Monthly Archives: February 2012

VIDA

Male writers may feel uncomfortable (or not, if you’re V.S. Naipaul), women writers may want to–well, blow chunks. If you’ve never heard of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, you will know much about them after you click on the link.

The article speaks for itself. What do you think?

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The Writer’s Job by Tim Parks | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

Read this and weep…or get stronger. It’s up to you.

The Writer’s Job by Tim Parks | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books.

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Gonna Take a Sentimental Journey–NOT!

I was just reading a fabulous post on the AboutAWord Web site. Keyed in to it by a friend, I’ve just discovered a treasure trove of intelligent writing on writing. One of the most recent posts, by Kevin Prufer, discusses sentimentality.

The kiss of death, we know it when we read it. Print bleeding past lavender and into violet. I learned to think about it as unearned emotion, but I now believe that’s too simplistic. Continue reading

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Seeing the World

Worth reading: Laurel’s story exercise

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Just Write

I have upwards of three dozen books on the subject of writing. I buy them, hoping that the key to the Holy Grail will be in its pages and seep from the book  into my brain. I’ll read some or even all of the book, then put it down, because the Giants game is coming on, or some other vital event is about to happen and the next time I see the book is when I pull it out from the bottom of a stack of other books that I will also, someday surely read.

Who am I fooling? Myself, of course. The Holy Grail of writing is to Just Write.  (Actually it’s Write and Re-write, but you get the idea.) There is little new stuff on how to write, and I’m sure if you’re a writer, you’ve read most of it, so stop  reading so many books about writing and write something.

Still there are a few books on writing that are really worth owning AND reading. Continue reading

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Mr. DeMille, I’m Ready for my Close-up

When James Joyce was a young man nominally attending medical school in Paris, and day-dreaming about his future literary fame, he once rather extravagantly promised his mother in a letter home that with his very first earnings he was going to buy her a new set of teeth. He never was able to live up to his promise. May Joyce died a little more than nine months later, at the advanced age of forty-four, and her son’s ship did not come in, so to speak, for another twenty years. Continue reading

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Recommended Reading

“Six Degrees of Separation—or Death of the Original” by Jilanne Hoffmann.

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Audacity

Someone, I don’t remember who, suggested that I write a memoir. My first thought was that I don’t have the audacity to think that  my life is important enough to write such a thing. I mean memoir–ooh,ooh!  Still, I’m going to be sixty-one years old in couple of months. That’s right; sixty-one. Sixty-one isn’t that big of a number, but when you multiply sixty-one by three hundred and sixty-five, you get twenty-two thousand plus and that really is a big number. If I had learned how to write when I was six and from then on, kept a journal, I would have written over twenty thousand pages. What I’m trying to say here is that anyone; you, me, or the man in the moon, that is about to turn sixty-one can glean readable stuff out of twenty thousand pages. The upside is that I won’t be able to justify staring at the screen while whining that I can’t think of anything to write. Not with twenty-two thousand days behind me.   I guess that’s the downside too.

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by | February 20, 2012 · 1:13 pm

Why study craft?

1) Madison Smartt Bell states in his book about structure, Narrative Design, that craft guides the unconscious “into harness,” similar to the way musicians study scales or sculptors study anatomy. Once craft becomes reflexive, the unconscious accesses this knowledge automatically, leaving the mind free to play, to create, to make the magic happen. Continue reading

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What Are You Afraid Of?

“Life is full of excuses to feel pain, excuses not to live, excuses, excuses, excuses…The only pain you [should (my insertion)] feel is for all the useless pain you felt, all the times you didn’t do something because of cowardice or fear, all the times you let the bastards and the kibitzers and the fear shrinkers hold you back. Watch out for the death people, do you see what I mean? They’re the ones to avoid.”  Erica Jong

So there you have it–be fearless and multiply–with words, that is.

For more on ditching those excuses, check out: Quotes About Excuses

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