Tag Archives: novel-writing

Now Sit Right Back

Something’s up. Twice in the past week, I’ve done something I rarely do. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I did it, before last Thursday. I watched a TV show. Last Thursday found me scrolling through Comcast on Demand for Wolf Hall. Last night, I went to iTunes and downloaded The Americans. For many of you, this may seem either inconsequential (=dull) or too little, too late. I’ve never watched Breaking Bad, Homeland, Girls, or Downton Abbey; I’m hopelessly out of it when lunchtime conversation turns to Game of Thrones or House of Cards. I’ve heard of most … Continue reading

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Crossing the Bridge

Bridge-crossing is a metaphor, of course, and a clichéd one at that.  It’s also an action grounded in regular habit for anyone who lives near water:  to get to work, to school, to home, we cross a bridge. Growing up, I crossed one bridge most often:  a world-famous landmark, its International Orange towers looming on movie posters, picture-book covers, and tourist postcards.  As a girl, I knew it as the slightly eerie, almost ghostly passage home from my grandfather’s house.  Miles of highway, city boulevard, and then, the fog-swirling bridge itself, huge lights casting the air outside the back window … Continue reading

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It’s Only A Dream

When I was in third grade, my class took a field trip to Kirby Cove, a small rocky beach just west of the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge.  To get there, we had to walk—or in my case, slide—down a steep dirt trail. I don’t remember it as a trail at all, but a horrifying sheer, wide fall of hill, brown-red and slippery with pebbles.  I was a klutzy girl, all arms and legs, with my center of gravity somewhere, as my younger and more agile brother once put it, above my forehead.  I was rather in shock … 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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