dear alice #2

dear alice, seeing as i already know you, i have a favour to ask. could you please appeal to The New Yorker on my friend Lee Kvern’s behalf? she’d very much like a story placed in that magazine and you must know somebody there who could help.  i’ve enclosed a copy of her story “White” … Read more

a letter to alice munro #1

dear alice, we’ve never met but i sometimes think that i know you through your stories. not all the time, of course, because some of your stories are distant. take, for instance, “Friend of my Youth”. i know it’s complete and the wall is symbolic but i can’t connect. is it because it’s set in … Read more

freefall

i enjoy freefall writing–that’s where you react to a writing prompt and just write, no pause, no edits, no erasing.  until someone tells you to stop.  it’s fascinating what happens when you free your mind, the skips and jumps that occur.  i use it to ease back into a writing schedule. today’s prompt was:  a … Read more

dialogue

paddy doyle  says you can learn the most about characters through dialogue. it’s the way people speak that defines them.  but writing good dialogue takes a lot of practice and where it all starts is in eavesdropping. that’s right, eavesdropping. when you listen, really listen, to what people say and write it down, verbatim, you … Read more

vanishing

i inhaled a beautiful book called THE VANISHING OF ESME LENNOX by Maggie O’Farrell.  set in the 1930s, it’s a story about a young woman who’s caught wearing her mother’s negligee and institutionalized.  the negligee, of course, is the last straw for a lifetime of being different.  of wandering away from her desk at school. … Read more