Expanding Characterization: Discovering the Unlived Life, is an intensive workshop on December 16, 12:30-4:30 pm, Hudson Valley Writers' Center On December 16, at the beautiful Hudson Valley Writers' Center, I'll be teaching an intensive workshop on characterization, with a richly productive approach, that makes our work that day follow an unusual path, one that embraces and explores the mysteries of… Continue reading Characterization workshop on December 16
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f73sF_-UaHc This is the first course that I am releasing on Udemy.com, an international platform for online courses of all kind. For a full description and registration please visit https://www.udemy.com/the-disobedient-writer-break-the-rules-and-free-your-story Break the rules and free your story “Write what you know”, “Find your voice,” “Outline” - rules and conventions are pervasive in fiction writing, and whether we… Continue reading New course: Break the Rules and Free Your Story
You have the final say in shaping your work; the first say in its birth; the real responsibility of bringing it forth in a way that is true to your project and your truth. You might work tirelessly to learn, to hear, to read, to be open to the truths of other writers; you might… Continue reading On being a disobedient writer
For A.M.-C. “The bud stands for all things, even those things that don't flower, for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing; though sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness” From Galway Kinnell, “St. Francis and the Sow” I was a small girl in Brooklyn, between broken English and broken hearts, whispered Yiddish,… Continue reading Trusting Our Own Vision, or: The Late Bloomers’ Club
I want to suggest a new discipline. I am of course not saying that getting yourself to the desk is not an important part of being a writer. But many of us, for many reasons---including being unsupported in a society that instills competition as a way to art and creativity---have the idea or are somehow… Continue reading Online writing courses and the idea of discipline
March 19, 2009 (coincidentally, the day before spring) Interesting times, no? Hope? Change? Doom? Restorative justice? Innocence Project? Families Destroyed. New Kinds of Families Being Created. War Crimes. Truth and Reconciliation. Environmental Destruction. Melting Ice Caps. Reclaiming the Rainforest. Greening the World. Financial Collapse. Greening the Economy. Dying… Continue reading Despair, Joy, Complexity: Against writing default endings to fictional stories.
Dear Writers, I have a confession. I am in love with a dead white English guy, a writer. If it isn’t love, at least it is a shock of recognition, a wave of gratitude at being seen, the kind of amazement when someone brings something into words that illuminates, or puts into relief, or gives… Continue reading Dead white English writer, and your sense of time and story structure.
I want to respond to something someone suggested about my book, The Stories of Devil-Girl, and then get to what I really want to talk about, which has to do with the process of writing strong characters, and the profound reasons for doing so. The statement said something to the effect that this character of Devil-Girl,… Continue reading Character’s voice? Neruda said, “Speak through my words and my blood.”
I am thinking that every act is a creative act. Only some creative acts provide an opening into something vital; other creative acts provide duplication, follow the path of habit, add to repetition, create walls - solidity - separation from the vital and the as yet unborn. And some acts, of course, create destruction. So,… Continue reading How can we know the writer from the dancer?
Neruda suggests in his poem Arte Poetica from the first volume of Residencia en la tierra published in 1933, that the poetic art, or at least the poet, works and flounders and suffers "Between shadow and space, young girls and garrisons", which calls to my mind, somehow precisely, the situation of 4 young Muslim men from England,… Continue reading Back to the Invisible: the intersection of truth and the poetic art