Tag Archives: memoir

How Revision Brings Us Closer

This first Friday in July, I’m thrilled to offer a guest post by my friend and colleague Monica Wesolowska. Her memoir, Holding Silvan, will blow you away.  And she’s got some nifty insights here, too.  Thank you, Monica! At a recent reading from my memoir Holding Silvan, a friendly young man in the audience asked how I’d managed not to be angry or bitter in the book about the people who’d failed me while Silvan was alive. I had to laugh. I could have said the memoir just came out like that because I’m naturally a lovely person, but catching … Continue reading

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The Next Big Thing: Her Current Project

Today I’m happy to host my friend and colleague Monica Wesolowska on this blog.  Her answers show her gift for startling imagery, emotional acuity, and just darned good writing. Her book, Holding Silvan (publication March 2013), is gorgeous. Also, today, I have some good news to share.  I have two short stories—“The Ruins” and “Moles”—that will be out in 2013 between the covers of Arroyo Literary Review and Pisgah Review. (No firm dates yet.)  After a dry spell of not writing (or publishing) much (or any) fiction, I’m thrilled to see these two stories find a home in print. And, … 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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Done Yet?

When people ask me what I’m working on these days, I tell them the truth: my novel.  And then I get cagey.  Questions inevitably follow, questions like, “How’s that going?” Or “the same one?”  Or “Must be about done by now, huh?” The fact is, I’ve thought it done a few times now.  First, about (gulp) ten years ago, when I wrote what seemed to me the most achingly beautiful ending I could imagine.  (When you start to think of your own sentences as achingly beautiful, watch out.)  My trusted readers didn’t get the imagery, and pointed out a few … Continue reading

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Statement of Planned Work (one page only, please)

Some years ago, I applied to Ragdale, an artists’ and writers’ residency outside Chicago.  I was accepted.  In many ways, the timing was perfect.  I had 300 pages of a novel to fix, I wasn’t sure yet how, but the generous folks at Ragdale were giving me four weeks of food and space to figure that out.  It was January, and I’d get to wear the cozy parka and cozy boots I never needed in San Francisco while on long walks in fluffy snow (no ice or blackened slush in my fantasies).  I had my own studio facing acres of … Continue reading

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