writing NOW & THEN: Entries from an author's life
September 28, 2009
THIS PIECE, WRITTEN IN October 21, 1997 MAKES ME SMILE. I SO VIVIDLY REMEMBER THIS REUNION, AND I'M STILL PLAGUED BY THE FEELINGS OF IRRELEVANCE THAT SILENCED ME THAT DAY. GETTING AN MFA IN 2006 DID HELP QUELL SOME OF THE HESITATIONS DESCRIBED HERE, HOWEVER. AND, SINCE THEN, I'VE ACTUALLY COME TO ENJOY WRITING PERSONAL ESSAYS!
Not long ago I had coffee in NYC with two very talented writers. Chip Brown, a high school friend, has traveled around the world writing for such publications as Esquire, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, and only a few years back he told me proudly, "I think I finally write like a grown up." (more…)
September 25, 2009
THE WAY-BACK MACHINE FOUND THIS MUSING FROM Tuesday, January 14, 2003 WHILE I WAS WORKING ON MY NOVEL, FLASH HOUSE...
I recently heard the novelist Arundhati Roy declare that she collects shopping bags full of words. I think, in my case, it would be more accurate to say, I collect words by the dumpsterful.
Initially, of course, we’re both talking about the impulse to gather language. Words wink and tempt us, beckon from the sidelines and far reaches of the brain, from billboards and snatches of overheard conversation, from the echoes of memory. Use me! Take me! Play with me! Keep me! Words are like neglected pets hungering for a home. (more…)
September 23, 2009
THIS ONE WAS WRITTEN ON Thursday, July 25, 2002. IT REMINDS ME THAT TRUTH LIES IN THE DETAILS THAT STAND THE TEST OF TIME. DETAILS LIKE THESE...
My writing mind exasperates my husband. Somehow he can juggle fifteen deals, three potential lawsuits, casts of hundreds and never seem absent, never fail to do a load of laundry as he passes through or check the machine to see if a load needs to go into the dryer, never neglect to close a door or drawer behind him, never lose track of time or miss a scheduled appointment. Never keep anyone waiting. I have no deals pending, only a handful of faces in my mental registry, and suffer from illiteracy when it comes to legal documents, yet I am guilty of all the above lapses and many more. My only excuse is the writing mind, and it is trying not only for those who must live with me but for me as well.
September 21, 2009
16 YEARS AGO, I WROTE THE FOLLOWING IN MY JOURNAL. IT SUMS UP BETTER THAN I COULD TODAY WHY I'VE DECIDED TO LAUNCH THIS BLOG, MINING JOURNALS PAST AND PRESENT FOR THOUGHTS, QUESTIONS, AND INSIGHTS THAT STRIKE ME AS STILL RELEVANT TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN THE WRITING LIFE
For the past thirty years I've made a habit of writing a great many words that I expect never to read again. (more…)
writing NOW & THEN: entries from an author's life is a bit of personal time travel that I hope will also be of interest to you.
My mission is to excavate and extract entries from old journals that still resonate and perhaps even offer wisdom or insight into the life of writers today. What changes, and what remains the same? Isn't this a curious question that haunts us all?