Tag Archives: Laurie Ann Doyle

All You Need Is Love

I’ve been thinking in terms of grand, declarative statements:  Writing fiction is an act of love.  Fiction depends upon empathy.  Writing fiction is a moral act.  Fiction is amoral.  Fiction is true.  Fiction depends on lies.  Beauty is truth, and truth, beauty. Etc. I’ve been thinking of short stories with clear, dramatized change: “Araby” by James Joyce; “How Far She Went” (Mary Hood); “Roman Fever” (Edith Wharton); “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner.  I’ve been remembering, and re-reading, stories with unsympathetic main characters and /or situations of rape, drug abuse, murder:  Denis Johnson’s “Work” and Grace Paley’s “The Little Girl”; Flannery … Continue reading

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How Much Is Too Much, Part II

Last week, I blogged about the quandary of how to respond to student work. Here, a few writing teachers I admire share their approaches. Laurie Ann Doyle teaches creative writing at UC Berkeley Extension. Her story “Restraint” will be published in Midway Journal  this summer. Constance Hale, author of Sin and Syntax and the forthcoming Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch, has taught narrative nonfiction writing at UC Berkeley Extension, Boston University, and Harvard University. Wendy Tokunaga teaches fiction at University of San Francisco and Stanford Continuing Ed.  The author of three published novels, she has work in two new anthologies, Madonna … Continue reading

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Two weeks ago, I heard Daniel Coshnear talk on “The Balanced Life.”  It was the final day of UC Berkeley Extension’s Fiction Writing Intensive, and we’d gathered four panelists to talk about Where to Go From Here:  Sustaining the Momentum.  The idea was to give the students – with varying degrees of writing experience – some practical and inspirational ideas for moving their work forward. Mimi Albert, a writer and longtime UC Extension insructor, talked about online classes.   Heather Cameron gave an overview on publishing.  Deborah Lichtman covered the pros and cons of MFA programs.  And Dan talked about making … Continue reading

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It’s been a good couple weeks on the fiction front. First, though, a confession:  I haven’t written in months – written written, that is.  My work has taken a backseat to wedding planning, helping organize two major moves (fiancé in; nephew out), teaching.  Posting to this blog, as well as to “Good Letters,” helps me from feeling like a writer fake. But still.  Turning out 700 relatively coherent words in an hour or two isn’t the same as immersing myself in a world of my own creation.  In Rincon. That’s the name of the fictionalized town in my novel.  It’s … Continue reading

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