ” Wasting Time for Your Rose”

“It is the time that you’ve wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”  from  The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success, describes the amount of “pure practice and investment in time to move beyond mastery to actual expertise as somewhere around ten thousand hours.” […]

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Entry # 213 – Short Stories with Strong Plots

Rehoboth Beach, DE – SUNRISE – May 11, 2014 Recently I sent an email to fellow writer and teacher, Paul Hanstedt and I asked him what he considered the three best stories he’d read, in terms of “strong plots” to be admired and studied. He responded by posting the question on Facebook and we’ve already […]

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Entry # 211 – “Apprentice House: Small Press at Loyola University in Maryland.”

I wanted to share this information with writers about Apprentice House, a student run small press at Loyola University in Maryland. I’ve taken all the following information directly from their website to share with my blog writer friends. Contact them for more information.  =================================== So What is Apprentice House?   Apprentice House is the country’s […]

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Entry # 210 – “What I am Reading for May”

Tulip’s from Alex & Aline for Jeanne’s Birthday I am off to Rehoboth Beach, DE in May for a week of reading, walking, and spending time with my partner as we celebrate our first anniversary. We are looking forward to quality time reading and talking about books, so I ordered some books that I long […]

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Filed Under: Book Reviews, On Writing, Reflections