Tag Archives: archeology

Get A Job

I’ve worked as a stained-glass artist, a translator, a marine biologist, and an archeologist. Or, rather, my characters have.  One of the most direct ways into inhabiting character and discovering details that lift a story beyond “mere” narrative has always been, for me, what that character does with her day.  How she makes a living, and what kind of a living it is. Growing up, I felt little parental pressure about what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Oh, my dad used to tease me about becoming a dentist, so I could support him and my mother in … Continue reading

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Following the Bees

Two weeks ago—and it was a fabulous vacation, btw—I posted about Penelope Lively’s book Making It Up, with some observations about living out alternative lives in fiction.  What would have happened if…? Writers are often asked where we get our ideas for fiction, and (like most questions we’re asked), there are as many right answers as there are writers.  Still, I’m always fascinated by the variety of responses—even within my own experience. As sheepish as I feel admitting it, the genesis of the first story I wrote as an adult, the story that got me in the chair every morning … Continue reading

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In Another Life

My next post will appear Friday, September 7.  If you’re in the neighborhood, mark your calendar for Sept. 13, 7 p.m.:  Why There Are Words, 333 Caledonia, Sausalito.  I’d love to see some of you there! A few months ago, I stumbled upon Penelope Lively’s novel The Photograph.  I loved its sharp psychological portraits, its elegant and economic sentences, its going on for pages and pages in the minds of its characters (something I’m always trying to do without making my readers scream, “Action, please!”). When I returned to the library to pick up another Lively novel, I chose—from the … Continue reading

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