What Did I Discover From My Year of Blurt Writing?

So what did I discover from my 2016 blog resolution to blurt out a quick story or poem once a week?

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelou

1. It was a great brain zapper! The main idea of Blurting had been to energize my brain as I edited a collection of stories which I’d been working on for quite a while. It worked! Forcing Continue reading

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Perceptual Shifts: Seeing The Strange In The Everyday

sky and clouds

 

I’m sure most writers have heard this advice at some point: write from the known to the unknown. The theory is that this grounds the reader and avoids confusion.

When I was analyzing Virginia Woolf’s “Between the Acts” for my MFA craft essay at Lesley University, I noticed that she often did the reverse. I loved the disorienting effect and the immediacy this gave to the narrative.

Early on in Continue reading

In Search of the Perfect Ending

The End(s)Why am I writing about story endings when the very thought makes me want to whimper and hide my head under my pillow?

Endings! Endings! Oh the agony! But oh the sweetness when you get the right one!

Continue reading

Writer Watching Water

sitting watching waterI love being beside water. Before going to the ocean, lake, river, pond or stream, I imagine myself sitting on the beach or bank, writing page after page after page, diving at last beneath the surface of the story I’ve been working on, discovering at last its deep secret, or maybe getting caught up into the flow of a new story.

The truth is, I rarely write a word when I’m near water. I just sit, and look.

But that’s OK. Sometimes that’s exactly what a writer needs to do‚Ķsit and watch water.

In the Eye of a Deadline!

IMG_3576In December I print up a one month/one page calendar for the upcoming year. Any time I see a call for submission from a literary journal that I think might be an especially good fit for a story I’m working on, or one that is ‘resting’ in a file, I enter it in the calendar.

I’m a slow writer. It takes me months and sometimes even years to finish a story. I know I’m not going to make most of these deadlines, so why do I bother to keep a record? Continue reading