Tag Archives: story ideas

Writing Under the Influence

I’ve blogged about Jane before, and I’m doing it again. Jane Eyre, that is.  I’ve been thinking about her because I’ve just finished The Flight of Gemma Hardy, Margot Livesey’s take on  Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel.  (Livesey herself calls it a “continued conversation.”) Beginning with the first sentence, Livesey sprinkles similarities to the original throughout her novel, weaving in her own autobiographical details.  In both, we have an orphaned girl, a cruel aunt, a book on birds, a mysterious landowner, a sickly boarding school friend who dies in Jane’s/Gemma’s arms, etc.  In Brontë, of course, what comes between Jane & … 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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Rising & Falling

I can’t get a certain floor out of my mind.  It’s tiled, worn, and – the best part, the part I can’t forget – undulating.  I’d attach a picture if I had one, but the entire time I stood on this floor, marveling at it and the gold mosaics around me, an officious guard with Nordic hair and a uniform one size too small kept calling out, in a harsh, beleaguered voice, “No photo!”  Many others disregarded him (as well as the prominent signs showing a camera with a slash through it), but I’ve always obeyed orders.  Just as well … Continue reading

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