Monthly Archives April 2009

Magnolia

“It’s surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time.” - Barbara Kingsolver Earlier this week my magnolia tree sprang to life. Blossoms are popping in quantities, so there’s hope. My magnolia is spectacular. It’s easily a third the size of the house, and in the years since we’ve been living here it has insinuated itself onto nearly half of the two-car driveway, reached up to
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Good News

I tell the Business Guy that every time I open my email, I see it as an opportunity for some editor to bring me good news . In the face of such optimism, the much more regular arrival of rejections isn’t such a bad thing. A rejection means someone, somewhere, has read one of my stories. Thank you for your submission. After careful consideration, we have decided not to
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Hopefully

“They don’t make writers like E.B. White any more…. His letters are the equivalent of a weekend in the country.” - NEW YORK TIMES I’ve finished reading Letters of E.B. White, all 685 pages of it. What a great book. The jacket blurb enthuses: “Letters may give us a truer sense of the life and the personality that produced them than would any conventional memoir.” - DOWN EAST One comes
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Invisible Friends

“Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.” - Stephen King After testing this branch and that, I finally found the right one. I shook hard, and the plot point I’ve been looking for all these weeks dropped on me with a splat, like a ripe peach waiting to be picked. The unexpected discovery, at 9:00 on a Saturday night, rendered me completely antisocial
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How to Write a Great Story

“When I want to read a book I write one.” - Benjamin Disreali Act 1: Get your man up a tree Act 2: Shake the tree Act 3: Get him out of the tree Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, I’ve got my man up a tree, and I have a fairly good idea of how I’m going to get him out of the tree. It’s the shaking
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Master Class

“Quotation is the highest compliment you can pay an author.” - Samuel Johnson “The next grammar book I bring out I want to tell how to end a sentence with five prepositions http://bambawefushia.com/elite-singles-no/. A father of a little boy goes upstairs after supper to read to his son, but he brings the wrong book. The boy says, “What did you bring that book that I don’t want
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Something in the Air

“Nothing happens unless first a dream.” - Carl Sandburg Maybe it all started with last week’s launch of Wayson Choy’s new book, Not Yet(see what Mary has to say about it). It’s been a triumphant week for three of my writer friends, and I’m in the mood to blow their horns. Friend Andrea had an acceptance from Room Magazine. Hooray! Her short story,Sending Alice to the Moon, will appear in Issue #32.2 (May 2009 - look for Andrea Johnston). Then
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First Draft

“If one waits for the right time to come before writing, the right time never comes.” - James Russell Lowell I’m growing accustomed to the ebb and flow as I make my way through the first draft of my novel. For several months the words flew out of my fingers, seemingly without effort, as though I were taking dictation. I was pleased by what I deemed to be
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