19 Jan, 2017

The Craftsmanship of Editing

January 19th, 2017|Tags: |

  It never fails to amaze me, even after so many years of working with texts, that, no matter how often you go over the same text, you still find [...]

25 Nov, 2014

Why a Real Life Story is Never the Whole Story

November 25th, 2014|Tags: , |

A drab and wet November morning--perfect for revising at the Royal Coffee House. Monday evening two weeks ago I wrote a story. I wrote it sitting in my car. I plugged [...]

17 Feb, 2014

Dump those Qualifiers and Modifiers

February 17th, 2014|Tags: |

One insight from  Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones has already affected how I write. Here it is: "In the early seventies there was a study done on women and language [...]

20 Jan, 2014

Cut and Tape a Text

January 20th, 2014|Tags: , |

I love the cut and paste feature of Word, but every now and then, I resort to scissors and tape to arrange a text. Whenever I struggle with structure, I [...]

6 May, 2013

Patience, A Writer Must Have

May 6th, 2013|Tags: , , |

Patience, the trees seem to say, we're not ready to be green yet. My kids have been into Yoda lately, thus my inverted title, but I really feel that Yoda's [...]

22 Jan, 2013

The Paramedic Method

January 22nd, 2013|Tags: , |

I'm still struggling with trimming an essay to meet word count (this essay's parking lot is full!), and so I decided to employ the Paramedic Method that I teach in my [...]

14 Jan, 2013

The Beauty of the Parking Lot

January 14th, 2013|Tags: , , |

Luc-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, June 2009 Ok, so this parking lot is beautiful because it is a) on the Normandy Coast of France, and b) features a sunset. I chose this [...]

11 Jun, 2012

Literary Magazine Layout

June 11th, 2012|Tags: , , , , |

The past few days I've become obsessed with creating a book in blurb, as I am handling the layout of the literary magazine my son's school is publishing. It's been [...]

21 Feb, 2012

First Person versus Third Person

February 21st, 2012|Tags: , , |

 Checking my notes at the writersandcritters conference Today I'm sharing the recording of a short conversation on the merits of writing in first, second or third person that we got [...]

7 Oct, 2011

Literature in the Making: Rewriting

October 7th, 2011|Tags: , |

I've spent the last few days reviewing student manuscripts, and I have to share what a joy it is to witness literature in the making. Not that I don't try to create [...]

27 Jun, 2011

The Joy of Working with Editors

June 27th, 2011|Tags: |

I spent this morning and most of yesterday going through the comments and suggestions two editors made on two different texts of mine. The first piece was an essay that has been [...]

3 Jun, 2011

Don’t Tell If You’re Going to Show

June 3rd, 2011|Tags: , , |

I often find, in student manuscripts, instances where the writer tells me something, only to go on to show it. And then tells me again what she’s already shown me. [...]

31 May, 2011

Second Rule for Literary Magazine Submissions: Manuscript Editing

May 31st, 2011|Tags: , |

This maybe should have been the first rule in literary magazine submissions because before you need to worry about developing a system (see my post of May 27), you need to have [...]

28 Feb, 2011

The Integrity of a Story

February 28th, 2011|Tags: |

Every story develops its own integrity. There are things that belong in it, and things that don’t. If you’ve worked on it for a while, it will take on a [...]

20 Jan, 2011

The Missing Narrative

January 20th, 2011|Tags: , |

I saw Edvard Munch’s painting “The Girl at the Window” at the Art Institute of Chicago again this Monday. (This month admission is free, so the Art Institute is seeing [...]

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