the beauty of a busted fruit

The Beauty of a Busted Fruit by Natalie Diaz When we were children, we traced out knees, shins, and elbows for the slightest hint of wound, searched them for any sad red-blue scab marking us both victim and survivor. All this before we knew that some wounds can’t heal, before we knew the jagged scars … Read more

blank (on the first morning)

the driver accelerates into a steep hairpin curve and my gut is in my throat. i’m thrust forward on the bench seat, and grab for the hand rest, miss, scrabble, try bracing my feet against the metal legs of the front seat and fail. slide across the bench and end up in the middle when … Read more

what we have

What We Have by Ruth Stone On the mountain the neighbor’s dog, put out in the cold, comes to my house for the night. He quivers with gratitude. His short-haired small stout body settles near the stove. He snores. Out there in the dark, snow falls. The birch trees are wrapped in their white bandages. … Read more

the stranger

i’ve been edited before but not like this. i’ve learned a lot about craft, much more than i anticipated. my editor, Sean Virgo, pointed out my tics (in that moment), lazy phrasings (consistently describing characters by their eye colour), and repetitions of indirections (think, wonder, consider). the indirections, the indirections! his ability to hold eleven stories in his … Read more

tendency toward refusal

Zadie Smith gave a lecture on creativity last week and discussed a “tendency toward refusal” and “a little friction”. it was highly stimulating. my head hurt, afterward. and i’m still processing. i think it was a call to arms. to push oneself into new territory and make a personal stand. here’s an excerpt: To my … Read more

writing advice from Sherman Alexie

The Top 10 Pieces of Writing Advice I’ve Been Given (Or That I’ll Pretend Were Given to Me)* by Sherman Alexie [10] Don’t Google search yourself. [9]  When you’ve finished Google searching yourself, don’t do it again. [8]  Every word on your blog is a word not in your book. [7]  Don’t have any writing … Read more

george saunders

a craft essay by the one, the only, George “no bullshit” Saunders. http://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/419391/george-saunders-on-story/  

the trouble with writing

you never where to start. or end. the interruptions of daily life are difficult to manage, even when you need them. telling a story is one thing; finding the meaning in it is another. reading good books is extremely important because you need good sentences that linger inside your head. jealousy is problematic, both yours … Read more

dolly

“tempo, girls, tempo!” the lizard called. “count it out!” he skittered across the floor, skidded to a halt and stared indignantly up at them. “this is ridiculous!  i shouldn’t have to remind you there’s a great deal riding on this!” the girls coughed and looked down at their hooves, embarrassed by both his sharp tongue … Read more