Let the Mothers and Fathers Speak

I’m afraid I’ve become jaded. Rarely do the newest of fiction and nonfiction books, and even poetry, speak to me as they once have. Lately I’ve had to force myself to read them, something you might glean from the rare reviews I’ve been posting. What’s wrong? Is it me? Have I simply read too many…

Spaces and Shapes in Poetry

One more note on modern poetry: poetic space and shape. By that I mean the way lines are positioned on the page; are you writing in verse format? Imitating the structure of Villanelles? Ballads? Odes? Sonnets? Long free verse? Or are you creating lines that when assembled create shapes that leave subliminal messages counterpoint to…

Art and Time in Literature

Worried about structuring your next novel, writer? You readers out there don’t get why the writer hopscotched back and forth in time? This old post on a very fine novel, A Girl In Hyacinth Blue, may help both reader and writer. A hint: Monitor your thoughts for an hour or so. See how they constantly go from…

‘I Don’t Believe In Writer’s Block’/The Atlantic

    The article linked below is one all writers should read, and it’s one that certainly speaks to me. I’ve spent years lost in the woods (read: another career) while writing virtually nothing. But what I subsequently discovered is that those woods did indeed leave me with much soil from which stories might grow….

Irony and Complexity

The Orphan Master’s Son, by Adam Johnson As is my case with most books, I warmed up to this one slowly. My warming, however, became only tepid with The Orphan Master’s Son. I like stories, you see, and defined characters within such stories. That makes me an odd fit for postmodern literature, something I’ve posted…

A Conversation and a Learning Experience

  Last week, while feeling the pain of a rebuilt knee jousting with the better pain medicines, I had a call from a friend of a friend – a writer – who, after some brief forays into seeking publication for her work, was feeling down and unloved. In the writerly reward sense. As it turned…

New Forms, Chances Are

Most of what’s being written  about new publishing opportunities has to do largely with e-books, and some about new marketing opportunities, both involving the digital world. But why not also involve the structure of writing itself?   An idea has been slowly coming to me over the past couple of months involving just such a…